Tours › 2009 › Aktse › 27/3

Friday 27/3

Stage map 27/3

Aktse – Sitojaure

Horizontal distance:15 km
Vertical distance:-40 m, +400 m, -280 m
Time:4 h
Lunch break: 45 min
Dinner:Arctic char and potatoes
Night accommodation:Cottage
Stage classification:Easy
Map points:Aktse, Svine, Sitojaure

It was cloudy in the half-early morning, but after I got up for real later on it started breaking up, and there was no wind. I fired up the heater while the Austrians prepared to leave, and then had a calm breakfast. After speaking some with Carl outside in the nice weather – the clearing process had gone quite far already, and the sun had come out – I packed up and cleaned up, and then returned outside for some more conversation. I did the last few things that needed doing and then said my goodbye, starting down the slope in the warming sun well before 10.

While having the large rucksack on was quite the change from my day tours the fit was good, and I quickly got used to its presence. Something else which was quick to arrive was the feeling of warmth as I went up the trail, but it never got even a little uncomfortable. The waviness remained, though, apart from the steeper portion in the middle where it was hard-packed instead, which made me lose my grip a few times. As the trees grew more sparse the wind grew stronger, but it was by no means strong as such. Looking back an ominous persistent cloud bank off to the south was now slowly releasing its hold, letting both parts of Tjaktjajávrre into view, but the best conditions were, surprisingly enough, to be found in over Sarek.

Just as I cleared the trees the sun passed into cloud, and I stopped to remove the climbing skins. Two snowmobiles passed me by as I did so, and when I got going again I found the snow to be harder than expected, giving rather bad grip, so I stayed off the packed tracks as much as possible. After zigzagging my way up onto the crest of the long slope things improved, and I returned to the trail proper. The southerly wind was on the increase, and I could hear (but not yet see) minute amounts of snow rushing over the surface.

I proceeded at a calm pace, not having any time to meet, and as I started descending the drifting snow was substantial enough to be registered visually. On the last crest where I had turned back on my first Sitojaure attempt back in February the wind was keen indeed, and the way down from there was tricky due to the hardness and unevenness of the snow (not to mention the predilection of the surface towards breaking), but it got softer further down – and at the foot of the slope the wind suddenly died down. I continued to a rock at the uppermost few trees, where I decided to have my lunch some time before 11:45.

Sign 1
an organization with high aims
Rapadalen 8
Last sight of Rapadalen
Trail 1
Hill 4
Hazy southeast
Tjaktjajávrre 4
Lighter over Tjaktjajávrre
Trail 2
Tjahkkelij disappearing
Ávtsusjvágge 1
Fjelds 1
...and the eastern lowlands
Mártevárásj 1
Fjelds 2
At the lunch spot
Fjelds 3
Slight light

It was mostly still at first, but after a while a certain wind made itself known. Some very scant sunlight reached my position, but otherwise the southern clouds shadowed the land; over the area around Rinim, however, it was entirely clear. Back on track I found said track to be good through the forest, in which the wind immediately disappeared again. Out on Gĺbddĺjávrre it returned, and there I broke off onto some fairly recent ski tracks towards the Svine shelter, which had been partially trampled by a wolverine.

At the shelter I found fresh traces of an overnight dogsled stay, and I could follow the sled track back out to the trail; while doing so I saw snowshoe tracks leading out to and between what looked like fishing holes close to the shore. Out on the large mire that the winter trail crosses Sture caught up with me, having Ulla with him; she had now given Pĺrte over to Berta, and was on her way to Sitojaure for her next assignment. As there was little point in hitching a ride now they went on ahead, and I followed the trail to its end in a bit of on-and-off sunlight, arriving well after 13:45.

Niehter 2
Trail 3
Approaching the lakes
Gĺbddĺjávrre 1
On Gĺbddĺjávrre
Svine 1
The Svine shelter
Trail 4
Southbound trail
Skämmabákte & Tjĺlebákte 1
Skämmabákte and Tjĺlebákte
Vággevárásj Sámi encampment 1
Vággevárásj Sámi encampment
Panorama 4
Panorama from Gasskajávrre, with Skämmabákte, Tjĺlebákte, Bivtjabákte, Bivtjatjĺhkkĺ, Tjiráksjnjurttje and Tjirák

After saying hi to Lars I went over to the guest cottage, where some snowmobile drivers were pausing, to dump my pack, and then went back to the warden's cottage for a snack (and to deliver the goods I was carrying); Sture was not staying, so it was just us three wardens who sat down together. The sun was making more frequent visits now, and the sky was still blue over Sarek, so an afternoon tour was a must. I went over the hill behind the woodshed to the northbound trail, following this through a couple of turns before breaking off towards Lulep Vággevárásj. The snow carried moderately well – better as I progressed – and there were lots of animal tracks all around. The trees were sparsely placed so finding a way was not difficult, and the last bit up to the top I followed a well-trodden animal path.

I came up in a bend from the north, finding that the crest itself had been robbed of its snow cover by the wind. The view was nice indeed, with Sijddojávrre stretching away towards the Sarek border behind which rose majestic peaks, and I walked around photographing a while. For the descent I aimed directly for the cottages, getting a fun and mostly fine run down through the trees. I came out onto the lake a few hundred meters west of the target, and followed a snowmobile track the last bit back at 15:30.

Panorama 5
Panorama over Sijddojávrre from Lulep Vággevárásj
Fjelds 4
Zooming along the lake
Sijddojávrre 1
Towards Bassoajvve
Sitojaure cottages & Vággevárásj Sámi encampment 1
The cottages and the encampment
Cairn 1
Top cairn

I went inside and changed clothes, then having another light snack in the kitchen where another woman was reading. Soon she and her company left and the owners of the skis I had observed against the wall earlier came in instead. The room I had chosen was rather cold, and I needed to dry my ski boots anyway, so I turned on the heater – in Sitojaure there are gas heaters in the rooms. I returned to the kitchen to read and solve crosswords, and then Lars came in to talk to the others, who were a Swiss couple going to Kvikkjokk and then into Sarek. The sun was now being veiled, and I cranked up the heat against the advancing chill.

At 18 I went over to the warden's cottage as agreed for a joint dinner consisting of freshly caught arctic char, potatoes, bread and carrots. In the midst of it all a couple of men from the County Administration of Norrbotten bustled in, being on a cataloguing/documenting mission for a new information center at Stora Sjöfallet, and I had to show one of them how to use his camera. After dinner I read in an old booklet about Sámi toponyms before returning to my room in the gloom. I lay down to rest for a while and then restarted the fire in the kitchen heater from the embers, sitting down next to it for my evening snack. Outside it was windless and starry, with a few larger clouds here and there, and it was getting colder. The temperature in my room had now reached comfortable levels, so I turned down the power and went to bed around 21:45.

Sun 16
Sun haze
Sitojaure cottages 1
Guest cottage
Icicles 1
Evening 1
Evening 2


Back to top  ⇑