Kaskasepakte 2006

kaska
Kaskasapakte is located in the northern part of the Kebnekaise massif and is considered one of the more difficultmountains to climb in Sweden. This is because there is no “easy” way up, but all routes require some level of climbing. There are two paths to choose from if you do not want really challenging clean climbing, and these two are the southwest ridge, or the route via Kaskasatjåkka. We had chosen to take the second option and the first down, which would prove to be a bad idea.

The first day consisted of walking from Nikkaluokta to Tarfala where we camped a bit away from the cottages there. The rest of the evening was devoted to ensure that we would get everything with us and that all the equipment was in shape. The next day it was up as soon as the sun had started to rise, and after a customary porridge breakfast we headed towards Kaskasatjåkka. This time we choose to go through the south-east ridge, which subsequently was perhaps not so smart because it was a time consuming way, even if it was a fun one.

Once on the summit, it was quick reaching the base to Kaskasapakte, and it felt like we had good flow. It was here somewhere between the summit of Kaskasatjåkka and the base of Kaskasapakte as we saw: No pot for the food! But shame on him who gives up, we decided that food shortages were not a sufficient reason to turn back, we still had plenty of water. The road to the summit went as smoothly as it can go, given that it was a bit more technical this bit and we  were three people on a rope, but no major problems. It started to get a little chilly. Once up on the summit, the  clouds had started coming in and we were suddenly inside a large cloud, but that was a problem for later, now it  was time to celebrate by sharing a bottle of light beer as Stefan had persisted in dragging up, and that didn’t  seem like such a bad idea all of a sudden.

It was not a long pause at the summit, it was getting late and the visibility was not very encouraging, so we went down the southwest ridge. The first piece here was easy and required no real climbing, which was lucky as it was getting dark. However, it didn’t take very long before we got to the first cliff. Luckily we found an existing anchor we could use. When all come down and we started to pull through the rope it got stuck of course! Victor took on the task of climbing back up again to try to dislodge it, what had happened was that the knot was still at
the end of the rope. Easy to make mistakes when we were on the mountain all day without food, and everyone began to be really exhausted and frozen.

When we got to the next precipice, it was completely dark and started climbing in the light of headlamps. No one rushed forward to secure now. It meant sitting still and shaking from cold while trying to be 100% focused on the person who climbed and, above all try to not fall asleep, which was extremely hard after all the hours spent on the mountain, plus food and water shortages. Luckily the sun started to rise when we started the most difficult part of the climbing. The light and warmth gave us new energy to continue. When we were down from the precipice, we saw an amazing sight! We were above the clouds and the sunrise was amazing. Unbelievably beautiful! As an added bonus, it was one of us who figured out that we actually had some Wasa sandwiches at the bottom of our backpack. This small energy boost, plus we got a hold of more water made us at much better mood though still very exhausted, but we could take us down the last stretch of the mountain and back to the tent. After about 26 hours on the mountain we made some food and all fell asleep very quickly. Only thing remaining was to pack up everything and walk back to Nikkaluokta where we slept before we drove back home to Umeå again.

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