Tours › 2006 › Kvikkjokk Circuit › Day 10

Wednesday 9/8

Stage map 10


Horizontal distance:11 km
Vertical distance:+760 m, -760 m
Time:4 h 45 min
Lunch break:1 h 15 min
Dinner:Pasta Bolognese
Night accommodation:Tent
Stage classification:Medium

The night was calm and free from further rain, but also rather cold. I woke up at 6, at which time there were reindeer moving about right outside the tent judging from the sound, but I went back to sleep/repose until 07:30. There were semi-low clouds hovering about the peaks all around, but the sky was predominantly blue and the sun appeared to be on the verge of breaking through its veil. The wind was still very light, but it had already served its purpose – the tent was nearly dry. I also noted that it had turned again, in such a fashion so that if it turned by the same amount another time, it would be back where it started when I pitched the tent.

Fjelds 1

Breakfast was taken care of outside, naturally, and as the morning progressed the clouds dissipated more and more, letting the sun return to the earth, while the early chopper to Stáloluokta came and went. The internal space of the tent was already getting warm, and with the promising outlook in the weather department, I started rearranging my pack for a purpose worked out the day before: a day tour to the highest peak of the Låptåtjåhkkå massif and back.

I left at 09:30, carrying only a light load. The top I was headed for was prominently visible from the camp site, so I simply aimed straight for it. While walking I made careful note of the lay of the land – there were no actual landmarks inside a large radius, and I obviously needed to be sure that I would be able to find my way back without too much difficulty (especially in the event of a drastic weather change). It was sunny and the sky had almost cleared; there were only a few light clouds still hanging around the higher peaks. I encounter more reindeer, of course, and not long after passing one stream in a very easy fashion, I reached another stream that flowed through a rocky ravine. A quick survey indicated a place where biological entities of some kind evidently had been crossing it before, and I had no trouble doing the same.

As I drew near to the next stream, called Gárránisjågåsj, the percentage of stones in the terrain increased, and so did the wind. I forded the stream easily, heading straight for a formation which at first looked like an old hut, but which turned out to be a stone with a curious cone-shaped miniature hill growing atop it. At this point I changed direction, moving up the slope in a more straight manner, since proceeding directly towards the peak would entail more sharp blocks of stone.

Before the final steep ascent up the actual mountain, I stopped to put on my wind jacket and gloves, since the wind was then rather significant. This felt warm at first, but then the wind grew stronger still, and I was glad to have the extra protection. The ground was very stony, but there were also fairly large quantities of moss and other types of tough ground-level vegetation, and going was not difficult (albeit somewhat exhausting, naturally). It did feel a bit strenuous towards the end, though, but then the ground suddenly changed character into a very easy, almost grasslike slope just before the large, flat top plateau, which consisted of rocks.

Stream 1
The first stream
Darreluoppal 2
Beautifully colored Darreluoppal
Måskásjgájsse 2
Måskásjgájsse in the Darregájsse massif
Tarraluoppal cottages 2
Passing the cottages
Stream 2
The second stream
Reindeer 10
Two-legged reindeer!?
Cairn 1
A cairn in a lofty location
Vássjátjåhkkå & Tsahtsa 1
Vássjátjåhkkå and Tsahtsa
Fjelds 2
The "hut stone"
Tarradalen 6
Upper Tarradalen spreading out below
Sulidälbmá 11
Sulidälbmá in the distance
Fjelds 3
Sarekkian fjelds close by
Plateau 1
The summit plateau of Låptåtjåhkkå

While the top in question is not particularly high – 1570 meters above sea level, to be exact – it does have the advantage of being higher than the surrounding landscape, which renders fantastic views upon those who climb it. The exception is the nearby Vássjábákte and Tsahtsa, which block the line of sight towards the north-northeast – and thereby a large portion of Sarek – but the imposing Bårdde massif (the highest peak of which, Bårddetjåhkkå, sits at 2005 meters) in the southeastern part of the park is visible in full. Strangely enough the wind on the summit was considerably lighter than it had been going up, and by sitting with my back against the top cairn I countered its effect almost enirely as I commenced lunch after 11:15.

It was clearing even more as I sat there, and the last of the lingering shreds of cloud dissolved in the brilliant sun. I went around the plateau taking a shitload of photographs, and I could also locate my tent with surprising ease using the binoculars. I then returned to my perch at the eastern end of the plateau, where I had an extraordinary outlook over Låptåvágge, with the great lake Låptåvákkjávrre and its very silty inflow, Bårdde, and the vast lowlands beyond Tjuollda. It was absolutely fabulous, and I just sat there for a long time marvelling at the untamed beauty of the fjelds. The pain in my hip was altogether gone, and with the excellent weather I had been feeling a pang of regret that I didn't go through Sarek, but at the same time it was quite impossible to feel in any way cheated out of anything when offered vistas such as those I had.

Bårdde 1
Clouds hanging over Bårdde
Darregájsse 3
Fjelds 4
Western fjelds
Låptåvágge 1
Crazy colors down in Låptåvágge
Tarradalen 7
Forested Tarradalen
Basskajávrre 1
Basskajávrre to the west
Blåmannsisen 1
The large glacier Blåmannsisen in Norway
Sulidälbmá 12
Sulidälbmá and Jiegŋáffo
Tarradalen 8
More of Tarradalen
Luohttoláhko 1
The Luohttoláhko plateau
Bårdde 2
Close-up of Bårdde
Låptåvágge 2
Panorama 8
Panorama from Luohttoláhko and Bårdde in the northeast, via pointed Tjuollda and the lowlands beyond in the east, to Darregájsse in the south
Panorama 9
Panorama from Stájggá and Fierro in the south and southwest, via Sulidälbmá and Jiegŋáffo in the west, to Gierggevárre in the northwest
Panorama 10
Panorama from Juŋgátjåhkkå and Virihávrre in the northeast, over Badjelánnda with Álátjåhkkå to Vássjábákte and Tsahtsa in the north and northeast
Panorama 11
Panorama of Luohttoláhko and central Sarek, Bårdde, and Boarektjåhkkå
Glacier 1
A small glacier
Sulidälbmá 13
Sulidälbmá sans cloud
Norway 1
Norwegian fjelds far away
Tarraluoppal cottages 3
The Tarraluoppal cottages, not quite as far away

Finally, though, it was time to go. It was rather warm, but the wind had a strong chilling effect, so I opted for the same amount of clothing as I had had going up. I followed pretty much the same route down until the incline grew less steep, and there I held my course, going higher up in the slope than before. I maintained my elevation all the way to the rocky stream, which I passed at another suitable place between the more precarious portions, and then I had to climb over an uneven and fairly steep hill, ending up at about the same fording place at the other stream (the one closest to my camp site) as I had utilized in the morning. By then it was warm enough that the extra clothing was no longer needed, but I was close enough to "home" anyway. I covered the last part back to the tent (which was very easily found) a bit west of where I had gone earlier, and arrived before 14:15.

Bårdde 3
Saying goodbye to Bårdde...
Darreluoppal 3
...and hello to Darreluoppal
Fjelds 5
Nice walking here
Stream 3
Passing the northern stream again
Drought 1
Dry weather indeed
Camp site 6 again...
Returning to...
...and again
...the tent

I found that the wind had indeed changed direction again, and was now blowing exactly right in regard to the orientation of the tent. How about that? It was not, however, strong enough to alleviate the oven effect caused by the glaring sun, so residing inside the tent was out of the question; I sat down outside to read instead. The wind remained at first, but later on it petered out and it was quite hot for a while, and I felt the need to splash some brook water on myself. With the calm weather came the insects as well, but they weren't that annoying. I went on reading and proceeded to have an afternoon snack, and then the wind picked up again, but not as strongly as before. The inside temperature had then dropped to bearable levels, so I went inside to play some solitaire.

Then I walked over to the edge overlooking the valley and had dinner, bringing the crossword booklet with me to pass the time. It was still fair and beautiful, but a number of clouds were approaching from the southwest. The wind rose and fell, and it was very warm both out in the sun and, of course, in the tent. I lay resting for quite some time, enjoying the final hours of a fantastic day, and then went back to the crosswords.

Test 1
Experimental shot
Darreluoppal 4
Tarraluoppal cottages 4
Stones 1
A monument of some kind?

The evening was as tranquil and clear as one could hope for, and I also had a close encounter with a fox – it trotted straight for me, and I just barely had time to snap a shot before it discovered me and quickly turned around. I played some solitaire in the tent as the sun set and then had my evening snack. As expected the air grew chillier, but not nearly as much as the night before, and I made myself comfortable in the sleeping bag at 21:30, reading a bit before sleep as usual.

Sun 1
Evening sun
Fox 1
A fox, with Låptåtjåhkkå in the background
Sun 4


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