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Fjällräven Polar 2014

In December of 2013 I was lucky enough to finish in 1st place for the UK to take part in Fjällräven Polar April 2014 with 19 other participants from around the world.

You can read my full Fjällräven Polar 2014 diary here

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The Fjällräven Polar is an approximately 300km long winter adventure across the arctic tundra. The participants will steer a dog sled all the way from Signaldalen, Norway, to the forests around Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lappland. Conditions can be grim at times, even if the weather is usually relatively stable in April north of the Arctic circle. Where participants have faced everything from exhausting stages,blizzards and minus 30°C.

Soon it will be time to apply for 2015. Good luck! :

An event like Fjällräven Polar means that a few people, that usually don’t expose themselves to the big adventure, get the opportunity to test their limits.

One should expect the worst. And, in some way, also the best a human being can witness: the cry from the wild and the hidden instincts we all bear inside.

The selection process was based on a competition where applicants uploaded a photograph or video and a text explaining why you should be chosen for the trip. The competition takes place on a country-by-country basis and two people from each country/group are selected:

  • The first person from each country is selected by visitors to the website voting for their favourite application – the submission with the most votes is guaranteed a spot.
  • The second person from each country will be chosen by Fjällräven.

The participants were chosen to join Fjällräven Polar from each of the following countries/groups: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Germany, UK, USA, Czech Republic and “other countries”.

This 20 winners of Fjällräven Polar 2014 can be see here

Full story from Fjällräven Polar 2013. With 2014 video coming soon!

The Course

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Straight through the sub-artic wilderness

Fjällräven Polar offers magnificent and varying nature during the approximately 300 kilometres trip through the area that is sometimes called Nordkalotten. From the coast, across high mountains and tundra in sub-arctic wilderness, through low mountainous terrain and onward toward virgin forests close to the mountains in the area around Jukkasjärvi.

The length of each day’s journey and where we will put up camp is decided on the spot. During this type of winter trek, it is the terrain, surface conditions and weather that set the terms.

From Signaldalen

The start is located at the end of the road in Signaldalen in northern Norway, close to the characteristic mountain Paras, which also lent its name to the area. From here, the journey heads up from sea level to just under an altitude of 800 metres and across the Scandinavian mountain chain that runs north-south along the border between Sweden and Norway.

We will be close to Treriksröset, where the three borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet, and continue onward across the high plateau toward Tavvavuoma.

Constant ground frost

Tavvavuoma is one of Europe’s largest areas of permafrost. The constant ground frost has formed far-reaching wave formations, called palsas, in the bogs. This is one of the sections of Fjällräven Polar that is most exposed to the elements. In good weather visibility can reach 50 kilometres – in bad weather there is nothing to prevent the wind and snow from sweeping across the tundra.

The mountain environment after Tavvavuoma is less dramatic, with softly rounded mountain tops. We head down toward the area around Torneträsk and open views are replaced by sparse mountain birch forests.

Following frozen water

Torneträsk is Sweden’s sixth or seventh largest lake (depending how you count), 70 kilometres long and 15-20 kilometres wide. The lake is also the start of the Torneälven River, and from here Fjällräven Polar follows trails used by humans since the beginning of time – across frozen water. The area consists of low mountain terrain with mountain birch and stunted pines, and the vegetation thickens as we approach our destination in Jukkasjärvi.

At some point during Day 4, we will reach the final destination and be welcomed by a sauna, warm beds and a festive meal. Winter’s great dog sled adventure will have reached its end.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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