Niak & Winter Peaks

In this post I’m going to tell you the story behind two photographs captured during a late April adventure into Sarek National Park back in 2020.

I was trying to keep my pack as light as possible, yet it weighed 30 kg. Still lightweight for a week-long winter trip with all of my camera gear.

I left the skis at home and used snowshoes to save some further weight and be able to tackle steep terrain.

Waiting out the winter storm in the Hilleberg Soulo.

As with every winter adventure I faced some severe weather. When the wind picks up and the spindrift gets going its not much you can do but to wait and hope for the weather to improve. And it finally did!

Niak – Sarek National Park. April 2020.

Niak is one of the iconic mountains of Sarek. I have seen and photographed its unmistakable shape on many trips but this cold morning was the first time I felt like I had done the mountain justice in a photograph.

Its northern face catched the first light of the day in the most beautiful way. I found shelter behind a large rock to get away from the wind and to be able to get a sharp exposure.

I was “lucky” to be in the right place at the right time. This composition is only possible from a certain angle where the lines in the landscape comes together.

Winter Peaks – Sarek National Park. April 2020.

I got up early the next morning and began the ascent up the mountain. After an hour I saw something in the distance. A couple of reindeers were trying to find something to eat, this high up in a completely frozen landscape. They were probably waiting for spring to arrive.

Me on the other, I was happy to experience full winter conditions. This time of year, in the last days of April, it’s certainly not a given.

As I was getting closer to the peak it started to snow and I could only see a few meters in front of me. I got my stove going and had myself a much needed warm cup of tea.

After a while I could see some faint contours appear and soon the snowfall had passed. The spectacular snow-covered peaks of Sarek were shimmering like diamonds in front of me. I was close to tears.

***

On a technical note both photographs were captured with the Fuji GFX 50R (I’m now a lucky owner of the GFX 100S) and the excellent 250 mm lens. With this combination I can capture way more of the mountains that I could see with the naked eye while standing there.

In a large print one get the unique opportunity to experience all the beautiful shapes and details of these magnificent mountains.

/ Magnus

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