Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Norway 2017: Femundsmarka

The pictures and full report of last month’s 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka (and a bit of Rogen, on the Swedish side of the border) have been uploaded:

Unfortunately, the trip was cut short since I had to return home unexpectedly halfway through. Nonetheless, this was yet another fine adventure blessed with reasonable weather conditions (contrary to the foul weather further west, that I was luckily able to avoid).

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Packrafting the Grøtåa river (Part 2/2)

Towards the end of my 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka I returned to the Grøtåa river for some relaxed paddling on its lower section. In the meantime the weather had turned for the better and I much enjoyed both the river and the camp I had established in the vicinity of mount Kratlvola. Fine weather and low winds unfortunately also mean mosquitoes in these areas, so a headnet was unfortunately in order.

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Packrafting the Grøtåa river (Part 1/2)

Grøtåa is a small, remote river in the backcountry of Norway’s Femundsmarka National Park, practically on the border to Sweden. The 3rd week of June I did a 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka, during which I descended parts of Grøtåa by packraft.

The source of Grøtåa is the Grötvallsjön lake, which is situated on Swedish soil, above the tree line. The river starts as a narrow and shallow current that meanders through reindeer grazing grounds and marshland. Afterwards it makes a drop and enters the Femundsmarka heartland with several nice flat and wide sections.

I started the descent of Grøtåa only meters away from its source. Due to the narrow and shallow first section of the river, I was initially in for a bumpy ride, with a need for short portages every now and then. Especially at the fence that keeps the Norwegian and Swedish reindeer herds apart, portaging was inevitable. Although without danger, I guess some might say packrafting this part of the river is a bit crazy, and I therefore wouldn’t be surprised if I were the first to attempt it…

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The Scandinavia 2016 trilogy

The full reports of the 3 stretches of my Scandinavia trek in June 2016 have been uploaded:

I have started to use a stylish, more contemporary layout that I’m personally quite happy about, as it makes both pictures and text stand out better. The plan is to gradually move reports from previous treks into this new format as well. Let me know what you think.

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Iceland 2016: Laugavegurinn

The pictures of the second stretch of my 2016 Iceland trek have been uploaded. This stretch is the famous Laugavegurinn, one of the great treks of the world, which starts in Landmannalaugar and leads to Þórsmörk some 60 km further south. The variety of landscapes along Laugavegurinn is baffling. It includes hot spring areas, rhyolite mountains, glaciers, lava deserts, lakes, fast-flowing rivers and even a birch forest in the Þórsmörk area. This trek is a must-do for any self-respecting outdoor enthusiast, and has hence become very popular over the years.

Laugavegurinn is generally technically easy, although it does include 3 river crossings that not everybody may feel equally comfortable with. There’s also a bridged river crossing in a ravine that people with extreme fear of heights may dread.

Similarly to Hellismannaleið, all pictures were taken with a GoPro camera. The pictures of 1.5 cold but pleasantly sunny days spent in Reykjavik are also included in this set.

Landmannalaugar – Hrafntinnusker – Álftavatn – Hvanngil – Emstrur – Þórsmörk (Langidalur) – Reykjavik

Pictures > Iceland 2016-08: Laugavegurinn