At The Mercy of The Mountains

Snow-covered rock face in the mountains of Sarek National Park.
A detail of a mountain covered in snow and clouds. The high peaks of Sarek is somewhere there above me. Will I get a chance to capture them this time?

16th September 2022. Sarek National Park.


I’m lying in my tent at an altitude of 1300 meters. If I could see them, the high peaks of Sarek would rise 700 meters above me. Now when I look out through the tent opening all I can see is a wall of rock and snow disappearing into a grey blanket of low clouds.

Rain and snowfall takes turn outside. My gear is wet. My motivation is dwindling. The weather has been like this for five days now. Not a sight of the sun. Honestly, I feel miserable.

I’m waiting for an opportunity to not only get up on the mountain, but to do so in good conditions for photography. Patience has paid off before but will it this time?

I sip on my lukewarm coffee. To save some weight I packed just one gas canister, so I have to ration it in the cold weather.

In modern society we’re used to be able to control everything. Out here I’m at the mercy of the mountains. All I can do is to show up. To be here. To give it my everything. But ultimately my success depends on the unforgiving mountain weather.

During my years of photographing in Sarek National Park I’ve been facing moments like these many times. When my patience and determination have been tested. If it only would have been about the end result – the photographs – I would have given up a long time ago.

My pursuit of that special mountain photograph is about so much more. It’s about the connection with the land. It’s about challenging myself. It’s about hard work. It’s about earning those special moments. It’s about following a dream. Ultimately – It’s about life.

I take another sip on my now cold coffee and look out of the tent one more time. The weather conditions haven’t improved.

I wonder if they will this time?

/ Magnus

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