Straight through the sub-artic wilderness
Fjällräven Polar offers magnificent and varying nature during the approximately 300 kilometres trip through the area that is sometimes called Nordkalotten. From the coast, across high mountains and tundra in sub-arctic wilderness, through low mountainous terrain and onward toward virgin forests close to the mountains in the area around Jukkasjärvi.
The length of each day’s journey and where we will put up camp is decided on the spot. During this type of winter trek, it is the terrain, surface conditions and weather that set the terms.
The start is located at the end of the road in Signaldalen in northern Norway, close to the characteristic mountain Paras, which also lent its name to the area. From here, the journey heads up from sea level to just under an altitude of 800 metres and across the Scandinavian mountain chain that runs north-south along the border between Sweden and Norway.
We will be close to Treriksröset, where the three borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet, and continue onward across the high plateau toward Tavvavuoma.
Constant ground frost
Tavvavuoma is one of Europe’s largest areas of permafrost. The constant ground frost has formed far-reaching wave formations, called palsas, in the bogs. This is one of the sections of Fjällräven Polar that is most exposed to the elements. In good weather visibility can reach 50 kilometres – in bad weather there is nothing to prevent the wind and snow from sweeping across the tundra.
The mountain environment after Tavvavuoma is less dramatic, with softly rounded mountain tops. We head down toward the area around Torneträsk and open views are replaced by sparse mountain birch forests.
Following frozen water
Torneträsk is Sweden’s sixth or seventh largest lake (depending how you count), 70 kilometres long and 15-20 kilometres wide. The lake is also the start of the Torneälven River, and from here Fjällräven Polar follows trails used by humans since the beginning of time – across frozen water. The area consists of low mountain terrain with mountain birch and stunted pines, and the vegetation thickens as we approach our destination in Jukkasjärvi.
At some point during Day 4, we will reach the final destination and be welcomed by a sauna, warm beds and a festive meal. Winter’s great dog sled adventure will have reached its end.