Inside this issue
My first hiking experience
Hans Strand is an internationally recognised photographer who has received numerous awards for his work and published three books. He lives near Stockholm in Sweden.
Abisko is located in the very north of Sweden, just south of Lake Torneträsk in the province of Lapland. In the southern part of the park, the mountains rise to almost 2000m, whereas the north is dominated by an alpine birch forest which is divided by Abiskojåkkå River. The river cuts through the bedrock of limestone and forms a 3 km long and 35m deep canyon with an infinite possibilities for intimate studies of rock formations and waterscapes.
My first visit to Abisko was in the summer of 1986. It was also my first visit to Lapland and I knew nothing about mountain hiking. I understood the necessity of water, so on top of all my photo gear, including a Hasselblad 500 C/M and 7 lenses, I brought 5 litres of tap water in a plastic canister. It took me some 5 hours of hiking to understand that the whole park was full of the best fresh water in the world. That was lesson number one.
I had no tent, so I planned to traverse over the mountains west of Abisko and do 30km hike without sleeping (I was 30 years old then and just had too much self confidence).