The southern Kungsleden runs from Storlien to Sälen, in close
proximity to the Swedish-Norwegian border. It is far less traveled
than its northern counterpart, but is said to offer equally stunning
landscapes and vistas - and stunning they were.
We spent 12 days hiking from Storlien to Grövelsjön and another 4 days
exploring the Norwegian Fjäll west of Grövelsjön. Overall, we hiked
close to 300km. You can find some impressions on Flickr.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather. The worst we encountered
was a short-lived drizzle; even the mosquitoes seemed to leave us
alone most of the time!
It has only been one week since, but I could already return for
another round of hiking. The Fjäll has been different from all my
previous hiking experiences, with the
offering a hitherto unexperienced kind of freedom. Additionally, the
Swedes were incredibly friendly and even in the remotest corners
everyone spoke fluent English. Surprisingly, a number of Swedes we met
also spoke German.
Most of the people we encountered were regulars and, after our
experiences, it is easy to see why. Next time, and there will be a
next time, I aim to head further north into even more remote areas.
I wrote the following ‘on the road’, after the first day of a hike
around the Königssee. As it turned out, the trek that we picked was a
little more challenging and the weather a little worse than expected.
It meant that we didn’t touch the laptops for the remainder of the
hike. I still believe that the concept of code-hiking is very
enticing, but requires more meticulous planing. If you have ever done
something similar, I would love to hear about it!
Code-hiking, as its name implies, combines hiking and coding. In my
case, it leverages the amazing infrastructure available throughout southern
Germany and the Alps to spend the days scaling the mountains, enjoying
the breath-taking views and fresh air and spending the evenings
hacking on projects.
The DAV (only available in German)
maintains shelters and refuges throughout the alps. These let you
charge your laptop over night. They also provide a certain level of
comfort that sleeping in a tent just cannot. After a strenuous day
spent hiking the hacking sessions end up being rather short - so far
we managed about 1-2 hours during the evening - but are incredibly
The hiking provides plenty of time to discuss, and mull over, challenges
and problems regarding the project(s) at hand. And after a
well-deserved dinner following the hiking, it’s time to find a power
socket and a place to hunker down for good, old-fashioned
coding. There are none of the traditional distractions, no HN or
reddit, no TV.
While you are rarely alone in the shelters on weekends, quite the
contrary, you can usually find a secluded spot. If it is crowded,
people will still respect your desire for privacy. Next comes
the easy part, open up your local copy of the documentation along with
your favorite editor and get coding. Once the exhaustion finally does
set in, it’s time for a final cup of tea and some reading/talking with
the fellow hikers.
Code-hiking is very flexible: in the alps you can schedule anything
ranging from 15 to 30km across terrain of varying difficulty between
refuges. This allows for pacing according to your focus: hiking or
coding. It also comes with the additional benefit of being relatively
cheap in terms of accommodation and travel costs.