Tours › 2006 › Kvikkjokk Circuit › Day 4

Thursday 3/8

Stage map 4

Vaimok – Pieskehaure

Horizontal distance:18.5 km
Vertical distance:+240 m, -240 m, +160 m, -620 m
Time:6 h
Lunch break:1 h
Dinner:Sausages with macaroni
Night accommodation:Tent
Stage classification:Easy/Medium
Map points:Vaimok, Pieskehaure
VŠjmok 4
Another wondrous morning

I slept soundly through the night, awaking at 07:15 to a clear sky, no wind and a comfortable 15°C, and everything felt just swell. I had breakfast, stuffed my stuff, and sampled the air; it promised a very warm day, so I decided not to wear any shirt this time. I left the cottage at 09:15, just as the warden went for her morning swim.

I forded the stream running by the cottage easily enough, and the first part of the ascent by the waterfall(s) was also easy. There were a few somewhat trickier sections, and a rock field, but going up was largely uncomplicated, and not hugely taxing. My having discarded the shirt also proved to be a wise call, as expected; the sun was hot, but the wind – which increased with the altitude – kept me comfortably cool. The higher I got, the farther my field of vision expanded, until at the summit I could see all the way to Sarek in the east and SulidšlbmŠ in the west. Passing over the crest meant a bit more stones, but the descending path on the other side was even enough.

After the bridge down in the western part of VŠjmokvŠgge, the trail rose again up to VistekjŠvrre, and this portion was rather stony, and not going in a straight line between the painted cairns often proved worthwhile. The path then shifted between being level and stony for some time, and as it started to descend the western slope of Vistek, the wind, which had been light for a while, grew stronger. I then noticed a fleck of color a good bit ahead, which upon my approach resolved into a group of twelve, who were just about to get going again after pausing at a stream. I had heard this group being mentioned both in Njunjes and Vaimok, so it was most likely an arranged tour of some kind. Since the spot they had chosen was an impeccable break location, I "took over" as soon as they had left, settling down to have lunch right at noon.

Waterfall 1
Going against the flow
Vaimok cottage 4
Nice view of the cottage
VŠjmok 5
Further up
Fierro 1
Fierro rising to the northeast
Sarek 1
A titillating view of Sarek
Fjelds 1
Tjievrak, Juovvabuollda and StŠjggŠ to the east...
SulidšlbmŠ 2
...SulidšlbmŠ to the west...
Tsšhkkok 1
...and Tsšhkkok to the north
Nuortta SŠvllo 1
The peculiar shape of Nuortta SŠvllo
VŠjmok 6
Down in VŠjmokvŠgge again
VistekjŠvrre 1
Playa del Vistek
SulidšlbmŠ 3
More of SulidšlbmŠ
BieskehŠvrre 1
First glimpse of BieskehŠvrre
SulidšlbmŠ 4
SulidšlbmŠ with Stuorrajiegŋa
Group 1
The group departing

I had a long, calm pause in the sun, enjoying the view of SulidšlbmŠ (and everything else, of course). I put on the shirt, though, since the wind was appreciable. Once I got going again the trail consisted of nothing but stones for a while, and there was not much of a path. The stones were mostly small and flat, however, so proceeding was not difficult, but the wind increased the farther along I got. When I reached the crest of Muorannjunnje, I could see the Pieskehaure cottage far away; there was still about a third of the way to go.

The descent down onto the plain of AdŠmvallda was very easy and enjoyable, as the stones had given way to heath and grass, and I was struck by another pleasant feeling of "typical fjeld". Soon I reached the point where the old Varvek trail continued on to the north; while that stretch is no longer maintained, the old cairns still stand tall. Having left the slope behind, I came out onto a perfectly flat heathland, which I had not seen the likes of during the tour. The little bridge in the eastern end of this region was broken, as can be seen below, but there was so little water in the brook it once spanned that I hardly needed to get even my soles wet.

I then came onto another large field, and immediately spotted irregularities in the ground texture. Upon closer inspection these turned out to be plastic meshes fixed to the ground – it appeared to me as though they were there to protect ancient remains of some kind, as there were patterns of stones and mounds underneath, but always with half the area outside the mesh. This I could later confirm – the area is under active research conducted by the Silver Museum in Arjeplog, the archeologists of which have catalogued over 500 remains dating from 800–1050 A.D. at the site.

The map included a marked ford of a significant but unnamed tributary to VarvvekjŚhkŚ in the midst of some osier thickets, which I soon started approaching. However, just before reaching the actual stream (the ground was humid all around) there was a low, weathered sign blocking my course, with a newly cleared path marked by colored stones going off at an angle. The path I was on continued straight ahead, though, but after some struggling I managed to make out the much deteriorated markings on the sign: "New trail course", and an arrow pointing in the direction of the new path. So, I set off through the low vegetation, and reached the stream at a well-chosen place, where I could walk almost straight across in my boots; I wondered why the ford had been moved, though. On the other side, the new trail continued its detour in a long arc, going through some rather boggy regions, and it was quite some time before it reached the old course again.

Waterfall 2
A small waterfall by the lunch camp
VarvvekrŚhto 1
The VarvvekrŚhto marsh
BieskehŠvrre 2
BieskehŠvrre showing itself
JiegŋŠffo 1
JiegŋŠffo to the north
Fjelds 2
Distant fjelds to the southwest
Fjelds 3
Again, further down
(and more to the south)
Bridge 3
Maintenance needed
Trail 1
A few low hills on the plain
Mesh 1
Enmeshed remains
Trail 2
Which way to go...?
Stream 1
To ford
SulidšlbmŠ 5
Closer to SulidšlbmŠ

The wind, which had abated down there in the lowland, picked up anew as I rounded Dšlbut and reestablished visual contact with the beautifully green BieskehŠvrre. This lake has actually been dammed for hydroelectric purposes, but the dam is placed quite a long distance to the southeast – the lake is rather large – which means that unless one knows about its existence, one would never guess that the water is not untamed from its appearance near the cottage. Still, it's a reminder of the frailty of what little wilderness there is left in our world of today. Returning to the business at hand, there were a few trees about, which was another thing I hadn't seen for a while, and then the cottage and the surrounding structures appeared behind a low rise. I reached the main building at 15:15.

Panorama 2
Panorama over the large turquoise lake BieskehŠvrre
Pieskehaure cottage 1
The buildings before SulidšlbmŠ

I found one man inside, who later turned out to be a member of a party of three, who had flown there by helicopter from VuoggatjŚlme some days earlier and spent their time fishing. The warden was present in his private little building, so I went there to deliver the letter and fire detector. I relaxed for a while, and then went for a walk. The area where the cottage lies is very open, giving very nice all-round views, with SulidšlbmŠ framed between LŠjrro and LabbŠ as the natural main attraction. I decided to tent beside the cottage rather than staying in it, so I started pitching, and then went inside to have a snack; the others had "reserved" the sauna for 18:00 and were happy to let me in on it, so I postponed dinner till afterwards.

Before proceeding to the sauna, however, I went over to the warden's building to buy some provisions. Since Pieskehaure does not rank among the top locations in regard to visitor numbers, the available selection in the "shop" is not at all broad, but I could find what I needed. Paying was another matter, as the machine used to create bills of exchange so that one can pay with a credit card was not functioning properly. The last warden of the previous winter season had filed a notice asking for a replacement back in April, but this task had somehow gotten lost somewhere along the line, so the current warden had to make do the best he could with the equipment at hand. It took a few tries, but eventually a bill readable enough was produced and I could continue to the steamy place.

The sauna building was of similar make as the one in Teusajaure, and was certainly hot enough. The others had been at it for a while, not having been held up by faulty machinery, and we all took turns sitting on the porch in the quiet, sunny evening. I also made a run down to VarvvekjŚhkŚ for the mandatory immersion; that felt very good, but it was a bit of a shame that the sauna is situated so far away from the water as it is. I noted that the skin on my left upper arm had started to sting a bit from the heat, having been exposed to direct sunlight for the better part of the day. There was no actual rawness, though, so no worries. After finishing the session, I gave my walking clothes a semi-proper wash with soap, thinking that I had better take the opportunity now.

SulidšlbmŠ 6
Evening over SulidšlbmŠ, ...
Pieskehaure cottage 2
...the cottage, ...
Camp site 2
...and the tent

I prepared and consumed dinner inside the cottage, while the trio (who had eaten before going to the sauna) played cards. I then read for a while, and later on the warden came in; he wanted to see if any of us was using a privy compartment. Since clearly we were not, he concluded that one of the doors had jammed in much the same manner as the door of Tarrašlvshyddan had for me two days past. How very quaint. He also brought a weather forecast, which seemed favorable enough. The late evening was fair and cool, and with the searing sun gone the mosquitos had come back. Since my dinner had been rather late, I contented myself with a biscuit for an evening snack, and then went out to the tent, where I lay down after another lovely day at 22:30.

Sky 2
Nice sky
Nuortta SŠvllo 2
Nuortta SŠvllo...
SulidšlbmŠ 7
...and SulidšlbmŠ in the last light
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