Mt. Kebnekaise

Starting out on our way to those mountains waaay in the distance.
Last week my bff Anna and her husband Jeff visited us at the same time as Rob's parents, leaving us with the magnificent opportunity to leave Smalls behind for the first time since his birth and go on an adventure together. 
We hiked the highest peak in Sweden, Mt. Kebnekaise. It is way up north, within the Arctic Circle. I had a wonderful time - I LOVE that sort of thing and this was the first time I've ever done a hike that required multiple days of backpacking in, staying at a base camp, and doing a climb that was more what I would think of as mountaineering than hiking. It was so revitalizing for my entire being. But sometimes I wish I could get that from a hobby like, say, scrapbooking. Why I am so drawn to outdoor things that make me so sore and tired and cold and uncomfortable and fearing for my life?

Anna, jazzed up on life and likely singing camp songs.
A Sami hut. Or at least I like to believe that is what it is.
Anna's trusty old hiking shoes...not so trusty. The soles started coming off several miles into day 1. Luckily Jeff is a pretty clever engineer and came up with a pretty clever trick of threading them on. Worked well enough to get her to base camp where she borrowed some boots for the summit.

Rain clouds moving in...uh-oh
Super Best Friends Club
Thick fog moving in
Getting higher...and colder...and at a couple points we were getting pelted hard in the face with hail. If I was Smalls I would have cried.
No more trail. It was pretty tricky finding the markers for the path to the top in this thick fog. We were glad to have met up with a few others who also made the summit that day and form our own little "international expedition group". Four Americans, two Swedes, and two Kiwis. Together we found our way to the top, but we all agreed none would have made it on their own. We were like our own little organism, sending our feelers out till we found our way to the peak.
Oh...there is the marker. Try finding that little red spot when it is covered in snow and thick, thick fog among all the other rocks.
We made it! It was surreal near the top - the fog was so dense and white you literally could not tell the difference between the white air and the snow covered ground. It gave a few of us a feeling of vertigo. We had to be very careful - if you didn't pay close attention you could walk right off a ledge thinking the air was ground. Five of the eight of us actually stopped several meters short of the small tip-top (yay for GPS!), as it was a glacier and quite slippery and dangerous. Rob was one of the three who went to the top, but when he had a scary slip on his way up it sealed my decision that I was close enough to call it good....

"I'm Anna and I'm awesome!"
Beautiful vistas on our hike back down.
We were past that mtn behind us, up an even taller one!
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The happy honeymooners. A one year delayed honeymoon, hiking Sweden's highest peak, sharing a tiny little nook of a room with Rob and I in the base camp lodge. They are so cool.
The shoelace remedy for Anna's boots gave out a couple miles before the end of the trip, making her rugged boots look more like elf shoes. Not even that could wipe the smile off of Anna's face. Just gave us more amo to giggle about.

KellySummer  – (5:59 PM)  

scary. i love that you did that, and it looks horrifyingly scary to me.

The Richmans  – (10:23 PM)  

You two amaze me with all the adventures you have.

Sara  – (1:42 PM)  

What an awesome life adventure! Amazing pics.

Anna  – (3:42 PM)  

I miss my BFF!

Mike  – (8:59 PM)  

I'm so jealous! I wish Sara and I could have joined you. The pictures are amazing!

Hans and Michelle  – (5:04 PM)  

Looks so fun. I identify with the scrapbooking hobby wish. I have thought often that if I could just enjoy something like that my life would be easier:) No easy here. Come to Colorado and hike with me!! And Bike. And run. And do yoga, of course.

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