Sarek National Park

A Photography Expedition with Linda Åkerberg

Dates: 10-21 August, 2020

Price: 17495 SEK (approx. 1600 EUR)

Full Money-Back Return Policy During Covid-19 (Click for details)

Guides

Linda Åkerberg

Creative Guide

Linda Åkerberg is a professional adventurer based in Stockholm. In addition to her own adventures, she works as a full-time photographer. She is also a writer, lecturer and runs the adventure blog Wilderness Stories.

 

Linda is best known for her long adventures through the wilderness. In 2016, she hiked the long-distance Pacific Crest Trail, 428 miles between Mexico and Canada. In 2019, Linda decided that it was time to seek adventure at home. In 4 months she travelled 485 km, entirely self-propelled by hiking, bicycling and paddling. For this adventure, she was awarded the prestigious Female Adventurer of the Year Award.

Linda's InstagramWebsite

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

 

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. Jonas is a qualified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) and will be leading the expedition.

Jonas teaches an easy to implement process-oriented approach to the craft of making a technically solid exposure so that we can focus our energy on realising our creative visions.

More info here.

Expedition Highlights

  • A trip for those who want to develop outdoor skills; we will travel far from the beaten path in Sweden's largest and wildest wilderness area, the journey will include river crossings, navigation and emergency skills 

  • Beginner course in nature photography

  • Two professional photographers - this means there will be a lot of time for group and 1-to-1 teaching. All levels and all camera welcome

  • Experience and photograph arctic summer landscapes

  • Get a chance to scout for Sweden's four large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine (please note that we can not guarantee that we will encounter wildlife)

  • Benefit from a proven photography curriculum to quickly advance your photography

  • Safely explore the outdoors with a qualified International Mountain Leader

  • Learn how to safely navigate in landscapes far away from the marked trails, about safe and comfortable camp life and much more

  • Experience a unique and wild landscape

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This expedition merges nature photography and backpacking into a complete experience of timeless, beautiful and wild nature. Sarek National Park is one of the most iconic, remote and wild places in Europe and home to Sweden's four large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine. 

 

This 12-day expedition will test your expeditionary skills, so be prepared to experience a truly unique adventure. It has been designed with passion and enthusiasm based on our personal experiences from Sarek to ensure this truly is a unique journey

Sarek National Park is part of a Laponian UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with adjoining areas of Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet, Sjaunja and Stubba nature reserves, Muddus National Park, making a total of 9,400 km2 (3,600 sq mi).

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld some exact locations from the itinerary below. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism to this pristine and seldom visited place by sharing these. Our expedition participants will receive detailed information via email. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Giving back to Nature

Today there are only about 300 adult arctic foxes alive in Sweden, Norway and Finland. To support the conservation of these unique animals, 3% of the income from this expedition will be donated to support the Swedish Arctic Fox Project.

Images: Linda Åkerberg

Itinerary

Day 1 | 10 August 2020 | Arrival Day - Saltoluokta - Ávtsusjvágge

Our adventure starts by the mountain hut Saltoluokta on 10 August 2020. It is recommended to arrive in the afternoon to ensure that you have time for final preparations. Jonas and Linda will be there from 4 PM to welcome You. We will have an expedition briefing at 5 PM and then get ready to make a short trek into the mountains. We will make camp at the top of the Ávtsusjvágge next to a small stream where we cook dinner together and go over our equipment. You will receive a packing list well in advance of the expedition to ensure you have everything that you will need on this adventure. We will start to establish our camp routines and enjoy an evening of food and photography. See arrival information below.

Trekking: Approx. 3hrs | Distance 5km | Hight gain/loss +350m

Day 2 | Ávtsusjvágge - Sitejaure

It is time to trek! We are up early to cook a good breakfast and then break camp and head for the adventure. Our first day is an easy trek of 14 km up in the beautiful Ávtsusjvágge following the popular and breathtakingly beautiful Kungsleden (Eng: The King's Trail). As it is our first real day and we will all have to find our trail legs, we will take it easy with many breaks for photography. We follow the trail downhill towards the lake Sitejaure, if we have time, we will catch a boat across in the evening, otherwise, we will start with the boat the following day. Either way, we will make camp next to the lake and maybe take a swim!

Trekking: Approx. 7hrs | Distance 14km | Hight gain/loss +140m / -220

Day 3 | Sitejaure - Skierffe

We now have two days of trekking in our legs and it is time for the first challenging day, we have 750 hight meters to gain to the summit of Skierfe, where we will pitch our tents and await sunset! The Skierffe mountain will give us incredible views of Sarek and the Rapa Valley below. We will pitch our tents and get ready for an incredible view while we wait for the sunset, and, for the ones who want, also photograph sunrise just a few hours later. After a long exciting day, we will get some good sleep, perhaps dreaming of the adventure that lies ahead.

 

Trekking: Approx. 7hrs | Distance 12.5km | Hight gain/loss 750

Day 4 | Skierffe - Aktse Hut - Rapa Valley

We wake up early, make breakfast together, and head down into the Rapa Valley, an impressive wild place. We will start walking down from the mountain where we slept the night before, pass the Aktse Hut - the only hut we will see for the rest of the journey. We will catch a boat over the lake Lajtávrre and onwards on the river to Nammatj. We are now entering the realm of the wild animals and we will all be alert spotting tracks and listening to sounds from the light alpine forest surrounding us. We will trek just a few kilometres from the drop-off location and set our campsite for the night. We will scout for wildlife and at sunset, we will photograph the Rapaselet.

Trekking: Approx. 6hrs | Distance 9km | Hight gain/loss -700m

Day 5 | Rapa Valley

We wake up refreshed in that way that only sleeping in nature can do. We make breakfast and break camp. It is not unusual to see wildlife such as moose along this path, so we move quietly through the terrain. After a day of easy trekking and a few exciting river crossings, we will camp along the river. The serenity of nature and animals sounds will be our best company.

Trekking: Approx. 5-6hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +/- 60m

Day 6 | Rapa Valley 

We continue north into the heart of Rapa Valley towards an area often called Rovdjurstorget (Eng: predator's square). In the afternoon we will reach our campsite close to the square. If we are lucky we will spend a night under a sky full of stars. If we are very lucky, we may see animals like bear, wolverine, moose, deer, lynx and more. Exact location withheld according to the leave no trace statement above.

Trekking: Approx. 5-6hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +/- 60m

Day 7 | Rapa Valley - Sarvatjåkkå

After a few magical days in Rapa Valley, it is time to move up into the mountains. We will pack up our camp and get ready for an afternoon of trekking up into Snavvavagge and onwards to the base of the mountain Sarvatjåkkå, another perfect spot to capture wildlife and landscapes.

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +500m

Day 8 | Sarvatjåkkå - Ruohtesvágge

We continue trekking with views of the incredible and lush Rapa Valley and then take a turn into the higher alpine areas of the Ruohtesvágge. 

Trekking: Approx. 7hrs | Distance 13km | Hight gain/loss 0 to +150m 

Day 9 | Ruohtesvágge - Áhkká

Our 10th day is a special day. We continue our trek in the Ruohtesvágge and slowly see our goal for the day: Áhkká! Our camp for the night will be at the base of the Áhkká massif, which is one of Sweden's most beautiful massifs and has twelve individual peaks and ten glaciers. 

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 13km | Hight gain/loss +100m/-180m

Day 10 | Áhkká - Ritsem

Our last day of trekking is here and it is a day to remember! We have got 15 km to the Akka mountain hut where we will catch the boat to Ritsem Mountain Hut, where a sauna, hot showers and comfortable beds await! 

Trekking: Approx. 8hrs | Distance 15km | Hight gain/loss +200m/-500m

Day 11 | Extra day

Extra day in case of bad weather. If we don’t use this day, we will consider it a bonus and add it to prolong our stay at Akka Mountain Hut. We will spend the day doing a day trek into the mountains or scouting for wildlife! 

Trekking: To be decided

Day 12 | 21 August 2020 | Departure day

After breakfast, it is time to travel back to Gällivare with bus departure at 9 AM. Once there, we will say our "see you later"! Arrival in Gällivare at approx. 1 PM.

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve consistent quality in landscape photography

  • Focusing - A science-based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Long exposure and filters - Long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

  • Astro photography - Explore the nighttime skies and landscapes to show the world at a different time

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Multiple exposures and graduate filters - Achieving correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing)

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times.

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition

We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills. 

  • Planning for a week or more out on the hills in summer conditions

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • Relocation with map and compass

  • Using sighting for fast movement

  • Camp routines

  • River crossing techniques

Additional Information

The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours

The weather in the Arctic Circle can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the weather forecast and the local maps over coffee to plan our day. Sunrise and sunset vary greatly throughout the year. Sunrise will be at approx. 4 AM and sunset at 9.15 PM. Blue and golden hour will last approx one hour at either side of the day, giving us great opportunity for photography.

Getting There and Back Out Again

The expedition starts at Saltoluokta Mountain Hut. You reach it by train or flight to Gällivare (via Stockholm), and then bus 93 (or taxi) towards Ritsem. Disembark at Kebnats, then take the beautiful old boat across the lake (only 15 minutes). By car, take road 45, turn off at the sign towards Saltoluokta, in between Jokkmokk and Gällivare. On the return journey, we will finish at Ritsem, where you can take the same bus to Gällivare, where you can catch a flight or the train. If you have extra luggage, we recommend that you leave this in Gällivare.

Food

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we will not provide any food on this expedition. Participants are expected to bring dehydrated food for the entire journey. We will provide suggestions for the full 11-day menu in the packing list and also be available for any questions that you may have. You will be able to find limited shops in Saltoluokta (Day1), Aktse (Day 5) and Ritsem (last night), but note that options are limited in these shops. The water is safe to drink directly from streams in Sweden. 

Camping Equipment 

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we will not provide any camping equipment. The larger items that you will need include a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and stove.  A full packing list will be provided. 

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Drones

Please note that drones are prohibited in Sarek National Park.

Full Return Policy During Covid-19

During the outbreak of Covid-19 we will offer a full refund (both deposit and balance payment) if Swedish governmental restrictions on travel make the expedition unfeasible. If you wish to cancel for whatever reason, a full refund is available up until 30 days before the start of the expedition - no questions asked. You are welcome to get in touch if you have any questions about this. 

 

How Challenging?

This expedition has a Medium Effort Rating. This is a serious trekking expedition where we can expect 6-10 hours of trekking per day. Previous multi-day trekking experience is highly advisable. More info about effort levels here.

Price & Details

 

Included:​

  • Guided treks by qualified International Mountain Leader

  • One night in a dormitory room

  • Guided photography sessions in the field

  • Theoretical sessions

  • All boat transport 

Excluded:

  • Photo equipment 

  • Outdoor clothing and equipment

  • Transport (e.g. trains or flights to Gällivare), bus to Saltoluokta and bus from Ritsem

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the mountains, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Food

  • Alcoholic beverages

Price: 17495 SEK

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 90 days before the start of the expedition. Single occupancy not possible. Incl. VAT.

Participants: Minimum 4 - Maximum 10

Start: Saltoluokta, 10 Aug 2020​

End: Ritsem, 21 Aug 2020 

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

© 2023 by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag and Terra Photography Expeditions

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