Would you learn to wander in mist, to live your life by the rules of nature?
Would you be satisfied with your destiny if your days were defined by forces more powerful than you? Would you learn to cope with getting lost in the mist, or leaving your kids to daycare if a heavy snowstorm would stop you getting them home?
Could you handle your stress without an adult’s colouring book? Would you be able to live a day without a phone?
Perhaps you remember when I told you about my very first, but hopefully not the last glacier hike in Kårsa mountain glacier in Swedish Lapland. But did I ever tell you what happened right after the hike?
Last time, I ended the story with this picture, where our brave group of first-timers proudly tapped their backs after surviving such an incredible experience.
After resting for a while, we finally heard a familiar flapping sound echoing in the distance. It was time to jump in a helicopter that would fly us over to Låktatjåkko Mountain Lodge where we were supposed to have dinner and stay for the night.
I was lucky to have the front-seat spot in the helicopter. I got to admire the views changing from green fields and turquoise mountain lakes to rugged rocks and ice fields covered with snow. I got to see how raindrops so ferociously smacking against the window suddenly changed to a thick fog that was impossible to overcome. A fog that finally ended our journey above the Swedish mountains.
For that brief moment, I sat without breathing. For that brief moment, I could only wonder what would happen next. For that brief moment when we weren’t moving but floating in the air, somewhere between the ground and the sky, without knowing where we were or where would we end up to. For that brief moment, I could only look up to our pilot who got our feet safely on the ground even without seeing or knowing where to land.
For that brief moment, I could only look up to our pilot who got our feet safely on the ground without seeing or knowing where to land.
That brief moment was the end of our helicopter flight. Our journey would continue by foot. And so we walked, wandering in the deep mist in the Swedish mountains. Somewhere where the grass was still green on our left side, the slippery rocks were sparkling from the ice on our right side, and in front, we could only see the endless fields of snow. The view continued as long as it ended in a thick wall of fog.
…and only one of us knew where to go. Or did even he?
At the time, the rest of us didn’t have a clue what our guide had to sacrifice when helping us to find our way to the mountain lodge. The kids were left to daycare. Dad couldn’t come, as he had to take the first time visitors in the Swedish mountains safely to their destination. The fog didn’t leave any options, the fog didn’t allow flying with a helicopter, and after taking us dad had to return the long route to the village by foot.
The fog didn’t leave any options. It ended our helicopter flight sooner than expected, and after taking us to our destination, dad had to return the long route down to the village on foot.
And for us first-timers, it was like a walk to the edge of the world. Hiking where the only surrounding sound was gurgling mountain rivers. Hiking where the ground could have disappeared under your feet anytime, and the only path you could trust was the footsteps of someone else.
Hiking in the foggy Swedish mountains, where I finally understood how I have a possibility to choose. I can choose to stay on my couch in the mist while elsewhere the strong are helping home the lost ones.
We faced the mist on our September press trip in Björkliden mountain village in Swedish Lapland. The trip was made possible by VisitSweden and Arctic Guides.