Warm indeed! Such temperatures as I experienced during most of the journey are somewhat uncommon in the fjelds, and six consecutive days of clear or mostly clear skies and brilliant sunshine is almost unheard of; even the winds – when there were winds – were warm. In fact, it had been the same way for quite a few days before I started, and July in general had been exceptionally warm and dry, which as has been told simplified water passages in many places, so I really managed to choose the right time to go. Ideally, though, the temperatures could well have been five or even ten degrees lower, as walking through mountainous land with a (moderately) heavy pack on one's back is exerting enough in itself.
As for the experiences, I'll list some major ones:
- Linné's Route
This little hut is in almost surprisingly good condition, considering its respectable age, and everyone that passes by should take the opportunity of visiting it; I hope to do it in winter sometime. Its location is also very beautiful, with the towering Darregájsse massif rising above the gentle flow of Darrhaädno, and I was lucky enough to be there during a time of great stillness, when the peaceful tranquility of the land came out in full. If it just hadn't been for those pesky mosquitos...
The site of this cottage, while fairly barren compared to the region before and after it, was much less sterile and unwelcoming than other people's accounts and comments had prepared me for – in fact, I found it rather genial on "its own merits". Something else which did not live up to expectations (in a positive sense) was the route to and from the cottage – the impression I had gotten from the aforementioned reports definitely exaggerated the hardships involved, both regarding the climbing of slopes and the stepping on rocks, and I found Gurávágge enjoyable indeed.
The surroundings of this cottage were extraordinary beautiful, and the picture at STF's site does not at all do them justice. The view of Sulidälbmá is enticing, and the turquoise band of Bieskehávrre with the cloven peak of Nuortta Sávllo behind it is a striking sight. And, of course, there's the blessed sauna...
This region, the name of which translates to The Higher Land, is essentially different from the bordering ones, as it is made up of undulating heathland with few really steep or high rises. This stands in stark contrast to the bold and jagged ranges of Sarek, and the rather sharp divide between the two is interesting to note. While I appreciate alpine splendor as much as the next trekker, I also feel very much at home in and around rich vegetation, which Badjelánnda can provide. The complex system of hills is also a bit fascinating in itself, as are the great lakes in the western part of the park in all their quiet magnificence, and I shall surely be returning in the not too distant future.
The initial stages (counting from the northwest) were not too amazing, I thought, but I will admit that Buojdes and its basin possess a certain charm. No, the real value of this route, as I see it, lies in the portion between Ruonasvágge and Vállevágge on one hand, and between Vállevágge and Kvikkjokk on the other – the feeling of walking above everything, in supreme solitude, cannot be conveyed by words alone.
Now, then, for that which did not take place: Sarek. It would have been awesome to go that way, of course, especially as the weather turned out to be quite favorable after all, but as mentioned before, I simply could not hold on to my regrets for long, what with the sensory onslaught that the replacement segment provided. The potential inclusion of Sarek in this tour had been a late addition to the plan anyway, and I fully intend to visit this most legendary of parks under more exclusive conditions. Besides, I doubt very much that the stage through the forest from the Pĺrte cottage to Kvikkjokk, that I would otherwise have ended up with, would come anywhere near the lofty walk east of Darregájsse...
Reflecting upon the tour as I've been writing this report, I've come to really appreciate how fantastic it actually was. For large portions it was just me and the fjelds (and a great deal of reindeer), which under conditions such as these is as good as it can get, and I got to see and experience a wide range of landscapes. Finally, I will also note that the slight rearrangement of my packing procedure that I had employed worked out well, and I shall make continued use of it during the upcoming autumn tour...