Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Another packrafting trip on the river Leie

Thanks to the fine weather that was upon us on Sunday afternoon, the Leie river looked very inviting for a paddle. I therefore made another trip by packraft, starting at the drawbridge in Astene and ending at the E40 highway bridge in Afsnee, passing the villages of Deurle and Sint-Martens-Latem in the process. Total distance was about 15 km, which is quite enough for an afternoon on a river without any noticeable current. A perfect exercise for the arm muscles…

Due to the unusually dry weather of the past 12 months or so, water levels are quite low, which has caused a number of small beaches to appear on the river banks. Perfect for a quick rest.

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30-08-2017 17-02-10

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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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Packrafting Lac de Nisramont – bis

After witnessing the build up to the fall foliage peak in Quebec last month, I am now back in Belgium, experiencing the same process for a second time this year.

What better way to enjoy the best of the colors than to make a tour of the lovely Nisramont Lake by packraft, on a beautiful mid-October Sunday?

Pictures > Belgium 2016-10-16: Ardennes