The Fjällräven CLASSIC 2009 was held again this August in northern Sweden. Its 110 km go north of the Arctic Circle from Nikkaluokta to Abisko on a segment of the Kungsleden route through Sweden’s beautiful mountainous landscape.
I took part in the trekking race for the first time and successfully reached the finish line after 2 days (48 hours and 51 minutes = 55 km/day) for a gold medal.
The event was very well organized by Fjällräven. We were met at the Kiruna airport by Fjällräven and driven to the Fjällräven Camp Ripan in shuttle busses. There we were registered and provided with fuel (gas, gasoline, spiritus), provisions (breakfast, lunch, supper) in dehydrated form, and maps.
This year, 2,000 participants from over 20 countries (in addition to Europeans, I found some starters from the US and Asia on the start list) took part in the Fjällräven CLASSIC. The large number of participants was divided into eight starter groups of 250 participants each over two days. My starting time was on the next day at 1:00 pm. Most participants pitched their tents right there in Camp Ripan. I spent the night in a hotel before taking a shuttle bus from Camp Ripan to Nikkaluokta, starting point for the tour, on the next morning.
In Nikkaluokta you have the opportunity to add reserve provisions. I enjoyed my first reindeer pita before going to the starting line. I soon noticed that I was probably the only ultralight trekker here. Most of the backpacks were twice as large as mine and the scales at the checkpoint showed it – the backpacks generally weighed between 15-18 kg and some were even over 20 kg. My weight was about 6 kg (backpack weight about 3.6 kg, plus provisions and 1 liter of water).
I moved far to the front of the field of starters, right behind the starting line so that I could get enough speed when the starting signal went off to break away from the large field.
Just 20 minutes after the starting signal the rest of the field was hardly visible and after 60 minutes I was pretty much alone on the trail (no one to be seen in front of me).
I was positively surprised; I hadn’t expected that of an event with 2,000 participants. After three hours, however, I began to pass the first participants from the group ahead of mine (three hours ahead). But in general, the next two days on the trail were very relaxed.
At my speed, I passed a few participants, but I never got the impression of a large event. I imagine there is about just as much action on some hiking trails during high season.
Fjällräven has two checkpoints (Primus and Alesjaure) where it is possible to take on additional provisions. I had way too much. But I could not have guessed in advance that I would finish the trail in two days...
Medals are awarded depending on when one reaches the finish:
up to 3 days: gold
up to 4 days: silver
up to 5 days: bronze
> 5 days: applause on crossing the finish line 🙂
The 110 km in stages
- Kebnekaise Mountain Lodge – 19 km
- Mountain Hut Singi – 15 km
- Checkpoint Primus – 12.5 km
- Tjäktja – 14 km
- Mountain Hut Alesjaure – 12.5 km
- Checkpoint Fjällräven – 17.5 km
- Abisko Mountain Lodge – 17.5 km
Fjäll Räven Classic 2009 GPX Route / Track Download: FC2009Track
During the day: 15-22 Grad
At night: 4-15 Grad (with heavy wind)