Tours › 2013 › Abisko: Day Tours › 28/9

Saturday 28/9

Stage map 28/9

Gohpasjohka caves

Horizontal distance:3 km
Vertical distance:+140 m, -140 m
Time:4 h 15 min
Lunch break: 30 min
Night accommodation:
Stage classification:Medium (comment)
Distance figures do not include the journeys through the caves, nor the road transport.

The minivan was parked halfway up to the hotel in Björkliden, and we set off on foot at 10. The air held a distinct chill so I put the cap on from the start, as well as the gloves. We walked back along the car road, passing under the railroad, and then turned right onto a bushy path that soon led along the tracks. These we crossed and then continued to Gohpasjohka, and all the while Mia the guide spoke about the area.

Railroad 1
Along the railroad...
Group 1
...we walked for a bit
Cave 1
Lower Gohpasjohka cave

The path then started to climb beside the stream, which displayed an intriguing series of carved-out niches and falls in a canyon – something out of a fairy tale. The forest was almost completely leafless, owing both to the insect assault and the time of year, and everything just felt cold, but in a refreshing way. A steep section caused some internal warmth to manifest, and then we came out onto a larger path with markings, which led up to the entrance to the upper cave system, in the brink of the stream just above the canyon.

Gohpasjohka 1
Fairy-tale Gohpasjohka
Björkliden 1
Gohpasjohka 2
More of Gohpasjohka
Defense position 1
WWII defense position
Autumn 1
Trio of survivors
Gohpasjohka 3
At the entrance

Here we stopped to put on the cave gear – necessary due to the wetness and darkness – and then started the descent. The opening was little more than a narrow hole straight down into the ground, and getting inside involved using the walls to lower ourselves down. The next step was even "worse", but grips and footings were easily found, and soon we were all in the space called Silversalen (Silver Hall), so named because of its glittery roof. From there we followed the underground stream – in it, in fact – further down into the belly of the mountain. It was rather wet, and in some places required a fair bit of agility, but it was also a very cool experience.

Cave 2
Down we go
Cave 3
In the Silver Hall
Cave 4
Walking and crawling...
Cave 5 the underground stream

After a particularly crowded passage we came down to Blå fallen (Blue Falls), where we stopped since the continuation is made up of a water trap, and then returned up along another passage called Olas gång (Ola's Passage) where small stalactites are under formation. From there we had to backtrack a bit to get back to the Silver Hall, and then climbed up the impossible-looking steps to ground level.

Cave 6
Blue Falls
Cave 7
Cave 8
Up we come

The time was 12:30 as we emerged into full sunlight, and we sat down for lunch in the warmth. There was another visit planned, however, so soon the gear went back on and we entered (walking this time) through another opening a short bit further downstream. This passage consisted of smooth, rounded vertical walls, with another stream running along the floor. We proceeded to a place where a waterfall came splashing down from the side and stopped there – except Magnus who burst through just for the heck of it.

Sun 1
When we emerged...
Sun 2
...the sun was shining
Cave 9
Waterfall in the way
Cave 10
Same one, slow shutter
Cave 11

Back in the outside world the excess clothing was removed, and then we set off down along the larger path (an actual trail, it was). It was clear and nice, but still chilly in the air, and the slant was felt in knees and legs. As the trees gave way grand views opened up, with shining snow upon a whole range of peaks in the distance. We walked through the skiing area and came back to the parking lot at 14:15, where we loaded ourselves into the minivan. The tour wasn't quite over yet, however, for on the way back we stopped at Silverfallet (Silver Fall) – the lowest part of Rákkasjohka. This high fall throws itself sideways into a deep and very narrow gorge, and the whole scene was a very beautiful and impressive one – a perfect ending to a great day.

Group 2
Returning down
Magnus 1
Photography photography
Group 3
Nearing Björkliden
Lapporten 3
Lapporten from above...
Silverfallet 1

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