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Abisko - The Kings Trail Abisko-Kebnekaise on Nordic backcountry skis
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"Dare to challenge yourself with a summit trip! Use the experience and skill you have to find a way forward."
The right of public access & summit skiing
Our Swedish mountains are open for all. If you want to reach the top, the only obstacles are your energy and motivation. There are, however, some things that are worth keeping in mind.
Remember that the natural world in the mountain realm often requires slightly more consideration. In areas with reindeer husbandry, for example, you should keep dogs on a lead at all times of the year. At higher elevations with deep snow, it is possible to ski everywhere without any risk of damaging sensitive land. The only thing to remember is that you must not break off any branches or damage snow-free rock slabs.
The mountains are the site of many national parks and nature reserves, where the right of public access is sometimes extended and sometimes restricted. This may mean, for example, that it is forbidden to light fires or take a dog with you. In some places camping is forbidden, while in others the allowed duration of a camping stay is longer than what is permitted outside of the national parks. The STF hosts will be happy to help you with information about the regulations that apply.
If you stop for a break, have a good look round before continuing to make sure that you haven’t left any rubbish.
What should I take with me?
You must keep safety firmly in focus during a summit trip, and you should be well-prepared. The weather can change suddenly in the mountains – so check the weather just before setting out. Many of our mountain stations have suitable equipment for hire.
- In your rucksack, you should have map, compass and first aid kit, together with spade, avalanche probe and transceiver. And it goes without saying that you know how to use the safety equipment before setting out. It is important to wear a helmet when summit skiing, as it is for all types of skiing. Make sure that all members of the party have a set of safety equipment.
- Avoid cotton garments next to the body: choose instead underclothes and thermal undergarments of wool or synthetic material. You will in this way remain warm, even when you get wet or sweat. Wear thin socks of wool or wool and synthetic mix. Make sure that your feet have plenty of room in the boots, which will help to prevent them getting cold. A buff around your neck keeps you warm in the wind or snow.
- Make sure that you are not wearing too much clothing. It’s better to feel slightly chilly just before you set out, since you will start to generate heat during the tour. A thin outer jacket with hood will protect against both sun and wind, while allowing free movement. Skiing trousers without a lining are recommended.
- Warmer outer garments are good to put on when you take a break on the mountainside.
The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden has a website with useful practical advice about keeping safe in the mountains.
If you want to know more about summit skiing, or want to find new exciting summits, consider taking one of the many guided summit tours offered by STF.