Preparing for Mt. Logan at Akka
Saturday, May 5th, 2012 11:11 by juho Print Print this page

We’ve done quite a bit preparation for the Mt. Logan trip. While ski touring trip to Akka wasn’t only that, it was an important from preparation perspective as well, namely in terms of gear testing. So why did we pick Akka this time? Akka is a very interesting mountain in Northern Sweden. While it’s not the highest mountain in Sweden (fourth) it has the largest height differences and several glaciers. It also has several valleys that are protected from the sun and in lesser extent from wind; thus the odds of finding good snow even late in the season are fairly good. Akka was also a good testing ground because the weather there tends to be varied; there’s much less mountains protecting it from weather coming from Norwegian sea side as well as due to fact that approaches require a bit more work than some of the other places.

Picture above: Heading up to the Stortoppen, mask is Untraced

We parked our car to the parking lot near Riksem mountain station. The Akka and Akkastugan our accommodation pretty much at same level across the lake. For some reason both of us had more or less depicted the crossing as fairly short, 3 kilometers long perhaps. After first hour of skiing we started wondering why isn’t the shore on the opposite side coming any closer? After second hour it became obvious; there was a “slight” underestimation with the distance. Worse still we had left all the water at the car to save weight, after all we were not supposed to need any during such a short crossing… obviously. After three hours we finally reached the shore… of couple of islands; still at least one third of the distance to go. In short it was kind of long thirsty crossing carrying heavy rucksacks. Despite this my friend Juho S. (yes we share the same first name) felt fit enough to take a short 2h tour to the top behind the cottage.

Our first morning at Akkastugan was clear and as a result we decided to head up to our main target, the highest peak at Akka, Stortoppen (translation: Big peak). Weather was pretty okay until we reached the saddle and for a moment it seemed to be clearing up entirely at that point. Instead by the time we had gotten off the skis there was a total white out. No problem, reached the summit, hanged around a while waiting for better weather which never came and skied down. There were couple spots of good snow and skiing was fairly straight forward. Overall roughly 8h trip.

Second day was a lot more snowy. As forecast promised better weather by the evening we took the morning in pretty relaxed manner and left the cottage by 11. The goal was to get ourselves to the Dubbeltoppen double diamond line or to the glacier next to it that was supposed to have plenty of good snow. And it actually had. We ended up going up to the other glacier. There were heavy avalanche marks all around, but as the conditions at the time seemed relatively safe decided to go all the way up. The glacier ends into wide and fairly steep bowl, which together with the fairly narrow ravine, where all that snow gets directed explains the avalanche marks well. The snow in the bowl was really good and we were able to find good stripes all the way down, but the white out made the skiing a bit difficult.

Picture above: Posing in Mammut gear after the glacier trip.

The third skiing day then was the stormy one. Björn, the warden of the Akkastugan, looked at us bit weird when we said we’re heading up in any case. It was snowing and forecast expected winds well over 20m/s. This time we headed up to dubbel toppen. While our route was somewhat protected, it was still very windy. Even worse there was some sort of underfrozen water flying around that covered our goggles and made the visibility in white out really bad. It wasn’t good without the ice, but with the ice almost zero. Couldn’t even see my feet clearly. In any case we were able to get to the top, or to be accurate perhaps 10-15 meters from it; the ridge ended into a huge snow bulge that would have required some climbing gear + snow protection. Very good gear testing for Mt. Logan in deed. :-)

Finally, one tip: There’s a guy who lives in odd looking building just before Riksem mountain station. He can take you over the lake with a snowmobile, costs about 35€/person… we used his services on our way back. Pretty interesting snowmobile ride. The sides of the sled were about 10cm high, and the guy didn’t shy with the speed. :-)

Picture above: Our snowmobile ride back to Riksem.

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A few images from the trip below:

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