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Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
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The glaciers of the Ålkatj massif

The Ålkatj massif from SE The Ålkatj massif from SE, July 24, 1989. (69 kB)

The Ålkatj massif is a large and extensive high mountain massif between Alkavagge and Sarvesvagge in western Sarek. It has a number of high, but somewhat more gently sculpted peaks, the highest of which is Akkatjåkkå (1974 m). The massif is split by the valleys Neitarieppvagge and Akkavagge. The Ålkatj massif contains 19 to 25 glaciers, depending on how you count, including the largest glacier complex of Sweden.

Table over the glaciers of the Ålkatj massif with basic data

# Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
1. Sarvesjekna Cirque glacier 0.51 1.2 1255 1580 325
2. Kalmejekna Cirque glacier 0.82 1.3 1215 1620 405
3. Skaitejekna Valley glacier 0.97 1.6 1245 1685 440
4. Ritajekna Glacier complex 3.73 3.7 1100 1735 635
4a. of which Neitajekna Valley glacier 0.59 1.3 1250 1530 280
4b. of which Ritajekna Valley glacier 3.14 3.4 1100 1735 635
5. David Nygrens glaciär Ice cap 0.28 0.6 1410 1690 280
6. Norra Sadelbergsglaciären Valley glacier 0.64 1.6 1330 1695 365
7. Södra Sadelbergsglaciären Ice cap 0.24 0.6 1490 1830 340
8. Årjep Akkatjåkkåjekna Ice cap 0.14 0.5 1740 1960 220
9. Nuortap Akkatjåkkåjekna Ice cap 0.22 0.9 1700 1930 230
10. Lulep Akkatjåkkåjekna Cirque glacier 0.11 0.4 1310 1575 265
11. Akkajekna Glacier complex 7.22 6.3 1020 1890 870
11a. of which Nuortap Akkajekna Valley glacier 3.05 3.0 1110 1610 500
11b. of which Årjep Akkajekna Valley glacier 3.22 4.2 1020 1890 870
11c. of which Ritanjunjesjekna Cirque glacier 0.95 0.7 1250 1545 295
12. Lulep Ritatjåkkåjekna Ice cap 0.12 0.5 1510 1725 215
13. Kaska Ritatjåkkåjekna Ice cap 0.21 0.6 1650 1850 200
14. Alep Ritatjåkkåjekna Cirque glacier 0.34 0.9 1410 1740 330
15. Skårvajekna Valley glacier 0.96 1.9 1120 1615 495
16. Nuortap Ålkatj-jekna Ice cap 1.23 1.8 1160 1640 480
17. Ålkatj-jekna Glacier complex 17.38 7.4 1000 1745 745
17a. of which Skårvatjåkkåjekna Ice cap 0.87 1.5 1435 1745 310
17b. of which Årjep Ålkatj-jekna Ice cap 7.44 4.8 1105 1690 585
17c. of which Jåkåtjkaskajekna Ice cap 7.18 4.5 1000 1590 590
17d. of which Kanalbergsglaciären Ice cap 1.89 1.6 1410 1700 290
18. Axel Hambergs glaciär Ice cap 0.32 0.8 1470 1550 80
19. Tielmajekna Cirque glacier 0.16 0.4 1300 1500 200
Total 35.60


1. Sarvesjekna

Sarvesjekna (0.51 km2) is a cirque glacier in the westernmost Ålkatj massif.


2. Kalmejekna

Kalmejekna (0.82 km2) is a fairly large cirque glacier in western Ålkatj massif.


3. Skaitejekna

Skaitejekna (0.97 km2) is a small valley glacier west of Skaitetjåkkå in the Ålkatj massif.


4. Ritajekna

Ritajekna (3.73 km2) is a glacier complex consisting of two parts: Neitajekna and Ritajekna.

4a. Neitajekna

Neitajekna (0.59 km2) is the part of the valley glacier complex flowing towards Alkavagge. The glacier seems to be relatively free of crevasses. The glacier pass leading to Ritajekna has an altitude of ca 1435 m.

4b. Ritajekna

Ritajekna and Alep Ritatjåkkåjekna from 
Palkattjåkkå Ritajekna and Alep Ritatjåkkåjekna from Palkattjåkkå, August 17, 1994. (58 kB)

Ritajekna (3.14 km2) is a valley glacier west of Ritatjåkkå, continuos with Neitajekna via a glacier pass (1435 m). The pass leading to Årjep Akkajekna is ice-free and lies at 1480 m. Ritajekna has some crevasse zones, and has in its retreat left a large number of small moraine ridges (possibly annual). The middle part of the north contour is incorrectly plotted on the mountain map.


5. David Nygrens glaciär

David Nygrens glaciär from 
NE David Nygrens glaciär from NE, August 3, 1998. (49 kB)

David Nygrens glaciär (0.28 km2) is a small ice cap north of David Nygrens toppar. Because of its steepness it has some crevasses.


6. Norra Sadelbergsglaciären

Norra Sadelbergsglaciären (0.64 km2) is a small valley glacier west of Akkatjåkkå.


7. Södra Sadelbergsglaciären

Södra Sadelbergsglaciären (0.24 km2) is a steeply sloping ice cap on the south slope of Sadelberget. Previously during the 20th century it was continuos with Årjep Akkajekna.


8. Årjep Akkatjåkkåjekna

Årjep Akkatjåkkåjekna (0.14 km2) is a small ice cap on the south slope of Akkatjåkkå. It reaches almost to the summit.


9. Nuortap Akkatjåkkåjekna

Nuortap Akkatjåkkåjekna (0.22 km2) is a small ice cap on Akkatjåkkå with an ice cliff towards Nuortap Akkajekna, where ice sometimes may avalanche down.


10. Lulep Akkatjåkkåjekna

Lulep Akkatjåkkåjekna 
from E Lulep Akkatjåkkåjekna from E, August 3, 1998. (46 kB)

Lulep Akkatjåkkåjekna (0.11 km2) is a tiny, but evidently healthy cirque glacier on the east side of Akkatjåkkå. It is rather heavily crevassed.


11. Akkajekna

Akkajekna (7.22 km2) is a glacier complex consisting of three parts: Nuortap Akkajekna, Årjep Akkajekna, and Ritanjunjesjekna. It is also the most used glacier pass in Sarek, with a famous wind channel at the very pass point (that is, Akkavagge). This glacier complex should not be confused with the considerably smaller cirque glacier with the same name in the Akka massif.

11a. Nuortap Akkajekna

Nuortap Akkajekna from N Nuortap Akkajekna from N, July 22, 1989. (69 kB)

Nuortap Akkajekna (3.05 km2) is a mid-sized valley glacier in the northern part of Akkavagge. The glacier pass going through the 900 m long and 35 m deep wind channel, leading to Årjep Akkajekna has an altitude of ca 1425 m. By another pass with the height 1465 m you can get to Kanalbergsglaciären in Ålkatj-jekna, and a third pass to Norra Sadelbergsglaciären at 1635 m is possible.

Nuortap Akkajekna from Axel Hambergs 
topp Nuortap Akkajekna from Axel Hambergs topp, August 3, 1998. (90 kB)

The usual route along the eastern side is relatively free of crevasses, but there are substantial crevasse zones in the western part; almost an icefall.

11b. Årjep Akkajekna

Årjep Akkajekna from S Årjep Akkajekna from S, July 22, 1989. (40 kB)

Årjep Akkajekna (3.22 km2) is a pretty large valley glacier in southern Akkavagge. The common route through Akkavagge leads up along the eastern part of the glacier, and through the wind channel (1425 m) down to Nuortap Akkajekna.

The upper part of Årjep Akkajekna 
with Södra Sadelbergsglaciären and the wind channel The upper part of Årjep Akkajekna with Södra Sadelbergsglaciären and the wind channel, July 22, 1989. (139 kB)

Another pass towards Ritajekna lies at ca 1480 m, and there is a possible connection to Jåkåtjkaskajekna to the east (1530 m). The northern limit of the accumulation area is incorrectly plotted on the mountain map.

Årjep Akkajekna etc. from 
Palkattjåkkå Årjep Akkajekna etc. from Palkattjåkkå, August 17, 1994. (65 kB)

Årjep Akkajekna has a long sharp medial moraine going all the way up to Sadelberget, and is usually considered a fairly crevasse-free glacier. Södra Sadelbergsglaciären was earlier in the century continuos with Årjep Akkajekna.

11c. Ritanjunjesjekna

Ritanjunjesjekna (0.95 km2) is a wide and short cirque glacier continuos with Årjep Akkajekna.


12. Lulep Ritatjåkkåjekna

Lulep Ritatjåkkåjekna (0.12 km2) is a small ice cap having an ice cliff towards Årjep Akkajekna, where possibly ice avalanches down sometimes.


13. Kaska Ritatjåkkåjekna

Kaska Ritatjåkkåjekna (0.21 km2) is a small ice cap on the southeast slope of Ritatjåkkå. It is not plotted on the mountain map.


14. Alep Ritatjåkkåjekna

Alep Ritatjåkkåjekna (0.34 km2) is a cirque glacier on the south side of Ritatjåkkå. It seems to have few crevasses.


15. Skårvajekna

Skårvajekna (0.96 km2) is a small valley glacier north of Skårvatjåkkå. It has some crevasse zones.


16. Nuortap Ålkatj-jekna

Nuortap Ålkatj-jekna from 
N Nuortap Ålkatj-jekna from N, August 4, 1998. (41 kB)

Nuortap Ålkatj-jekna (1.23 km2) is an ice cap on the north side of Ålkatj. Previously it was continuos with Ålkatj-jekna.


17. Ålkatj-jekna

Ålkatj-jekna from 
Snavvavagge Ålkatj-jekna from Snavvavagge, July 29, 1989. (114 kB)

Ålkatj-jekna (17.38 km2) is the largest glacier complex (= continuos glacier area as a whole in Sweden) in Sweden. It consists of four parts: Skårvatjåkkåjekna, Årjep Ålkatj-jekna, Jåkåtjkaskajekna, and Kanalbergsglaciären.

17a. Skårvatjåkkåjekna

Skårvatjåkkåjekna (0.87 km2) is an ice cap on the east side of Skårvatjåkkå. It seems to be almost entirely free of crevasses, and has a glacier pass at ca 1570 m leading to Årjep Ålkatj-jekna.

17b. Årjep Ålkatj-jekna

Årjep Ålkatj-jekna from 
W Årjep Ålkatj-jekna from W, August 3, 1998. (104 kB)

Årjep Ålkatj-jekna (7.44 km2) is a large ice cap in a shallow depression between Ålkatj and Axel Hambergs topp. In its lower part it is continuos with Jåkåtjkaskajekna, contrary to what the mountain map shows. The "ice-free" area there separating them is actually ice covered by a large amount of boulders. Even the on the map separate glacier beneath "topp" in "Axel Hambergs topp" is a part of Årjep Ålkatj-jekna; the "border" between them is a wide medial moraine. Årjep Ålkatj-jekna is pretty free of crevasses, and also seems to be in part subpolar, if to a lesser extent than its southern neighbor.

Årjep Ålkatj-jekna and 
the ice lake from Axel Hambergs topp Årjep Ålkatj-jekna and the ice lake from Axel Hambergs topp, August 3, 1998. (58 kB)

In its upper parts Årjep Ålkatj-jekna is pretty lobate, and one of the "lobes" extends down into a high ice lake (1470 m). From there you can get down into Akkavagge via a pass at ca 1495 m. Another glacier pass to the north at 1570 m leads to Skårvatjåkkåjekna.

The ice cliff of Årjep 
Ålkatj-jekna The ice cliff of Årjep Ålkatj-jekna, August 3, 1998. (87 kB)

There is also an about 25 m high and 400 m long ice cliff, which however seems to have its origin as much as a wind channel as from calving (it is sheer even where not extending into the water).

17c. Jåkåtjkaskajekna

The snout of 
Jåkåtjkaskajekna The snout of Jåkåtjkaskajekna, August 3, 1998. (65 kB)

Jåkåtjkaskajekna (7.18 km2) is a large ice cap between Axel Hambergs topp and Tielma. It flows down rather low with a steep tongue. The glacier is continuos with Årjep Ålkatj-jekna in its northern part, even if the mountain map says something else. In the middle part, just south of "al" in "nationalpark", the mountain map is on the other hand too generous, since a wedge of rock has melted into visibilty where the map shows glacier.

The slushy surface of 
Jåkåtjkaskajekna The slushy surface of Jåkåtjkaskajekna, August 3, 1998. (124 kB)

From Jåkåtjkaskajekna you can get down into Akkavagge in two places: to the northwest past the ice lake at Kanalbergsglaciären (1465 m) and to the southwest through the pass between Kanalberget and Tielmatjåkkå (1530 m). Jåkåtjkaskajekna seems to be almost entirely free of crevasses, but is still arduos to get across, since during summer most of the glacier is covered by a 2-5 dm deep layer of slush.

Jåkåtjkaskajekna from Axel 
Hambergs topp Jåkåtjkaskajekna from Axel Hambergs topp, August 3, 1998. (143 kB)

This is probably due to that Jåkåtjkaskajekna is subpolar, that is, the entire mass of ice not even in summer being warmed up to 0 degrees. This results in water from melting snow trickling down into deeper layers of cold snow and refreezing, thereby stopping all internal drainage. Then the meltwater can only run off on the surface - and meltwater streams are common on Jåkåtjkaskajekna - but when the slope is too gentle the water just accumulates in the remaining snow, turning it into - exactly, slush.

Crevasse on 
Jåkåtjkaskajekna Crevasse on Jåkåtjkaskajekna, August 3, 1998. (103 kB)

Jåkåtjkaskajekna is basically very poor in crevasses, but they exist. Stereo image of a crevasse on the snout of Jåkåtjkaskajekna.

17d. Kanalbergsglaciären

Kanalbergsglaciären and its ice 
lake from Axel Hambergs topp Kanalbergsglaciären and its ice lake from Axel Hambergs topp, August 3, 1998. (64 kB)

Kanalbergsglaciären (1.89 km2) is an ice cap ending in an ice lake at 1410 m. From there you can get down into Akkavagge to Nuortap Akkajekna, or eastwards over to Jåkåtjkaskajekna via the glacier pass at 1465 m. The glacier seems to be basically free of crevasses, but is just as slushy as its eastern nerighbor.


18. Axel Hambergs glaciär

Axel Hambergs glaciär (0.32 km2) is a small ice cap right to the east of Axel Hambergs topp. Previously it has been continuos with Ålkatj-jekna.


19. Tielmajekna

Tielmajekna (0.16 km2) is a small cirque glacier on the east side of Tielma.


Start page Top
Top of
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Previous
The glaciers of the
Lanjek massif
Up
The glaciers of
Sarek
Next
The glaciers of the
Äpar massif
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Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
Images with size information (xx kB) leads to the corresponding image in 4 x better resolution.