måndag 2 november 2009

Sarek on the run in a week - A crazy idea?

Five years ago I hiked in Sarek, Lapland. It was a fantatastic experience. I would love to go there again, but it is very difficult for me to get away for a longer period and it takes quite a lot of time (Approximately 2 days) just to get into the national park. After having switched to lightweight equipment I have however regained the hope of getting there again. A crazy idea was born: I should be able to hike so fast that I could reach the Rapa-valley and get back in under a week. I MUST see the Rapa-valley before I die.

Kungsleden with Lulep Gierkau in the background. Still at least a day from Sarek national park. The trail is like a highway and running should not be a problem at least to Sitojaure.

Fording a stream near Lietjitjaure. Ähpar and Pierikpakte in the background. Fording can be very dangerous in Sarek.

Several questions need to be answered for such a an endeavour to be succesful:

  1. Route planning - What is the optimal route that will maximize interesting hiking and provide for good running?
  2. Equipment - How heavy a pack can be tolerated when you are running? What kind of pack? What kind of shelter?
  3. Safety - How light can you go without sacrificing safety? Sarek is a wilderness area and there are no trails. If you fall, noone will hear you scream.
  4. Fitness - I almost never find time for exercise. What do I need to cope with to feel safe before going?
  5. Season - What is the best season for such a fast and light hike?
  6. Travel planning  - How do you get to Sarek in the cheapest and fastest way?
  7. Resupply - How much food should I carry?
Is this a good idea at all? Will I be able to find anyone to come with me on such an innovative trip? Should I plan to do something easier instead with the time I have? I will follow this post with some thoughts on the different topics soon. Any comments and hints are welcome.

11 kommentarer:

  1. he
    sounds like a great idea
    i would say the the end of august and the whole september are the best month for such a trip

  2. I will be very interested to read your comments as the plan comes together as Sarek is one of those places on the map that I would love to visit.

  3. Sarek has been on my mind for some time now. Would be very interested to see how things develop. Especialy how you get along with your kit. The official information, the bit that goes something like "if you're carrying less that 25kg then you're not prepared for Sarek" grates every time I read it. Just for that reason I'd want to do it lightweight too.

  4. On my last trip I think I had around 21,5kg including food and fuel for 6 days. This was with traditional equipment and sharing a 3kg tunneltent. In hindsight I think I also had at least 1kg too much food. Even though we had quite a few days of rainy weather I did not find that I missed anything, rather the contrary. All the extra spare clothes were left unused.

  5. Interesting idea. I think late august will be the perfect time for such trip. Not sure abt weight for running. Hope to hear a report in the future.

  6. 1. Haven't looked at the map, and won't due to time constraints.
    2. 10 kg? Depends on your fitness, I'd say. Train at home with a normal backpack and fill always a bit more weight in it, then you get used to it and can evaluate how it would be.
    3. SPOT Messenger is 200 g I think ;) You can go very light without sacrificing safety if you got the skills.
    4. Walk/ bicycle/ jog to work and home instead of taking the tram/ train/ bus/ car.
    5. Early or late summer, when the rivers are low and the mosquitos few.
    6. I reckon you have to go by plane and bus/ train. Or find someone who also plans to go and drive together via car (you don't need to go hike together).
    7. Enough :D Maybe, if you really plan on running, you need to take more energy so slightly more food. But if you go in summer you will be hopefully warm and don't need to take calories to heat you up.

    Great idea, Gustav, I'm curious to read how you will follow up on it.

  7. Looks inspiring, I have put a link to this post on my lastest post which you may find interesting. Our plan is shorter, less remote, easier, safer so nothing like yours really :)

  8. Thanks for mentioning your blog Ben. It was very interesting to read what equipment you took on a running trip. This means I would need a few hundred grams more. I don't think I would like to do only bivying though. A short bivy sprint and then a night in a hut might be a very good idea.

  9. Thanks for the tips Hendrik. Doing exercise back and forth to the job is probably the best advice you can get. I'm a firm believer in taking the small everyday chances for exercise. Taking the stairs, walking instead of phoning colleagues etc. Since a few months I now always take the bike. I don't even have a bus card anymore. The only problem is that it only takes me 5-10 minutes to go to work since I moved : )
    In theory I guess I could take a long detour. In practice I'm afraid that most of the time I will be too stressed to take the extra time. Stupid really. I need to change my life.

  10. hi
    i hiked along kungsleden path and i looked sarek from skierfte pointofview but this summer i want enter hiking in rapadalen valley. well, what it means you wright "there is not trails": no marked trails (with signs) or not trails?
    because i want arrive lulep spadnek walking along rapa river, is it possible following a path or there is no way and just marsh and meadow?
    thank you for your answer
    by rakshasi from italy

  11. I meant no marked trails. From the guidebook I've read (Claes Grundsten, Sarek), I gather there is some beaten path through the Rapavalley to Lulep Spadnek, but I wouldn't count in it being clearly visible at all times. Anyway the route that you are proposing is a described suggested route. On the other hand it should be hard to get really lost in this valley. In any case there is definetely a way to go there. My suggestion is to get some kind of guidebook and a map. From the description in Grundstens book (In swedish) I would think that the best way to go is to hire a boat to drop you off near Nammasj. The route starts there and it is a lot easier than walking around the Skierffe cliff on foot.