Tours › 2006 › Kvikkjokk Circuit › Day 3

Wednesday 2/8

Stage map 3

Tarraälvshyddan – Vaimok

Horizontal distance:17.5 km
Vertical distance:+460 m, -120 m
Time:6 h 15 min
Lunch break:1 h 15 min
Night accommodation:Cottage
Stage classification:Medium
Map points:Tarraälvshyddan, Kurajaure, Vaimok

Once sleep came over me there were no problems, and I actually awoke refreshed at 07:15. The morning was as fair and tranquil as the evening had been, with the added attraction of smoke on the water. I had breakfast outside while watching the mist dissipate, enjoying the quiet beauty of it all. I packed up my stuff, swept the hut clean and was ready to leave not two hours after I arose.

Darrhaädno 11
Mist rose from the river...
Ántilĺpptĺ 3
...but the morning sun...
Darrhaädno 12
...soon banished it

The trail was continually good through the forest, which mitigated the merciless sun somewhat. Soon, however, as the terrain started to rise up into Gurávágge, the trees came to an end and things got warm indeed. I took off my hat to get some relief, but truth be told, the far-reaching views that opened up had my mind occupied. After I had passed the first, steeper portion of the slope the land took on a character which I classify as "typically fjeldlike" – a configuration I find most pleasing in all respects, and walking was a delight.

I met a man going down at the place where the winter and summer trails meet up, and after that the ground grew stonier. Before too long I noticed the couple with whom I had been exchanging the lead quite far ahead, but I made no particular effort to overtake them. After a while the path improved again, and a light wind had picked up, so I put the hat back on. I did catch up with the others on the crest before the lakes, where there was a bit of headwind. The last bit to the Kurajaure shelter felt a bit tiresome, but at 11:30 I placed my rucksack against its wall.

Gurátjĺhkkĺ 1
Passing Gurátjĺhkkĺ...
Gurávágge 2
...up into Gurávágge
Darrávrre 2
Darrávrre and the vale behind
Tarradalen 5
Tarradalen to the north
Darrávrre 3
Darrávrre again
Stájggá 3
Stájggá rising
Stájggá 4
Stájggá risen
Gurávágge 3
Upper Gurávágge
Trail 1
Looking back
Stájggá 5
Stájggá attracting a cloud
Trail 2
Gurávágge 4
Peering down the length of Gurávágge from the crest
Trail 3
Nearing the shelter...
Stájggá 6
...beneath Stájggá
Darregájsse 2
The wall of Darregájsse in the distance

This shelter is of an unusually large kind, with a regular firewood heater, a privy, a storage shed, and even a swill disposal construction; it's obviously intended to function as a crude cottage if need be. There were a couple of fishermen present when I arrived, and although they had spread a fair amount of stuff around inside, their main place of residence was a tent close by. From what I gathered, their group had originally consisted of four, and they had been there for several weeks, with party members coming and going. The sun had just been clouded, for the first time that day, and together with the wind this made me seek the shelter of the shelter for my meal.

After I had eaten the couple caught up with me once more, and after a bit another two people came from the west, but they passed by without slowing. While the couple went down to the little stream to prepare their lunch, the fishermen did something unexpected – they brought out a skiff and paddled out onto the adjacent lake! I wonder how they decided which one of them was to carry that... For my part, I took it easy in the midday sun as the blocking cloud had passed.

Kurajaure 1
The Kurajaure shelter
Fishermen 1
An unexpected sight
Kurajaure 2
The shelter in the sun
Rapids 1
Some rapids in the vicinity

The first bit after the shelter consisted of a rock field which demanded some care, but then ground conditions improved. It was warm at first, but the wind soon picked up again, bringing the perceived temperature down to a comfortable level. There were some duckboards here and there, and the path was mostly easy, but it was stonier between the lakes. It was also stony in the little pass of sorts just before the descent into Vájmokvágge, but once I was over the crest it was nice grassland sprinkled with rocks. From that location I also had a fantastic view over the large lake Vájmok in the immediate area, and some of the peaks of the Sulidälbmá massif in the distance.

When the trail had stopped descending, going got tougher since the concentration of rocks was higher, and the terrain itself was very uneven. Another factor in the equation was that I could see the Vaimok cottage several kilometers away, which was psychologically trying (but not so trying as the northern approach to Alesjaure, which I took last year). The sun was mostly clouded during that portion, though, so I didn't have to worry much about the heat, but it reappeared in full when I had almost reached the cottage – an event which took place after 15:15 (the thermometer then showed 25°C).

Gurájávrre 1
Passing Gurájávrre
Suohttetjĺhkkĺ 1
Suohttetjĺhkkĺ appearing ahead
Reindeer 1
A reindeer bounding by
Fjelds 1
Approaching Vájmokvágge
Panorama 1
Panorama over the large lake Vájmok
Sulidälbmá 1
Sulidälbmá, majestic even at this distance
Vájmok 1
Down by the lake
Stájggá 7
Stájggá from the other side
Vaimok cottage 1
Drawing close to...
Vaimok cottage 2
...the Vaimok cottage

The warden was out on a day trip, expecting to return in the evening, and there was no one else around. I went down to the lake – which is one of Sweden's clearest, with a depth of vision of about 17 meters – and had a pleasurably cold wash of sorts. I knew that I wanted to stay in the cottage for the night, so I picked a room in anticipation, and went to fetch water. I then sat down to read in a Sámi book inside, and after a while of this activity I happened to glance out the window just as a pair of hikers appeared on the trail atop Vájmokbákte, heading down towards the cottage. They were, however, beaten to it by the warden, who returned earlier than presumed.

This warden was somewhat unusual in the sense that she was a young woman of my age – the norm is otherwise weathered, elderly, retired or close-to-retirement individuals. I performed my mail duties and we took care of the economic formalities right away, and then she was off for a swim. The weather was still fair, but there were extensive cloud covers to the north and east. Then the pair whom I had seen came down at last; they were obviously German originally, but spoke Swedish well enough. They only paused for a brief while, though, before going on towards Kurajaure at 18, when I started preparing my dinner.

By then some of the larger clouds had reached far enough to cover the sun, and the outside was comfortably cool, even though the inside of the cottage remained rather warm. While Blĺ Band's freeze-dried meals usually require a fair amount of boiling before they congeal properly, this particular package was very slow. Perhaps there were some issues with the stove, but it eventually came around, and a pepper jar I found in a cupboard heightened its flavor appreciably.

Vájmok 2
Exceedingly clear water
Stream 1
Gurgling fjeld brook
Vaimok cottage 3
The cottage again

The wind had increased, and even though it was still nice and all around the cottage, it was raining quite heavily south of the lake. I kept a look out to the east for the couple I knew was coming, but they never showed. Instead, I spotted the "Germans", who had pitched their tent at the eastern end of the valley. I then spent some quiet time in my bed, continuing to read in the book.

Later on the warden came in with another forwarding request. She had three items meant for Pieskehaure: a fire detector, and two large, thick envelopes. The device package was no problem for me, but the size of the envelopes was a bit too much; my pack simply did not have the extra space required. Not that that was such a big concern anyway, as these things are entirely voluntary, and someone would surely find a way to get the stuff to its destination eventually.

As the two of us were the only people at the site, we spent the rest of the evening – and early night – talking. As it turned out, we had a lot more than just age in common, which was a refreshing experience for me – I have otherwise found that I am rather alone in "what I do". Finally, though, we did call the night a night, and she left. By that time all clouds had moved off, and it was a very nice and warm evening, with just a bit of wind and the soothing light that only a summer night can bring. I had a few biscuits, and then went straight to bed at 23:15.

Stájggá 8
Vájmok 3
...and Vájmok at night


Back to top  ⇑