• Sweden's news in English

How I climbed Sweden's highest mountain - with a wheelchair

8 Aug 2013, 15:10

Published: 08 Aug 2013 15:10 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Aron Anderson is not your typical 25-year-old. After losing the use of his legs as a child when surgeons removed a tumour from his lower back, the Swede turned to exploration and tales of inspiration.

When writing a book on that exact topic, he met a like-minded adventurer and explorer in Johan Ernst Nilson and the pair decided to team up and climb the 2,106-metre high Kebnekaise. What followed was a three-day trek of endurance, impressive arm strength, and inspiration.

"Reaching the top was awesome. I was lost for words, just sitting up there," Anderson tells The Local.

IN PICTURES: Follow Aron on his climb to the top

But climbing the mountain in far northern Sweden wasn't as important to Anderson as being the first, he explains.

"It's always special to be the first to do something. If something hasn't been done, you don't know if it's possible. It's like the four-minute mile - no one believed it could be done until Roger Bannister did it, now people break the four-minute mark all the time."

But the climb was no easy task, and despite the climb itself being "not dangerous but just really tough", Anderson had to train hard in preparation.

"I did a lot of work on my fitness beforehand," he explains, adding that he wasn't sitting in his wheelchair during the entire climb.

"I can kind of stand on my legs, but they're very weak - so during the climb I was using crutches, my arms, I was even crawling a bit, anything really to get me to the top."

"There are so many rocks up there, from loose little rocks to much larger ones. These were a big challenge for me, I had to be really careful where I put down my crutches so the stones wouldn't dislodge."

But the rocks weren't the only challenge. Bad weather meant the trip, which usually takes people 12 to 14 hours, was delayed halfway through by 24 hours. Altogether, the climbers spent three days on the mountain, with 28 walking hours.

So, with the Kebnekaise trek done and dusted, what's next for the motivational mountaineer?

"My next goal is probably to win a medal at the Paralympics in Rio - my events are the marathon and the 1500 metre run," he told The Local.

SEE ALSO: A list of The Local's past Swedes of the Week

Story continues below…

And what about the next mountain? Everest perhaps?

"That's crazy," he responds with a laugh. "But it would be really cool to get to base camp. We'll see. Someone's got to be the first, I guess."

Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who - for good or ill - has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available