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Gaisenjarga - Arctic Bouldering

Gaisenjarga (sometimes spelt "Kaisenjarka" on Google Maps and weather forecast services) is an extensive area of granite boulders on an undulating headland of low alpine birch forest overlooking the large lake of Torneträsk. It is beside the E10 highway halfway between Kiruna and Abisko (more specifically between the two railway stations of Stenbacken and Gaisebakti (Kaisepakte), 65 km west of Kiruna). The area was first developed for bouldering by Erik Heyman and friends from Abisko during the summer of 2002.

Park at a reasonably large parking area beside a small lake where the road has flattened out after the climb up from Stenbacken or Kaisepakte, depending on which way you come. To find the boulders, head straight out towards the lake (roughly NNE?) from the parking area until under the powerlines. Follow the rough 4WD track under the powerlines to the right to Pyramiden (The Pyramid), or cut left early when you see the pointy and light-coloured Sockertoppen (Sugar Loaf). There are plenty more beyond Sockertoppen...


Over recent years, Fredrik "Pudde" Hansson has done much of the development of the area and he has put together a guide entitled Gaisenjarga - Bouldering in the Subarctic (ISBN 9789163756771), available from the publisher, Vulkan and other sources.

New areas

- Tintin Boulders: Rick and Chrille have developed a number of boulders further west - park at the next carpark west, just before the road begins to descend to the lake. Walk back E. along the road about 100m to a grove of young aspens. A short distance out towards the lake are 3 boulders about 100m apart with a number of problems. Hidden Hollow is nearby and provides half a dozen slab problems.

A short distance to the NW of the Tintin Boulders is Stenansiktet (Stone Face) in a green and leafy hollow. This boulder provides 8-10 high class problems and was primarily developed by Erik H. and Malin H.

15 minutes walk NW? from the Tintin Boulders leads to Erik H's classic arete problem, Kapten Stofil, on a west-facing slope. On top of the same ridge is the awkward overhang Nästan som Örebro (the bulging overhang faces W or NW). A film of Erik in action on Kapten Stofil (mov-file, 168 kB)

Östra Långsjön: Rick and Antti have added problems on boulders East of "Långsjön" (Long Lake), the long, narrow lake separating the areas with Tintin Boulders and Kapten Stofil from Centrum and other boulders in the original guide. Park as described above, but walk W. until an indistinct track leads in to the right. Further instructions and pictures here.

- Gaisenjarga West has mainly been developed by Rick: 3 boulders near the lake even further W. Park at the new access road up to the railway line under the imposing cliff of Gaisebakti (Kaisepakte), a km or two E. of Kaisepakte station.

Information, links etc

K3 (Kiruna Climbing Club) committee members
There is more bouldering at Geargevaggi/Kierkevaggi, a valley full of rocks, ca 65 km further west, just before Vassijaure - approach march min. 1 hr

A general view of the boulder field...
...with snowy mountains in the background
Boulders of all sizes
Sockertoppen (The Sugar Loaf Boulder)
Hasse hates slabs
Pudde in action
Jane on a delicate step-up problem
A big block
Irene on an arete
Lisette concentrates hard
A high step-up for Pudde
Lisette and Lasse scope a problem with Kaisepakte in the background
Chrille struggles with the Miss Piggy Boulder
...and Pontan
Johanna - pre-climb preparations...
...then up and at it
Pudde's turn...
... Johanna's turn again
Lasse spots, Johanna reaches
Great surroundings...
...with lots of rocks

Movie: Pudde in action - this looks great backwards! (460 kB MOV-file)
Movie: Pudde's sit-start problem on Sockertoppen. (1.5 MB MOV-file)
Index of movies

All photos: Copyright Rick McGregor
Latest update: 2015-06-29, RMcG