Last Updated on: 21st November 2023, 11:44 pm
This Sunday, August 6th, saw the successful completion of the third annual “The Long Trek 2023” – Sweden’s longest hike for people with diverse abilities. The journey, which began in Berga By in Sälen on Saturday, July 29th, saw around 30 participants reach the Vasalopp Portal in Mora.
The route was made possible thanks to modern technology, with hikers using manual wheelchairs, all-terrain rollators from Trionic, and off-road electric wheelchairs from Zoom. Additionally, GPS tracking through the company Nordic Evolution enabled even blind hiker Knut Thorstensson to keep up with the group.
Knut commented, “The physical aspect hasn’t been a problem. Just having walked the Vasalopp Trail feels incredibly fun. One would like to take on this challenge again.”
The journey wasn’t without its challenges, as Knut pointed out: “One can observe that there have been many mosquitoes. Then the rain mostly came during the night or in the morning. After that, it’s been nice in the afternoon. Sometimes it has also rained while we were eating. But that’s the Swedish summer for you.”
Anders Andrae, the founder of “The Long Trek” initiative, commented: “We are nothing but completely satisfied. There’s no other way to be.”
The Vasalopp Trail was set up to honour the memory of Gustav Vasa, who 400 years ago captured the imagination of the people of Dalarna with his daring escape from the Danish King Christian II in the 1500s. Today, the race is still a major success, and the yearly hike for disabled is a testament to its enduring legacy.