From the Rokka’s reindeer and moose farm we drow through Kiiruna to Nikkaluokta. It is the village nearby Kebnekaise Mountain Center. The distance is about 19 km, and 5 km less if you take a boat after six kilometers, as we did. A part of the attendants of know-how group chose helicopter transportation. On the path there was a lot of stones, so you had to be careful all the time. But there was a clear path. The hiking took about 5 hours for us and some of us were quite exhausted when getting to the center. Maybe that is why the dinner tasted exceptionally good.
Kebnekaise Mountain Center is a great place to visit. About 20 000 people each year visit the center. Of them 2000-3000 people climb to the peak of Kaebnekaise. There are two paths to the top: the other one, western route, is easier and the other one eastern more difficult. There has been accidents on the difficult one. The last one happened not so long time ago when some people were climbing on the top without a guide. Our mountain guide, young Victoria, took responsibility of the group of seven. She promised to guide this part of our group along the more difficult route to the top of Kebnekaese. I followed them for the while, but when the mountain started to be steeper, I decided to come back .I have never done any mountain climbing and I thought that maybe it is not a clever idea to make a start by climbing on Kebnekaese.
We other members of the group just enjoyed the wonderful surroundigs of Mountain Center by doing shorter hiking trips. In the evening we got excited and even little anxious about the climbers. Had everyting gone well? The average age of the group was pretty high, maybe closer sixty than fifty, but all the members, you might even say for our surprise, had reached the top. They all had done it! Each one of them got our aplodes, especially filmmaker Bernhard who walked to the dining room, saying ”Bonjour”, in the way as if he had had just a small sunday walk.
On Thursday morning everyone were transported by helicopter to Nikkaluokta from where we drove to mining city Kiruna. We visited the great wooden church of Kiruna. We got to know that the church and the most of the city´s other buildings are going to be relocated after some years to the new place, about 2-3 km from old downtown area, because of the mining. The lunch was eaten, and we continued our trip.
From Kiruna we drove about 300 kilometers north, to Norway. There was located Manndalen sjöbuer, above the Finland´s northern border. The small cottages were really lovely with roofs made of grass. We ate there traditional dinner made of dried fish. The experience was quite interesting. I especially loved the desert, red currants with vanilla sauce.
Early in the morning we drove to the hight about 1800 m. Our hiking’s starting point was located about six kilometers from the top of the Finland’s highest mountain, Halti. There was really no path on the top, just smaller and bigger stones. I had difficultis to hold my balance and I rambled a couple of times on the way up. The down coming was still more difficult for me, because the legs started to get tired. The frenchmen are gentlemen. Jean Pierre, experienced mountain guide, held my hand, and we almost sprang our way back. He has been up to the top of the Mount Blanck for about hundred and fifty times. It was much easier to come down this way with an experienced guide. Maybe you just trust yourself more in this tandem way.
For me this seven hours trip on Halti was one of the experiences I will remember for ever.