She thru hiked the length of Greenland

Ruth Aaqqii just thru hiked the length of her home country Greenland and became the second person to finish the whole of Via Suecia. 

Nobody has better described the epic 117 days on Via Suecia and the subsequent end in Smygehuk November 14 than Ruth Aaqqii herself in an Instagram post that same day:

“This hike has been both an outer and inner journey.

The outer – physically – journey with it’s variable challenges has been incredible enjoyable. 
It was also easier than I had expected. 
I wouldn’t call it a walk in the park, 😄 but, still, perfectly doable for anyone with reasonable health and enough motivation to keep going!

I never wanted to quit. 
I felt safe and at home, first in the mountains and later on in the woods.

Every day felt like a precious gift. 😇
Nature has been kind and welcoming, embracing me in many different ways.

People I’ve met have hugely enriched my life, and will, I’m sure, continue to do do. 🙏

My true challenge from the very beginning, therefore, has been the inner journey.

I felt quite miserable and also depressed last winter and spring, before I started my hike.

Worn down by loss and grief, I was unable to take steps towards re-building my life – apart from planning this thru-hike.
I coudn’t feel much joy or enthusiasm for anything in a long time.


I came to Sweden to heal my wounds.

To make peace with what happened in the past.

To take responsibility for my own happiness – under all circumstances.

While the outer journey – this thru-hike – has come to an end, it feels as if my inner work has only just started. 
Only time will tell, where it will lead me.

One thing I want to continue to do – I want to say “yes” to life. 

Birth and death, I’ve come to understand, are part of life’s natural circle.
To resist them is to fight life itself.
I want to learn to flow with life instead of resisting it, no matter how painful that might feel, at times.


I want to live life to the fullest – wild and free – until the day of my last breath. 

Wild 🔥
Free 💚
Now ✨”

Surprise party at the end with Peter Bergström and Malene.

And so the hike is over and Ruth Aaqqii is back to the everyday world where everyday people go about their everyday life. A lot of people who have done long distance hiking feel a sense of loss of purpose and alienation when they get off trail. 

So far Ruth Aaqqii has felt none of that.

“Maybe it’s because I’m still traveling, visiting friends and my parents in Germany,” she says.

Road walking the last day of the hike.

Advice from other thru hikers is to look forward and plan new adventures to avoid possible “post trail depression”.

“I will try to follow that advice. I guess when I return to Greenland in December I will have plenty of time during the dark winter to plan ahead for some new challenge.”

Ruth Aaqqiis body is still on trail time and she wakes up five’o’clock every morning and gets tired and want to go to bed around eight at night. She has also put on some weight now when the “machine” has stopped doing 20-30 km days.

Typical morning in a shelter. Ruth Aaqqii used shelters a lot in the south.

“I feel fine, but I’m kind of tired and need to lay down and rest when I have been out walking in town. I guess it’s my body taking its down-time.”

A friend in her home village Ittoqqortoormiit, on the East Coast of Greenland, pointed out that she has hiked almost the full length of Greenland (the length of Greenland north–south is about 2650 km).

The last two weeks of her hike was cold, wet and dark. But fiends stopped by and kept her company on the trail:

“When I arrived at Smygehuk, just a few meters from the finish, someone approached me from behind, waving a Danish flagg – it was Malene from Denmark, who had hiked with me on Bergslagsleden.

“She and her boyfriend had travelled to Smygehuk to be there when I finished! Taking a mini-vacation in the area.”

“It was such a surprise!”

Also, fellow thru hiker Peter Bergström caught up with Ruth Aaqqii by car twice during the last 8 kilometers, serving coffee and kanelbullar from his car in a village 4,5 kilometers before the end, just as he did for Kim Norberg, who finished her hike October 30th.

“He’s been incredible supportive to both of us, a fantastic Trail Angel!” says Ruth Aaqqii.

“I’ve met so many kind and inspiring people, both hikers and non-hikers, here in Sweden. A true gift of the trail!”



Kim’s struggling South on Via Suecia

It’s getting colder and darker. But Kim Norberg keeps hiking South on Via Suecia. She started her journey July 10th from Treriksröset together with her boyfriend Lukas Mayers. A few days ago she passed the 2 000 km-mark.


“Thinking back is strange, it makes more sense to think forward – think about the next km, the next hour, the next meal, the next camping spot and perhaps the” she wrote on her and Lukas Instagram account.

Via Suecia reach her Day 89 in Nora in the Örebro County.

“The first days after Lukas left were hard. We we had hiked all the way from Treriksröset to Grövelsjön, sharing joy and hardships. Now I was all alone.”

Kim Norberg hiked together with Lukas Mayers from Treriksröset to Grövelsjön.

“The season was over and there were hardly any hikers on the trail. On the Vasalopp’s Trail I didn’t meet a single person.”

“A lot of conflicting thoughts…”

The idea to hike Via Suecia started with the plan to hike the Green Ribbon last fall. During the planning Kim and Lukas saw a post on Facebook about the new national scenic trail.

“I joked to Lukas, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to hike all the way to Smygehuk?’”

Kim Norberg:

“The best experience has been all the people I have met along the trail. Especially other long distance hikers.”

In the fog on Aamere north of Skalmodal.

“The worst has often been the weather. When the weather is bad everything is bad. Or like the second day from Treriksröset when we were attacked by masses of mosquitos; we could hardly drink or eat, we were constantly attacked and had to hike in rain gear, even though it was + 25.”

Rainy days outside Björsjö (Nyfors) on the way to Kloten from Ludvika.

Kim Norberg is content with the gear. She sent her boots home almost immediately, as a extra pair of socks and a jumper

”Now I have the clothing I wear and the clothing I sleep in. That’s all. Often I hike in my shorts and my rain trousers.”

“With the colder weather and the rain I spend more days inside or in shelters and I really look forward to the rest days.”

At the 2 000 km-mark Kim Norberg had about a third (700 km) left to Smygehuk.

If she makes it all the way she will be the first Via Suecia SoBo thru hiker. 



Kim satsar på Via Suecia

I morgon startar Kim Norberg och hennes sambo Lukas Mayers sin vandring längs Gröna bandet. Om fötterna håller och lusten finns kvar tänker de fortsätta hela Via Suecia.

– Eftersom vi aldrig gått längre än två veckor så är det svårt att veta om vi ens klarar Gröna bandet, säger Kim Norberg.

Kim Norberg vid vandringens första mål: dörren till Grövelsjöns fjällstation.

Hon ser fram mot äventyr, vacker natur – och ”hiker’s hunger”:

”Det blir spännande att kunna äta hur mycket jag vill, men ändå gå ner i vikt,” säger Kim Norberg och skrattar.

Idén att gå Gröna bandet föddes i samband med en tvåveckors fjällvandring förra hösten. 

”I våras såg jag ett inlägg om Via Suecia. Då sa jag lite skämtsamt till Lukas: ’Det vore väl häftigt att gå ända ner till Smygehuk?’”

Om det blir verklighet får framtiden utvisa. Lukas Mayers, 23, måste hem och jobba efter Grövelsjön, men Kim Norberg, 25, är inställd på att gå så långt hon orkar efter det.

Kim Norberg började vandra 2016. Innan dess hade hon orienterat och klättrat. Tillsammans med Lukas Mayers – som växt upp med vandring och paddling i en Waldorfskola – har hon utvecklat utrustning och turer.

Kim och Lukas tillagar middag en kylig höstkväll i fjällen 2020

När de beger sig ut på Gröna bandet från Treriksröset ligger basvikten på cirka nio kilo.

”När jag började vandra vägde min packning tio kilo mer än vad den gör nu. Men jag är fortfarande inte i närheten av att ha någon ultralätt packning,” säger Kim Norberg.

Lukas och Kims packning inför Gröna Bandet (och eventuellt Via Suecia för Kim) .

”Jag tror att den här vandringen kommer att lära mig otroligt mycket, och det ser jag fram mot!”

Namn: Kim Norberg

Bor: i Sala med sambon Lukas Mayers

Vandringar jag minns: Vandringen i höstas mellan Nikkaluokta-Kvikkjokk, fantastiska höstfärger och vyer, och otroligt trevligt sällskap. Samt vandringen augusti 2018 mellan Kebnekaise-Abisko där jag vandrade en vecka på egen hand i fjällen – en intressant upplevelse att bara ha sitt egna sällskap. 

Vandringar jag vill göra: Nordkalottleden, Norge på langs samt i Sydamerika på hög höjd. 

När jag inte vandrar: Hittar på vardagsäventyr med Lukas, geocachar, klättrar ibland, drömmer och planerar nya äventyr.

Favoritpryl: Oj, svårt! Jag kommer nog säga min GPS-klocka – den har i princip allt. Karta, kompass, tider för solupp/nedgång, klocka… 

Namn: Lukas Mayers

Bor: med Kim Norberg 

Vandringar jag minns: Sylarna 2020, när vi gick tre dagar i stormvindar och spöregn.

Vandringar jag vill göra: Någonstans i Alperna och i Sydamerika. 

När jag inte vandrar: Cyklar mountainbike, bygger kanot, klättrar ibland och Kim hittar på äventyrliga saker med mig.

Favoritpryl: Min nya HMG-väska. 

First Via Suecia-hiker is off

On Swedens’s National Day Constantin Hauzeneder from Munich, Germany, took the bus from Trelleborg to Smygehuk to start his thru hike of Via Suecia.

This probably means he will be the first hiker thru hiking Via Suecia – The Swedish Trail.

Boredom in the small home office in the flat in Munich helped Constantin Hauzeneder to take the final decision: to make a long distance hike from Munich to the North Cape.

From the beginning the plan was to hike the Continental Divide Trail in the US, but Covid 19 stopped that, too. “I just wanted to get out of my flat and have some adventure and see some scenery,” he says.

The 33–year old system administrator from Munich is no stranger to hiking. He has done several hikes in Germany and section hiked the Pyrenees last October. But the one and two week hikes haven’t satisfied his hunger for more adventure.“I always wanted to stay out longer and go further,” he says.

Now he has been out hiking since April 1st, making his own route 1600 km’s through Germany. “It’s been a great experience. You kind of check out from normal life and just live very simple and in the moment.”

Covid 19 has been a problem along the route, though. Because of restrictions there hasn’t been so many places for Constantin Hauzeneder to rest. He has kept going and going, doing almost 40 km days, hiking for one and a half months with only one rest days.

That led to an injury (shin splints) recently and two and a half weeks off trail. “My aim is to go slower and take more rests along the way in Sweden,” he says.

After the start in Smygehuk Constantin Hauzeneder will hike to Gothenburg on the E1 trail, then continue north on the Via Suecia. Technically you could argue he’s not doing the whole of Via Suecia, but just like CDT there is not a single trail taking you north, there is a MAZE of trails. Also the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is full of alternates and detours (often due to fire).

“I’m really looking forward to the wilderness part,” says Constantin Hauzeneder. “I enjoy places where there are no civilization. That’s totally new for me.”

Even though self–chosen solitude is part of the fascination with a thru hike, Constantin Hauzeneder has also been amazed by the social part of thru hiking:

“I have met a lot of friendly people along the way, putting me up for the night, washing my clothes and helping me in other ways.”

You can follow Constantin Hauzeneder on his blog or on Instagram

He expects to be at Treriksröset around September 9 and at the North Cape September 25, finishing a 5050 km hike.

Happy Trails, Constantin!