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M A G A Z I N E W I T H F O C U S O N A R J E P LO G 2015 PRICE 30 SKR / 3 EURO

Discover a unique alpine environment with us!

Sauna Special Grit Martin at the mountain Tjeäksá near Adolfström.

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International Year of the Light

With a fixed gaze on the mountain ridge Page 8

Artist Roland Pantze lives with and in nature Page 14

Reindeer calves being marked

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King’s Trail waiting for you Page 24 1


Nadok near Laisan.


The mountain village in the beautiful valley of Laisdalen. Visit Majorsgården, which goes back to the Silver Era, see the Märkforsen waterfall and the Yraft Delta. Shop in Handelsbod with its things from the 1950s.


Originally a log church built in 1641. A new log church was built and opened in 1768 on the site of the old one. In the last years of the nineteenth century the church was rebuilt. A tower was added and the chancel was placed in the west. The old church was tarred and painted red, with tongueand-groove panelling. It was given new walls with shingles to match the previous look of the roof. The exterior of the church was painted a bright colour with a pink tone.


Over a hundred years ago a settler couple chose to built on a piece of virgin soil high above the River Dellikälven. Today the new settlement in roadless land offers a cultural and natural environment that will give calm and inspiration to even the most stressed-out modern-day soul.

Galtisbuouda, Lullebådne, Kuoletisjaure, Skierfajaure… The names on the map of Arjeplog might not seem typically Swedish to you. They all describe something special. The name Galtisbuouda tells of an old man’s bald head. It’s obvious, isn’t it, when you see the mountain in front of you? Kuoletisjaure means the lake without fish – guess why! Arjeplog is a place with experiences for everyone. Follow the winding paths to unexplored places where cloudberries grow. Let yourself be amazed by the view from the mountains. Enjoy the silence or experience adventure. The choice is yours. Welcome!


Our nearest mountain above the tree line, 15 km from central Arjeplog. Drive to the summit of the mountain and enjoy the view! On a clear day you can see all the way to Norway in the west.

The Pieljekaise National Park is situated between Adolfström and Jäckvik. Two trails lead through the park, one of which is the King’s Trail. Here it is possible to see several rare animals and birds.



There is a four-kilometre culture trail here, filled with the history of the district, including log driving. Activities are arranged at Slagnäs Camping.


This is the birthplace of the missionary pastor Lars Levi Laestadius, with a memorial stone and a chapel built in 1777 with its adjoining priest’s room. A central place in the mountain world, the King’s Trail passes here.


The lead mine was the hub of the former mining community for almost sixty years (1943–2001). The community is virtually intact.


You cross the Arctic Circle both when travelling along the Silver Road, about 100 km to the north-west, and in the road alongside Lake Tjeggelvas, about 65 km north of Arjeplog

The “big little museum” on the square in Arjeplog has fascinating exhibitions for those who want to know more. Examples: The Silver Room with its gleaming treasures; Traces, showing prehistoric utility objects; Mujttalus and Settler Life with memories of everyday life among Sami and settlers.


Two areas full of ancient remains close to the centre of Arjeplog. Trapping pits, cooking pits and hearths tell of people who lived here for thousands of years. At Rapasundet, which is also a popular recreation area with windbreaks, you can walk along a unique system of sand ridges with one of Sweden’s longest eskers.

VAUKASTRÖMMARNA RAMBLING AREA Just 2 km from the centre of Arjeplog. Handicap-friendly, a beautiful nature trail with good fishing. Resting places and barbecue sites.

The background photograph of the Laisdalen valley is taken in June from mountain Svaipa.


FACTS The term “silver” is often used in Arjeplog. This goes back to the finds of silver at Nasafjäll on the border with Norway. During the “Nasafjäll Era” silver was mined from 1635 to 1659, 1779 to 1810 and 1888 to1892. The second great mining era in the municipality of Arjeplog took place in Laisvall between 1943 and 2001 when the Boliden mining company extracted lead and zinc.


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In the municipality of Arjeplog there are countless opportunities for bathing, especially when you think of our 8,727 lakes. All the water is suitable for drinking and for bathing in. Here are a few hints about good bathing places.

Helicopter Tour to the glacier.


Great views!

In Båtsuoj you can learn about Sami culture through all your senses. An expert guide tells you about Sami life, reindeer herding and traditions. Join in activities such as reindeer milking, cooking in a goahti, etc. Tel. 070 642 31 66.

Ånge at Uddjaure

Nåtti A beautiful beach 5 km from the centre of Arjeplog. Ideal for children, with shallow water a long way out. The site has a barbecue place, playground, changing facilities and an outside toilet. Galtisguts A fine beach near Rapatjärn. The water is clear and shallow a long way out. At the Rapatjärn fishing conservation area and Galtisguts there is a woodfired sauna for hire. Outdoor bathing at Kraja Baths with pool. Admission free. Children under 10 may only bathe if accompanied by an adult. Playground for children of all ages. Rent a bicycle in reception and discover the surroundings.


Challenge the family to a golf tournament! Kraja has its own course where you can play minigolf. Tel. 0961-315 00


Arjeplog municipality has some of Sweden’s finest fishing waters. Let us help you at the Tourist Information Office to fins fishing waters and provide information about fishing permits.


See the Arjeplog mountains from the air! In Vuoggatjålme, close to the Norwegian border, there are further opportunities to get up in the mountains.Tel. 0961–107 15 You could get your own “pilot’s certificate” over the Arctic Circle. Tours start from the base in Tjärnberg all summer. Info tel. 0961-612 40 Another possibility is to fly from Adolfström by helicopter up to Mount Tjäksa (altitude 1,092 m). Enjoy the view over Laisdalen and the mountain world. Walk down along a cairnmarked trail that joins Kungsleden (The King’s Trail). Experience the magnificence of the mountain and the plant life. At Laisälven you come to the longest suspension bridge on the Kungsleden trail, taking you over to Bäverholm. A good meal is served at the inn, Bäverholms Värdshus. After the meal you are transferred by boat through the Yraft Delta Nature Reserve, down to Adolfström. Tel. 0961–230

This background photograph is taken from the mountain Niebsurte, Laisdalen.

Moose Camp


Since we have so many lakes and rivers, canoeing is an excellent way to discover the Arjeplog district. You can rent a canoe at Kraja, 0961-315 00, GK:s Fiske 0961-100 89 Adolfström 0961–230 41 or Moose Camp, Jutis 073 0929 668

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION! Arjeplogs Turistbyrå, Guld Klas Torg (Silvermuseet) 938 31 Arjeplog Tel. 0961-145 20 Follow us at Facebook, look for ”Silvermuseet”.

FACTS There are 8,727 lakes and rivers in the municipality of Arjeplog. We have more water than any other municipality in Sweden. We have 2.5 lakes and about 3 km of shore per inhabitant. We have the three big rivers: Piteälven, Skellefteälven and Laisälven. Of these, only Skellefteälven is regulated. Sweden’s deepest lake, Hornavan, is part of the Skellefteälven lake system. All the water in the Arjeplog lake system is drinkable. S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5



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Welcome to our restaurant






e for menu Visit our webist urs and opening ho

+46 (0)961-107 15


Tips for Silver Road

Svaipa Sami Village offers stays in the mountains.

”As I was travelling through the Swedish Lapland I spent two days in Arjeplog. This small town offers really nice views for those who love chasing pictures. It is even more true when climbing on one of the ten ”Top of Arjeplog” where you can just admire in silence the beauty of the mountains all around. I also really liked the Silver Museum which has a impressive collection of Sami art. And I will of course deeply remember the first real Swedish sauna I had in my life! This delicious feeling of getting in the quiet and cool water looking at the peacefull lake... it was just breathtaking”. Loriane Sdt, living in Bordeaux, France.


Listen to the silence. Do you long for the mountains where neither birch nor willow grow? Do you long to catch char, to hear the dotterel? Do you long just to be? We can offer a fine four-bed hut by the mountain lake of Luspas (917 m a.s.l.). In the Lake Uddjaure.

Do you long to walk along the King’s Trail between Adolfström and Ammarnäs? And to stop for a few days in the mountain birch forest? Do you long to see and hear the rich bird life? Then we can offer accommodation in a nice big eight-bed hut beside Lake Solojaur (735 m a.s.l.).

Svaipa Jakt och Fiske

Short walk at Bäverholm. S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

Contact Fjällflygarna in Adolfström to buy a fishing permit, rent a cottage or arrange helicopter transport. Tel. 0961-230 40 5

Why Silvervägen? Take a look at a globe. Just a glance at where the Silver Road (Silvervägen) is located will let you understand that this is a unique place! We get questions like: “Are there polar bears there?” “Do you live in igloos?” These are not unreasonable questions, but thanks to the Gulf Stream, which reaches the coast of Norway, we have a climate that makes the summer pleasant. During the summer the sun never sets – we have daylight round the clock. And, what is the Silver Road? The name refers to the transports of silver ore and lead ore from Nasafjäll to the harbours, following rivers and lakes along the Laisälven and the Skellefteälven. Mining started at the

Norwegian border in 1635. It was usually Öjebyn (Piteå) or Kåge outside Skellefteå that served as the outports. Transport was mainly done by Sami with their reindeer-drawn sledges. The ore was reloaded at places such as Gråträsk, on what was then the border of Lapland. There the coastal farmers took over with horse-drawn sledges to bring the ore to the harbour in Piteå. The Silver Road is the only Swedish highway above the treeline, reaching an altitude of 740 metres above sea level. l Photo from the old road near the border to Norway: Peder Lundkvist






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Experience the magic of the mountains where it’s best!

A cabin village in roadless land by the Arctic Circle

Modern cabins of different sizes.

The Vuonatjviken cabin village is in the mountain world of Arjeplog, just south of the Arctic Circle. Here you are in a land without roads, beside the Kungsleden hiking trail, surrounded by lakes teeming with natural stocks of Arctic charr and trout. For those keen on fly fishing we offer the exclusive Bartekälven, a river with its outflow right beside the cabin village. Whether you are interested in fishing, driving a snowmobile, hiking, or just enjoying nature, come to us, any time of year, and experience the magic of the mountains where it’s best!

A restaurant that uses the best ingredients of the mountains: reindeer, trout and elk (moose).

Tel. +46 730-358673


Johan Fjellström, photografer and teacher

Welcome to a course with the photographer Johan Fjellström! He has a whole life’s experience of photography from many countries. We go through the basics of photography. Bring your own camera, a portable computer if you want, and all the questions you have. We will hold workshops in the exciting mountain scenery along the King’s Trail, in roadless land. Price 2,500 SEK/person, including VAT. Max. ten participants. The price includes a taxi boat from Riebnesluspen, two days in a fine cabin in the Vuonatjviken cabin village, two dinners in the restaurant and the course fee. Our course leader speaks English. More information from Maria Söderberg +46 703500555 or by email: Arr. Magasin Silvervägen S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5



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The year of light along the Silver Road: “The linings of the clouds burn red. It is the sun.” The winter may be dark, but everything turns to the opposite in the summer.

It is hard to find rest when the sun pierces your eyes late in the evening – and why should you? You can sleep some other time! In Sweden the summer solstice falls on 21 June, which coincides with our Midsummer holiday. The light from the sun is essential for all life, giving us a chance to see the world around us. We are thinking in particular of how all the flowers of the mountain, with all the hours of sunlight, are there year after year – against all the odds in the alpine climate. Thanks to all the extra hours of sunlight, they flower well into September. The United Nations has designated 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. We think that’s a perfect choice! So this year’s edition of the Silver Road magazine is bathed in light. In Edith Södergran’s poem “The Sun” from her book The Shadow of the Future from 1920, we recognize ourselves when the linings of the clouds burn and glitter on our brows. I stand as on clouds in unparalleled bliss. The linings of the clouds burn red. It is the sun. The sun has kissed me. Nothing on earth kisses like that. Is it eternal life to witness this moment? Alas, no, ascending the vertical rays closer to her. One day I shall spin myself into the sun like a fly in amber, for those who come after me it will be no heirloom, but I have been in the glowing furnace of bliss. Woe, you crown glittering on my brow, what will they know when they behold you? Thanks to all our readers! Thanks to all our advertisers who make it possible to publish Magasin Silvervägen/Silver Road!

Maria Söderberg

Marianne Hofman

Marianne Hofman‚ born in the alpine village of Jäckvik. Lives in Arjeplog. Runs the web newspaper Maria Söderberg, photographer and writer. Responsible editor. Do the graphic design. Combines her curiosity about history with mountain walks. Grew up in Arjeplog, lives in Enskede Gård in Stockholm, and spends one third of her waking life in her home municipality. +46 70 3500555 and

Photo Peder Lundkvist. S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

The translation from Swedish to English: Alan Crozier. We are grateful for his keen interest in the project! Printed February 2015, June at Norra Skåne Offset. We would absolutely recommend them to others! This magazine has appeared since 2008, then under the name Magasin Laisdalen. In 2011 the first issue of Magasin Silvervägen appeared together with Magasin Laisdalen, but since 2012 we have gone in for an English/Swedish edition, which you are holding in your hand. This year’s cover: Peder Lundqvist (Swedish) and Nenne Åman (English). Thanks!


He sees it almost every day, the undulating mountain in Laisdalen, with lakes and valleys. Fredrik Johansson does what many people dream about, flying a helicopter as his job. TEXT PETRA DAHLBERG


With a fixed gaze on


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”With my family in August 2014, AnnaTeresia and Saga. Just arrived back from Bratislava with a new helicopter. ” PHOTO KJELL JOHANSSON

the mountain ridge Surely we have all dreamed of flying? I certainly have! The feeling of sailing free and observing what is happening on the ground. If I could fly I would travel at a speed that made my soul almost blow out of my body. For Fredrik Johansson, flying is an everyday job. A trip in the helicopter is no more remarkable for him than it is for me to take the car to the shop. “I was small the first time I flew, I don’t remember how old, but Dad has always flown. It was normal for me even then, no big thing, although I did think it was exciting,” Fredrik Johansson says. When I get hold of Fredrik, he is in Skövde, working for Vattenfall. It is required by law that all power lines have to be inspected every year, and Fredrik is contracted to do jobs like that. There is a good view from the air, and it is relatively easy to detect damage or fallen trees. He has previously worked as a flight engineer in Boden and at Arlanda Airport. When Fredrik was a young boy often he peeked into his father’s booking file and made sure he was not far away when it was time to set off. The company Fjällflygarna was founded in its current form in 1982, with Fredrik’s father Kjell Johansson as one of the founders. Kjell Johansson, who has flown since the 1970s, S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

saw the need for air transport around Laisdalen. Since 2003 Fredrik has been a partner in what is now a family business, and today they have four helicopters.

Adolfström is 35 kilometres north-west of Laisvall. There are several holiday villages, a camping site, a general store with a café, and a dozen houses (most of them holiday cottages). The road here was built as late as 1960; before that it was roadless land. Today there are about 20 people living in Adolfström. On the other side of the village is Tjäksa, a mountain with the nature reserve of Bäver-holm and the Yraf delta under it. It is here, in the middle of the wilderness, that Fredrik Johansson has his base. Through the window of the helicopter he can clearly see the changing seasons and the forest animals. Reindeer and elk are most common, and wolverine can sometimes be glimpsed. There are plenty of eagles, but bear and lynx are more uncommon. “I know many people think there’s something special about flying a helicopter, but really there isn’t. Most people can learn to drive a car, and I think the same can be said about helicopters. But one important quality of a flyer is to be humble. You can never learn everything, and you must respect

Name: Fredrik Johansson Age: 37 Family: Partner Anna-Teresia Fjällås, aged 29, who works as an occupational therapist in Arjeplog. She is an active member of the Sami village of Semisjaur-Njarg. One daughter, Saga, aged 1,5. His parents Karin and Kjell live in Adolfström. His sister Jenny and family live in Hedemora. Born: In Adolfström. Profession: Helicopter pilot and flight engineer. Languages: Swedish, English and “unfluent” German. Also single words and expressions in Sami. Motto: If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember what you said. Favourite place: Our cabin west of Adolfström, which I associate with leisure Food: Palt (a kind of dumpling) and elk liver. Unexpected talent: Can ride a monocycle. Favourite place in Laisdalen: At Plassaselet, under the mountains Svaipa and Ertektjåhkkå. There you can often see elk standing with water up to their stomach, eating seagrass. It’s a beautiful place! Dream flight: A polar expedition would be great!


things. I try to eliminate all conceivable risks, and I’m always thinking about safety,” he says. Every year he is in the air between 150 to 200 days.

When an aeroplane or a helicopter crashes, the event often attracts a lot of attention. Fredrik thinks it’s because flying is more spectacular than driving, and somehow we expect it always to work. “But statistically there are more accidents in private flying. Professionals hopefully are better prepared than ordinary ‘Sunday drivers’, quite simply because they fly more. We also have stricter demands for safety and training,” he says. Weather conditions vary in the mountains. Changes can come very quickly. When Fredrik Johansson was 21 and taking his helicopter certificate, something happened that ought not have to have happened. It was 10 November and it was snowing moderately. Fredrik’s father Kjell Johansson was out driving reindeer for a Sami village when he had an engine breakdown. According to the inquiry, snow had probably gathered around the air intake of the engine. It caused the engine to stop. When driving reindeer you fly at a low altitude – and slowly. Although it might sound good, the disadvantage is that you have very little time to plan an emergency landing.

“If the engine stops, you can still land by autorotation, but to be able to do that you have to have either altitude or speed. Dad had neither that day. He tried, but it was a hard landing and he was injured. Two crushed vertebrae and damage to the spinal marrow.” Today Kjell Johansson uses a wheelchair. He can move and feel his legs, but he cannot walk. This was a difficult event for Fredrik. “My life changed after that. Of course, it’s nothing compared to the way my father’s life changed, but it had a powerful effect on me.”

Fredrik had to stop and think: should he continue his training? Should he really make this his career? He had some talks with his father, who thought – and still thinks – that it is not dangerous to fly. On the other hand, Kjell Johansson says that we have to learn from what happened. After the accident, technical changes and improvements were introduced. Among other things, a cover was fitted to prevent snow from being drawn into the engine. “You have to adapt to the weather. Above the tree line in winter, when everything is white, it can be difficult to see where you are flying on a cloudy day. The sky merges with the ground and you can easily lose your reference points. You always have to have a fixed point to keep your eye on. I have great

respect for the risk of having a ‘white-out’, when you no longer know what is air and what is ground.” During the winter a week can go by without Fredrik having any flights, but in the summer he is in the air almost every day. When he flies tourists he can almost feel the tingling in their stomachs and he experiences their sense of “wow”. His aim is to give his passengers an experience to remember.

Fjällflygarna offers a package called “Far och flyg”. The helicopter takes off from Adolfström and brings the passengers up to Mount Tjäksa, 1,092 metres above sea level. Then they walk the six kilometres to Bäverholm where food is served at Nikla’s and Therese´s mountain camp. From Bäverholm they go back to Adolfström by taxi boat. It is a highly appreciated adventure. “Several hundred people take the tour each year. But I also fly people who want to go fishing in the mountains or hike elsewhere. In the summer and autumn the Sami are major customers thanks to the reindeer herding. It has happened that I have collected people with minor injuries when the ambulance didn’t have time, but not often. But hikers ring when they have chafed feet. I fly to pick them up. It’s not exactly a case for 112,” says Fredrik, laughing. l This article was first published 2010 in Swedish in ”Magasin Laisdalen”. This version is updated.

”Most people can learn to drive a car, and I think the same can be said about helicopters. But one important quality of a flyer is to be humble.” (Fredrik Johansson)


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We hope you have a pleasant stay in the alpine world of Arjeplog! We are the Arjeplog Mountain Safety Committee and our task is to spread information for better and safer use of the mountains in our municipality. Spending time in the mountains makes great demands of you on account of fluctuating weather and accessibility. Although there is a rescue service, the responsibility is ultimately yours. To assist you we can give you the following advice: n Emergency telephones are located at Laisstugan, Nasafjäll, Peskejaure and Vaimok. n Plan your excursion carefully and never go alone! n Leave a message for the host at your cottage or your neighbour in the camp site, stating


n n n n n n Feel free to contact us! Arjeplogs Fjällsäkerhetskommitté Laisvallby 1, 938 93 Laisvall Thord Westerlund mobile 070–551 01 52 e-mail:

details of your route and when you expect to be back. Don’t forget to inform them that you have returned. Always use a map and compass. The Mountain Safety Committee and the National Land Survey have drawn up a map of the Arjeplog mountains showing trails and dangers. This can be bought from all existing map sellers and covers the major part of five ordinary maps. Always be equipped for the worst conceivable weather. Don’t forget your safety equipment. Listen to the local people and those with experience of the mountains. Show consideration to the person in your group with the least experience. Stay together. Visibility can deteriorate quickly. Turn back or seek shelter if you are uncertain. Do not disturb reindeer or other animals, and always clean up after you. Sealed first aid kits are available in Adolfström, Miekak and Vuoggatjålme. Open only after contacting a doctor at the health centre in Arjeplog. They also contain prescription medicine (N.B. No narcotic drugs). Otherwise contact the health centre for advice, tel. 0961–148 01.

The Arjeplog Mountain Safety Committee is part of a network including twelve other safety committees, one for each mountain municipality in Sweden. Work with mountain safety is organized through the National Environmental Protection Agency. To support them there is a council consisting of 18 authorities and organizations.

Metals steal the show Oslo’s grand Opera House dips its toes into waters that were once part of Bjørvika dock. This is where Mother Nature meets hi-tech components. So now Figaro can celebrate his marriage before a real life – or cyber – audience. Our needs change. Ideas and materials are renewed. No-one knows what the future holds. But we do know that it will still require metals.



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The Sami village of Semisjaur-Njarg has Bäno as one of its calf-marking places, 15 kilometer from the border to Norway.

Sven-Anders Fjällås at Bäno 1987.


Kerstin Utsi, Luokta-Mavas Sami Village, at Bäno. ”Yes, I´m here, every year”, she says.

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Bäno 1987: Reindeer calves being marked One evening in July we went up to Bäno to see reindeer calves being marked. The place is on a plateau 15 kilometres from the Norwegian border. The year was 1987 and my father Max knew how to take our bearings from the car park by the Silver Road. The reporter Anders Sundelin was ready with his pen.

Chronicle We were accompanied on part of the walk by Kalle Fjällman. He was a colourful person, with his summer camp at Kroumpa beside Lake Riebnesjaure, but now in his autumn years he found it difficult to walk. We discussed Afghanistan and the guerrilla war against the Soviet Union. This was a subject that engaged his interest. In Bäno the reindeer were driven together into the big enclosure. It was close on midnight. The lassoes were whizzing through the air.

Johan Bengtsson (1924–1990), Ringselet. Father of Inger Fjällås.

Sven-Anders Fjällås with daughter Anna-Teresia 1987.

There were several families here, including Johan Bengtsson with his daughter Inger and grandchildren Anna-Teresia and Anders-Erling. The Sami village of Semisjaur-Njarg has Bäno as one of its calf-marking places and is one of three villages of the Mountain Sami in the municipality of Arjeplog, with winter pastures in the municipalities of Arjeplog, Älvsbyn, Piteå and Skellefteå. At this time, 1987, Inger’s husband Sven-Anders was chairman. For a few years now their son, Anders-Erling Fjällås, has been chairman. The calf marking continued into the small hours. The reindeer were exhausted, the lassoers tired. Coffee at the fire. Some people crawled into their tents to get a few hours’ sleep. A couple of days later we met Sven-Anders Fjällås for an interview. The questions focused on predators, grazing and the summer climate. So many questions seem to be eternal. l Photo and text: Maria Söderberg S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

Anders-Erling Fjällås at Bäno, four years later, 1991, together with his father Sven-Anders.


”It’s a kind of light that takes away everything that’s not essential” The light of a summer night. It just is. Everywhere, warm and accessible. The winter night has its light too. But it is not as easy to experience, and it can’t be found everywhere. You must be able and daring enough to head out into the dark to find it. “It’s a kind of light that frees you from the background noise of details. It is special and exclusive,” says Roland Pantze, the wilderness artist who often uses winter light in his art. He likes to spend winter nights outdoors. TEXT MARIANNE HOFMAN

Roland Pantze lives with and in nature. It has also shaped him as an artist. He does not read any reviews of his art because they do not interest him. He has not had any traditional education in art. “For me it has been absolutely essential to do without that. I want to let myself be shaped by nature, the energy and impressions it gives. Not by anything else.” Winter light, especially that hazy, grey November light, has played a major part in his painting. “I started with it, I had never seen anyone painting with that light. It’s a restful light that comes at a time that I like. The lakes have frozen over, winter has come and a kind of calm spreads over the land.” Nature may have been an obvious part of Roland Pantze’s life. But it was not obvious that he was going to be an artist. He went to Umeå to begin training as a language teacher. 16


He talks of the thick cigarette smoke in the staff room at that time, and the great contrast to what he was used to and happy with. He understood that he had to follow his inner drive, and one day he left the university and the student hostel to go to a sports shop. There he bought a bicycle and cycled the nearly 400 kilometres home to Arjeplog. To the montane forest, the environment where he feels he belongs. He lives in Suppevare, nearly 50 kilometres north of Arjeplog, in the area of the Piteälven river. At the driveway from the winding gravel road that passes the house, there used to be a street light. ”I asked the electricity company to disconnect it and take down the post. I didn’t want it. I want the light that is here naturally, with no disturbance from other light. I believe S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

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you have to show respect to where you are, and accept what is there. Perhaps the people living here, we have a special need for night light, compared to people who have light half the day all the year round. We have different conditions, and we actually know very little about how our body is designed to interact with nature. We know that we need sunlight to produce certain vitamins, and the summer sunlight glistening on the water is something we all get for free, but perhaps we also need the light that exists in the winter night, even if we have to struggle to find it.” The light that Roland Pantze talks about is not just the Northern Lights that we see in so many pictures, marketed on postcards, in brochures and via social media. It is a meditative, discreet and tranquil light, which you do not find until you head out into the darkness. The darkness you see when you look at it from the artificial light surrounding towns and villages. “The aurora borealis is one thing, and you can content yourself with experiencing that. But there is something else, a constant background light, even on a night in November. A light that takes away everything that isn’t essential, and what you take in and perceive in that light is the importance, the greatness of the landscape and the stars that can be seen even if clouds are passing by. We are used to seeing our surroundings in a sunlit perspective, but when the moon illuminates it from a different angle, and gives it soft shadows, we can experience and see something completely different. And even if it is cloudy, there is light.”

mean that you reverse night and day and sleep in the daytime. It doesn’t work like that when you’re lying in a sleeping bag out in the snow,” he says laughing. He has skied as long as he can remember. As a child he even skied in the summer on grass, or indoors on a big wooden floor if it was raining, and for many years summer was just a seemingly endless wait for the winter. On his skiing tours he likes to follow in the tracks of the lynx. He stops in its lair and contemplates the surroundings from there. “The lynx often chooses an aesthetically attractive place to rest.” In the past he had a rifle with him. And he has shot lynxes. But now he has put the rifle away, and contents himself with experiencing places and reading the living book that is nature. “By reading what nature has to tell us, and looking at the tracks, you can experience drama and events without coming into contact with the animals. And I don’t need my rifle. There’s something contradictory about hunting and seeing the magical look in the lynx’s eyes fade and then die, and then trying to give life back to that look with the aid of a brush on a big canvas!” Roland Pantze’s works of art are naturally influenced by his experiences and his attitude to his surroundings and to the light. He chiefly paints nature motifs, often the animals he knows more than just by their appearance, such as wolf, lynx and reindeer. Winter, of course, constantly recurs in different

To experience as much as possible of the light of the winter night, Roland Pantze likes to go on long tours in the forest, especially by the Piteälven. “Four days is just right, as you don’t need to take so much food and things along. And when you have skied all day, you feel tempted to carry on, well into the night. But it doesn’t

About the Year of Light

2015 is proclaimed as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies by United Nations. We think is a great great opportunity for us, in the region of the Nordic Light, to reflect – a little bit extra – about the light. Please join us in our activties this summer! 18

forms, and he has spent a winter in Alaska. Along with twenty sled dogs in a small hut far from the nearest settlement. “We shape our own reality, and that gives us huge opportunities. It was a fine winter in Alaska. In the daytime it was very light, in the nights cold, starry and often with the aurora borealis. At home I have mountains around me everywhere, but over there the landscape is wide open and you can see the whole vault of heaven in broad perspective. Then you can choose either to feel small in the big world, or stop and feel that you have the big world inside you,” he says, and there is no doubt that he chose to experience the latter. Sometmes one can guess which places and areas were in Roland Pantze’s mind when he was painting. But not always. “Sometimes I paint pictures from reality, sometimes I change the real picture. I might have experienced a place in reality, but I can take it one step further when I paint it. Sometimes I might not even have experienced exactly what can be seen on the canvas, but just paint a concentrated version of different expressions. But in some way it’s an accumulated experience, and my painting doesn’t begin when I pick up a brush. Sometimes I set out with no plan at all, without knowing for sure what I’m after. But perhaps it’s a journey towards the brush, towards the act of painting.” During all these countless hours and endless miles that Roland Pantze has followed in the trail of the lynx through days and nights, he has always been aware of, and absorbed, the light and the colours surrounding him. “Pastel tones are typical of midwinter, often shifting between a soft blue and a soft pink shade, without shadows. To paint, there has to be interplay between what the eye sees and what you feel. I paint until I feel that the light feels as it should be. And if it’s to be successful you have to respect your own feeling and dare to stand by it. I don’t paint mechanically at set times, and what I do has no connection to anything technical or digital of the kind we’re expected to focus on today. What I do is closely linked to nature, and the winter light keeps me in contact with the landscape and its energies. For me the light of the winter night is an important piece of the puzzle. I’m not sure that daylight alone would keep me in contact with nature.” l

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“By reading what nature has to tell us, and looking at the tracks, you can experience drama and events without coming into contact with the animals. And I don’t need my rifle.”

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Would you like to experience the special light offered by a winter night? See your own warm breath when it meets the cold air? Listen to nature’s own stories of winter or summer and meet all the life that can be found in the forest near the River Piteälven? In Suppevare you can do that, alone or together with someone who knows all about art and life, who has let himself be shaped by the freedom and longing that lies in the soul of the untouched wilderness. Roland Pantze can provide overnight accommodation for groups, by prior agreement, on his farm north of Arjeplog. His studio, with a view of Lake Gallajaure, can also be used for events such as dinners or lectures. To contact Roland Pantze go to:


Sauna and a dip through a hole in the ice at Kraja in Arjeplog. Here Charlotta Westberg jumps into the water. FOTO NENNE ÅMAN

Sauna facts

Heated bath-houses have existed for a very long time. In the Middle Ages there were public saunas in Northern and Central Europe. Men and women bathed together, but through time this was banned since it was believed to spread infectious diseases like syphilis. In the Middle East there was an equivalent, the hamam, with steam and hot air, which arose in the seventh or eighth century. In the Roman Empire there were many bath-houses, thermae. The word means heat, and this was also obtained by central heating of water. If you want to test a different sauna experience, perhaps a raft would be a good idea? In Arjeplog you can also take your car or caravan along. Sources: Nationalencyklopedin and Forskning och framsteg 10/2012.

Time-honoured sauna Sauna is a broad culture practised by many people. But this has not always been the case along the Silver Road. “Incredibly refreshing!” was Charlotta Westberg’s reaction after heating her body in a sauna and then floating in icy water. TEXT MARIA SÖDERBERG


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There is a very special sauna belt around the Arctic Circle, from the North American Indians via Siberia and into northern Scandinavia. The sauna star shines brightest over Finland. The word sauna has spread all over the world from Finland, where it is a part of the Finnish national identity. But Sweden is not far behind, and now winter bathing is growing in popularity too. At the latitude of the Arctic Circle you can train for it in the cold water of the summer. But it can also happen, as in summer 2014, that the water temperature rises to 25 degrees. A few years ago, the sauna acquired a more prominent place in central Arjeplog. At the camping site and cabin village of Kraja you can rent a sauna raft and enjoy your sauna in Sälla, a part of Lake Hornavan. But would it be possible to use one for winter bathing? It turned out to work very well. Anders Westerlund, the janitor, made a big enough hole in the ice.

“this time I didn’t need ice-prods to pull myself up. Everything was so much easier with the ladder.” Bathing in a hole in the ice, however, is not for anyone with a weak heart. “But it’s good for you,” claims Pirkko Huttunen, who does research on cold at Oulu University in Finland. “It can relieve rheumatism, and it seems that winter bathing has the same effect in relieving pain and inflammation. In a study she followed a group of winter bathers aged 30 to 68. She also had a control group. “During the test period the group that regularly bathed in holes in the ice had distinctly better health. Tensions, tiredness, bad memory and bad moods decreased significantly during the period. After four months all the participants answered that they felt more energetic, active and healthy,

”Cold in the right amount can be good for your health”, says Pirkko Huttunen at Oulu University.

off steam. Afterwards they threw themselves in the snow and rolled around, and sometimes they bathed in a hole in the ice. Lasse Lundqvist, 86, remembers a woodfired sauna at Kyrkholmen. It was beside the first schoolhouse, which is called the Red School today, and it was used in the 1940s. “But we didn’t dive into the lake.” Doctor Göran Wennerborn, who moved to Arjeplog with his family in 1965, tells of the joy of a sauna in their house beside Lillströmmen, in the middle of the town. “The sauna was in constant use, and I remember how we squealed in delight as we climbed up the cellar steps, naked, to roll in the lovely soft snow as the river rippled and the Northern Lights blazed. Before we understood that we ought to have something on our feet, it happened a couple of times that our feet froze to the steps.

“When I was small I had some sort of saunophobia. Luckily, that has passed,” says Lina Nordström, who used to work in the restaurant at Kraja. Here, deep inside the sauna, together with Maria Persson, Maria Welin and Emma Svadling. FOTO ULI JOOS



A few of us accepted the challenge. For Maud Lestander the combination of sauna and icy bath was a thrill: “I finally had a chance to something I’ve wanted to do for years!” After half an hour getting really hot in the sauna, it was time to climb down the ladder into the zero-degree water. The outdoor temperature was –14. “It wasn’t so terrible at all to step down into the water,” Maud thought, “it was really nice to feel the heat and then the cold on my body.” After the icy dip she now has one experience left on her dream list: “Parachuting!” For Charlotta Westberg it was not the first time. “It was incredibly refreshing!” she thought, S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

and had better self-esteem than when we started in October. Also, those who suffered from diagnosed rheumatism, fibromyalgia and asthma reported that winter bathing had relieved the pain. There was an upswing for sauna culture in the 1960s in the interior of northern Sweden. Before that, not many people had a shower in their home, much less a sauna. In Arjeplog there were public baths with a sauna, housed in the old fire station. It was built in 1951. Saunas occurred here and there. My uncle Folke Söderberg, aged 82, told how he and two brothers used a hut which they heated with a low-pressure boiler in 1959 in the village of Bellonäs. It was a barrel with a water tank that gave

In 1966 the sports hall with swimming baths was opened. It had a big sauna that could hold a lot of people. “I remember Åke Wennström’s enjoyable Monday gymnastics for us old fellows, followed by a sauna. Lots of fine thoughts were born in that sauna. Creativity in a sauna reaches heights that you cannot conceive,” says Göran Wennerborn, who lives today in the far south in Skåne – with a sauna, of course. Sauna is popular in the summer. Every owner of a summer cottage has to have a sauna. Preferably close to a lake or a river. Since prehistoric times, people have gathered around the fire and the heat. Sauna – whether in summer or winter – is a comfort for the soul. l 21

A walk to Nasa 2014 – Gunilla Westergren Johanson and Mona Svensson.

Top of Arjeplog Summer 2015 Gáldesbuovdda / Galtispuoda (Arjeplog) Áhkális / Akkelis(Arjeplog) Stainak (near Delliknäs, Lais Valley) Välbmaboulda (Lake Uddjaure) Gibdnotjåhkkå (Lake Tjieggelvas, Örnvik) Tjeäksá / Tjäksa (Adolfström) Bieljegájsse (Jäckvik, Pieljekaise National Park) Riebnesgájsse (near King’s Trail, Tjärnberg/Riebnes) Skärrim (Silver Road, near the border to Norway) Tjårok, Near King’s Trail (between Vuonatjviken and Tjieggelvas)

Välbmabuolda 2013. About 45 minutes walk to the top. A wondeful view! PHOTO MARIA SÖDERBER G


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of It is a very special feeling to stand at the summit...


For everyone under 18 the card is free.

A lot of us enjoy walking and climbing

This is not a competition, but to make it fun

mountains. It is a very special feeling to stand

you report your results, by handing in the

at the summit and look down on the path

completed card by 30 September. Everyone

you have followed. Moreover, you have had

who hands in a card with at least five peaks

the chance to become familiar with a unique

takes part in a prize draw.

alpine environment. Perhaps you have learned

The prizes will be awarded at the Biografen

a new plant, seen an owl or a buzzard, looked

cinema in Arjeplog during the autumn

out for reindeer, seen a moose, or frightened

market, Saturday 3 October 2015 at 13 p.m.

away some ptarmigan chicks in the brush.

Ten gift vouchers each worth 500 kronor in

So how do you get to the Top of Arjeplog?

Granns leisure department will be given to

We – Rikard Hedman, gymnastics teacher,

the lucky people whose cards are drawn from

Björn Sundqvist, merchant, and I – have

all those handed in. Further prizes to a value

selected ten peaks, both easy and difficult,

of 5,000 kronor will be awarded.

for summer 2015. You can buy a special card on which to fill in your results. It costs 200 kronor and is for sale at the Tourist On our way to Akkelis.


Information Office and Granns Järn & Bygg.

Have a good summer! Maria Söderberg +46 703500555

For everyone under 18 the card is free.

Magasin Silvervägen in co-operation with Granns Järn & Bygg, Arjeplogs Turistbyrå and Arjeplogs komun. Granns Järn & Bygg, Storgatan 9, Arjeplog is open Monday–Friday 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Building shop open from 7 a.m. Saturday 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Tel. 0961-101 70.

Top of Arjeplog


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Midsummer time close to the border with Norway along the Silver Road. Anna Formgren discovering the area. View from the slopes of Avvuhatjåhkkå, 1,054 metres above sea level. Below is the mountain station of Mierkenes. Foto Nenne Åman.

Jonas Jonsson at the top of Alep Iksják. Foto Nenne Åman.


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Thomas Martin – on the way to Rounektjåkhha. Foto Nenne Åman.

The River Laisälven at the Hästskoforsen falls, around midnight in June. You´ll pass the river when you´re on your way to Delliknäs and Stainak. Stainak is one of 2015’s target in Top of Arjeplog. S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5


Discover the least hiked part of Kungsleden MAP STIG SÖDERLIND


Kungsleden, The King’s Trail, is a hiking trail in northern Sweden, approximately 440kilometre (270 mil) long, between Abisko in the north and Hemavan in the south. It passes through one of Europe’s largest remaining wilderness areas. The section between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs is the least hiked on Kungsleden. Perhaps because a tent is needed and the nature is comprised more of mountain birch forests and river valleys than bare

mountain region. But the views over the large forests are majestic, especially in Pieljekaise National Park. August and beginning of September are the best months, when the landscape is painted to a golden red and the mosquitoes disappear. The hiking can be demanding due to the path going up and down. Between the river valleys and plateaux are several hundred of altitude change. Several smaller communities,

huts and cottages give the area its own character, unlike everything else on Kungsleden. This section also means somewhat longer boat transports, which you can arrange (for exampel from Voutnatjviken). There are few simpler huts, such as Tsielejåkk and Pieljakaise huts, where you can sleep if you can arrange a key. You can overnight in the village of Jäckvik, Adolfström and Bäverholm, but you will overnight most of the time in

Midsummer 2010. Walking at the King’s Trail between Jäckvik and Adolfström.


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Hut between Bäverholm and Svaipavalle.

a lean-to or tent. If the weather is good, the mountain plateaux offer the best tent spots. The Svaipa bird preservation area is worth an extra stop for ornithologists, and the hike over the prairie-like flat country of Björkfjäll expands the views. The final run to Ammarnäs takes places over a long ridge that gives a fantastic view of the river valley. l

Facts from STF‚ Svenska Turistföreningen. You could download a brochure in English here:

Huts at Vuonatjviken at King’s Trail, near lake Riebnes.

The King’s Trail passes Bäverholm, near River Laisälven.

FACTS THE KING’S TRAIL (KUNGSLEDEN) The first ideas to create a continuous hiking trail in the mountain world of Swedish Lapland came at the end of 1800s. As now, the Swedish Tourist Association was the organiser. This trail would pass the most beautiful places and thus become ‘the king of trails’ – the King’s Trail. The stretch Kvikkjokk to Abisko was cleared during the 1920s and today, the King’s Trail stretches ca. 430 km from Abisko in the north to Hemavan in the south. S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

Sámi words. Terrain words can be spelled in many ways depending on the dialect. bákti, pakte steep cliff cohkka, tjåkkå peak eatnu, ätno river, stream gálsi, kaise steep high mountain jávri, jaure lake johka, jåkkå stream, creek luokta bay vággi, vagge valley, U-­shaped valley

How are the mosquitoes? In wetlands and birch forests, the mosquitoes can be annoying. Especially in July. Do like the reindeer and get up to higher ground, where the wind is cool. Otherwise, we can thank the mosquito because there are so many birds, fish and other animals in the mountains. Short facts from STF.


Three bears in the moonlit night A herd of reindeer passed on the ridge just above us. They were a hundred metres away, walking along the crest of the mountain. It was an impressive sight in the moonlight. Their antlers were clearly silhouetted against the sky, even though it had grown dark. It was almost two o’clock in the morning. Marianne Hofman and I had hit on the idea of a night walk to the mine cabin at Nasafjäll. The next day there would be lectures, lunch at the mine cabin and guests from both Norway and Sweden. T E X T A N D P H OTO M A R I A S Ö D E R B E R G

”Now there was no longer any question of sleeping out on the heath in the light of the moon. Our beds would be the hard wooden bunks.”


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”When you see the reindeer walking so calmly, you can be sure there are no predators nearby,” I said. Marianne’s lapdog Mikko was following us on a leash. He showed no signs of interest in reindeer or anything else. Occasionally he stuck his nose into the thin cover of topsoil. We were looking out for trail markers, but we had to give up. In any case, we knew roughly what route we should follow. I cursed myself for not having downloaded the latest map of the mountains in my Garmin. Now we were about twenty minutes from the destination. My idea was that we would sleep in the open air. But there was also the mine cabin with its wooden bunks as an alternative. Then I looked up at the crest again. Three bears were ambling calmly in a row. We still had roughly a hundred metres to go to get up there. They were big. Their round, furry bodies were clearly delineated. But it was dark, so I peered closely for a few seconds. Then I touched Marianne on the shoulder and told her quietly that we had three bears on the ridge. She could see the same thing. This was the time when I ought to have had a silent camera – but the one I have makes a distinct “click”. Without saying a word to each other we changed direction together with Mikko – who did not make a noise, luckily. We walked noiselessly, at high speed. We were frightened. “But Maria,” Marianne said, “We can’t do anything anyway. If they decide to come after us, we haven’t got a chance.” That did not stop me from almost running down rocks and over slippery slopes. I was glad that I had a light rucksack. Finally we stopped above Lake Silbojaure. We sat down on the mountain heath, on a steep incline where the wind could not give away our position. All the stones seemed to come alive and take on the shape of bears. Now we pulled ourselves together. It is extremely rare for bears to attack humans. The ones we saw were focusing on the herd of reindeer. I suggested that we should go down to the lake or stay where we were for a while. Daylight would be coming soon and we would have a better grasp of things. Marianne thought we should head for the cabin. On the way there we would talk loud and clear. We phoned to wake up Marianne’s husband Mats back home in Revi. He knows the mountain terrain and the behaviour of bears. Everyone knows how hard it is to get a mobile signal in the mountains. A phone call can be cut short in three seconds. “What shall we do?” “Talk loud and walk to the cabin,” said Mats tersely. S I LV E R R O A D 2 0 1 5

With this telephone consultation on the mountain heath, where the moon was looking out again, reflecting itself in Lake Silbojaure, we felt more secure. We got up, tested our feet and legs to see how they had coped with the forced march. The unease that we had felt gradually faded. We started talking and laughing at once. Loudly. As our voices spread over the mountain side, our fear gradually subsided. I talked about my memories as a war photographer in Afghanistan in 1982, and in the glow of Soviet helicopters under heavy shelling, the last stretch of our walk could take place in a lighter tone. After half an hour we were at the stout wooden door of the mine cabin. At the same time, a thick fog swept down from the area of the old mine. Now there was no longer any question of sleeping out on the heath in the light of the moon. Our beds would be the hard wooden bunks. The following day I phoned Ann-Christin Blind. She belongs to the Sami village of Svaipa and has reindeer around Nasafjäll. She confirmed that there were bears in the area. Since there were three bears together, what we had seen was in all probability a she-bear with two cubs. In the north a female can keep her young with her for 2.5 years, while in southern Sweden it is 1.5 years. This means that some cubs can be rather big by the time they leave their mother. Ann-Christine Blind described one of the ways in which bears hunt: They follow a herd of reindeer for a long time. This lulls the reindeer into a false sense of security. When opportunity then presents itself, selected reindeer are attacked. She herself has been close to bears often and has seen many on the mountain. Bears have very keen sight and prefer to move at night. What would the future hold in store for the reindeer we saw? “Bears like all hoofed animals, especially elk,” says Ann-Christine Blind. I can picture a struggle taking place the next day beyond Nasafjäll. “If you see a raven on the mountain you know that something has happened.” For a photographer it is painful to miss a picture. Now I have the picture inside me. Rather like the first time I saw my two children. I am grateful that I had a friend in the night with whom to share the experience of the three bears on the crest of the mountain. If I close my eyes I can see how the big animals with their rotund bodies and gently rounded eyes lift their paws and walk on between the rocks. Their noses point forwards. l

”If you do meet a bear, do not run away”. Photo Bertil Pettersson for Naturvårdsverket/ The Environmental Protection Agency

Facts about the bear The stock of bears was almost exterminated in Sweden by the start of the twentieth century, after a sharp decline in the second half of the nineteenth century. All that remained were roughly 130 bears in four areas in Sweden in the 1930s, mostly in the mountains. Bears became a protected species in Sweden in 1927, but hunting was permitted to a limited extent from 1943. During this period the bear population had begun to recover in Sweden and continued to grow by some 1.5 per cent per year until 1993. In contrast, Norway paid a bounty to people who shot bears up until 1973, and the reproducing stock of bears disappeared from Norway shortly afterwards. If you don’t want to run into a bear you should make small noises at regular intervals when you are walking alone in the forest. Sing occasionally or talk to yourself. Or play the radio in your mobile phone. If you should happen to pass a bear in its daytime lair, it will withdraw and possibly look inquisitively at you from a safe distance. The animals have a superior sense of hearing and smell, and most encounters with bears pass unnoticed to us. If you do meet a bear, do not run away. Try to make yourself as visible as possible and walk obliquely away and then go back the way you came. If the bear rears on its hind legs it is a good sign. It is standing to see and smell better what is happening and to work out what you are. This is not a preparation for an attack. But nothing can be taken for granted. Individuals, as always, differ in their temperament, and there is a kind of ranking order in the bear’s world. Small bear cubs run away from almost everything, whereas the biggest males are used to ranking highest. In autumn 2004 a man was killed by a bear outside Jokkmokk in Norrbotten, but before that no deaths had occurred in Sweden for over 100 years. That man was killed by a she-bear that he had shot and wounded, probably after his hunting dog had disturbed the hibernating bear. l Source: The Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Forest Agency


Silver Road / Magasin Silvervägen 2015  

Enjoy summer along the Silver Road at Swedish Lapland! This magazine has a focus – Arjeplog and it´s mountains. During the summer the sun...