PCT – 4 months later


To all of you who reads this blog: Happy new year! A whole month has already passed of this new year and I hope that you haven’t forgot about your new year resolution already and fallen back into your old habits. I really love occasions as new year when you can take time to have a look at your life and think about wether you live it the way you want to or not. If there’s anything you would like to change or do differently. Letting the new year be the push that you might need to take the decision to try something new.

New Year is also a time when you can look back over the year that’s passed and be grateful. Grateful for all the good moments you’ve had but also for the strength you’ve found inside yourself to get through the ones that was bad. I hope that regardless how your 2016 was, that what you experienced learned you something about yourself and how you want to live. Something that can make your future better.

What’s been the highlight for me in 2016 might not be that hard to guess. My hike along the Pacific Crest Trail has been an amazing experience and challenge, both physical and mental. Last Sunday it was exactly four months since I landed back in Sweden after my big adventure, four months that has passed incredibly fast. I can still remember many of my days on the trail as it was yesterday. Moments can pop up in my head where I can remember exactly how it was, what I saw and what I heard. What I was thinking. I remember how me and the two people I was hiking with the last days started to retell our story on the trail from day one. It turned out that we could recall every single day from the beginning. Almost six months back in time! Today I can hardly remember what I did last week, but out there you’re so present and all impressions are so strong that they’ll stay in your mind for long.

Knife’s Edge in Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington, one of my favorite places on the trail.

But it’s not just the memories that I take with me from the trail. The time I had by myself up in the mountains and forests gave me time to think, wonder, analyze and to reflect. Over and over again. I thought a lot of my life. Where I’ve been, where I was and where I wanted. What was important to me, what made me happy and how I could act to get more of that, but also what made me feel bad and how to avoid putting myself in that kind of situations. Those reflections started a process in me, a process that I now understand is still going on.

About a week ago, I got asked how I see my life in five to ten years. I’ve always had a very clear picture of my life where career, home and family has been in focus and also been part of some kind of plan. Now when I got this question, I suddenly felt that this was no longer relevant for me. I no longer want to have a plan for the future that I will stubbornly hold on to. I would rather focus on living in the moment, right here and right now. Let life take me where it wants to takes me. I want to be open for new experiences and dreams without having to worry about wether they gonna risk ”my plan” or not. A danger with plans is also that we tend to hold on the them without questioning if the dream we’re hunting really still is a dream or not. Life takes so exciting turns and you will always discover new things. Why stay on the highway instead of examining where all the back roads can take you? Why let everything be decided? I want to dance along with my life and let it take the lead, take me where it wants to. I want to fill it with things to remember and tell stories about. I want to discover things I had no idea that I would learn to love. In about five to ten years I hope that I did not take the safe road and instead danced along with my life to a place that I can not yet imagine. And that the dance is still going on. That I’ll continue to explore the back roads.

If I had stucked to my plan to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail by myself, I had never gotten to know these amazing people that I now call family.

 – 

Finding the courage to take those back roads, to try new stuff and to believe in myself is also something the trail has helped me with. In the wilderness I constantly faced new obstacles that usually meant that I had to challenge my fears and do things I rather wouldn’t. There was simply no other option. It could be to cross a wild stream on a narrow and slippery log 10 feet up in the air, even though I’m extremely afraid of heights and have a bad balance. It could also be to cross a section of snow on the side of a mountain, where stumbling could result in a long and steep fall down the side of it. Even if the voice inside my head many times said no, I had no other choice than to ignore it, say yes and keep on walking. And every time I felt both stronger and prouder of myself afterwards.

To challenge our fears is one of the best thing we can do, I think. It makes us grow as people and it also gives us better self-confidence and self-esteem. It makes us believe in ourselves and that we can handle the situation whatever might happen, which in turn leads to that we feel calmer and safer in life.

The trail has also thought me to stay calm even if something doesn’t works out as supposed to. I got asked in a radio interview this christmas, what I did if something unpredictable happened on the trail. For example if my sleeping pad would break in the middle of nowhere. I first felt that the question was a bit odd, it’s just to get a new one next time you’re in town, I thought. But after thinking about it, I could understand the question. We are so scared about not feeling completely safe, to not be one hundred percent covered with not only one backup plan but several. We have insurances for most things in life, we sign contracts for almost everything. We don’t sell our apartment till we have secured our next place to live and we don’t even end our relationships till we found a new partner before we dare to change anything. But in the wilderness there are no guarantees, nothing to hold on to. The only thing to do is to trust yourself and that you can deal with whatever happens. The trail will take you where it wants to so it’s just to follow and make the best of the situation. If your sleeping pad would break it’s nothing to worry about. It’s not about life and death. You’ll have to sleep on the ground for a couple of days. There’s no danger, you’ll survive.

A little more than a month after my hike was over, I stood up on the second largest stage at the Swedish Photo Fair and spoke infront of over a hundred people about my hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. When I was offered to do this I immediately said yes, even though the voices inside my head loud and clearly yelled ”no, no no!!!”. But I said yes and I did it. It went well and I even enjoyed it! Since then, a lot of situations like that has turned up where I’ve said yes without really thinking it through. And I like it! It’s things that I think I deep inside want to do, but that I without this hike might never had the courage to say yes to. The hike has given me strength to dare, even when it feels scary and also to believe in myself.


In 2017, I’ve promised myself that I will keep doing all this stuff that has already given me so much. I want to spend more time in the wilderness and I want to set out on new adventures. I wanna keep working to inspire people to believe in their dreams and to help them find the courage to make them become real. My next trip will be to the Sälen Mountains in the middle of Sweden in about a week and in the beginning of April I will participate in Fjällräven Polar, a 300 kilometer dog sled adventure through the very north of Sweden! Later this year I have another bigger adventure coming up that I will soon present. It’s gonna be a real challenge and adventure and all I can say right now is that it’s gonna take this thing to a whole other level… As I said, keep your eyes open, more info coming soon!

I will also have an exhibition with my photographs from the Pacific Crest Trail and travel with parts of it around Sweden and also talk about my hike along the trail. More info about this is also coming soon.

So when it comes to my new year resolution, or should I say resolutions, I promise myself to say yes to things I don’t really dare, expose myself to scary situations, dare to take chances, let go and dance a long – let my life take me where it wants to.

Are you with me?

To the future!

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... is Linda Åkerberg. I'm a 32 years old photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Read more about me here

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I dit it! Lobuche Peak, 6119m ✔️❤️ One thing that I've learned through my adventures is how much of our physical strength that is actually mental. We think that we can't do something and therefor we can't. We give up before we have even tried. If we only would dare to try we would be surprised how much we're actually capable of.

One thing that I really wanted to do during my trip to Nepal was climbing a mountain. I picked Lobuche Peak at 6119m, just around the corner from Everest. I had never climbed such a big mountain before, but I really wanted to give it a try.

Unfortunately, 5 weeks before my trip started I had to go through surgery for cervical cell changes. It was not a big thing, but I was told I wasn't aloud to do any kind of training the before my trip in order for my body to heal properly.

This was of course devastating for me. To be able to handle the lower amount of oxygen over 6000m I was in the middle of a really intense workout schedule.  Now I had to stop.

I asked myself what should I do. Should I cancel the plans of climbing the mountain and forget about my dream? I decided not to. I wanted to see how far my own will could take me up the mountain even if I wasn't in the best physical shape.

And this morning I got the answer - my will took me all the way to the top! Such an amazing feeling standing there realizing how much I'm actually capable of, just if I put my mind to it! 💥
The view from this mornings climb to Kala Patthar, 5550 m, was totally amazing! A 360 view over all the peaks around during the time of sunrise. 
In this pic: one of my absolute favorites, Ama Dablam. ❤️ A good advice for all of you planning doing Kala Patthar yourself: dress warm and don't forget extra warm socks and gloves. It's freezing before the sun hits you (which might take a while since it rises behind the highest mountain in the world)!
I made it!!! 💟
All the way from Jiri through the Nepalese jungle, up and pass Lukla and finally through the rocky landscape to Everest Base Camp at 5364m! This i did all on my own, without any help from porters or guides or even the company of friends. 12 days, 182 km and I don't now how many meters of altitudes in total. Feel so proud and happy right now! ❤️💪 But my adventure isn't over yet. Tomorrow I will climb Kala Patthar and the day after that I'll head up to Lobuche high camp from where I will attempt to summit the over 6000m Lobuche Peak! Check out my Instagram story feed to see how it goes! 😘
Today I felt the altitude in a bad way for the first time. After reaching the village of Lobuche my head started aching real bad, but after some rest, water and a short hike up to higher altitude and then back down again I felt much better! It's amazing how your body can adapt if you just gives it time. ❤️
Pic from the short hike with rests of the Khumbu Glacier in the background.
Tomorrow I'm heading up for base camp! 🏔️
Today I walked higher than I ever been before, up to 5090m! Everything went well (even though it was hard) and it feels very good since Everest Base Camp is "only" about 274 m higher!
Now I'm back in Dingboche at 4400m. The hike today was part of the acclimatizing process where you slowly expose your body to higher altitudes. By going up, then back down again your body will find it easier next time you go higher.
Pic from the top of the climb today with views over Ama Dablam.
Today's hike up to Dingboche was very different than the hike yesterday. The clouds were low, the rain kept pouring down and the huge mountains that's surrounds me did not show all. But it was still so beautiful!
As the trail kept getting higher and higher, the landscape changed as well, from green rhododendron forests to rocky and sandy with less and less vegetation. It certainly feels that I'm getting higher. Now at 4400m I'm close to higher than I ever been before.
These guys are so strong. I sometimes struggling with my 15 kg+ back pack (even though I start to get use to it by now) but the porters here carry well over 50 kg, often walking in just plain sandals.
It makes me think about how worried we westerners are about weight and that we have "the right" kind of gear. It seems pretty clear that what you have works just fine - so don't let the lack of proper gear stopping you from getting out in nature!
Getting up early is definitely something that will be rewarding at the Everest Base Camp Trek. You will get clear skies = beautiful views before the clouds comes in, the temperature will be cooler and you can also get the trail for yourself if you're lucky!
Today's hike up to Tengboche was really something else, this is hiking at its best! ☀️
The Everest Base Camp Trek is hiked by tens of thousands each year. The trail between Jiri and Lukla only by a thousand. And it really was something else. I didn't meet many hikers at all, but one of the days I was happy to get company by this cutie. She followed me for hours before she suddenly decided to go back to where she came from. A man told me she use to follow hikers to make sure they not get lost. ❤️

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