It was cloudy over the northwestern peaks when I set out, but in all other directions the clouds were splitting up. Aided by my climbing skins I held a fairly high course around peak 1333, veering sharply up towards Unna Reaiddávággi at the first convenient moment. Closer to Vaktposten I found a small herd of reindeer, and not very surprisingly also a large number of wolverine tracks. It continued to clear all around, and it was very nice skiing – coming up to the watershed and watching the alpine grandeur of Unna Reaiddávággi unveil itself was most gratifying. There I took of the skins and continued into the valley, finding the snow on the flat section that followed rather deep. After a while I found the remnants of the tracks of the guests of mine who had made Unna Räita visits recently, which provided a more stabile substratum, and when I reached the little cabin at 11:30 the sky was perfectly clear.
I dumped my little pack outside and went in to look the place over. While it is still rather deteriorated, even as these huts go, it actually seemed in somewhat better condition than when last I saw it – some people (probably Nallo wardens) have obviously made some more or less serious attempts at repairs and suchlike, and despite the recent hard winds there was only a minimum of snow inside. I tended to a mild chafe that had started on one of my feet and then sat down outside on a little bench beside the door to have lunch. After I had eaten and had time to relax a bit a light wind started, and then the sun passed behind Knivkammen. This brought a most considerable drop in temperatures, so I packed up and prepared to leave. I had had my eyes on the marked ridge just above the cabin, about halfway up to the major summit of Reaiddáčohkka, and I started walking up the slope, but as I quickly found that the snow was too deep for such a mode of transportation I returned to put on my skis almost at once.
I then skied back across the lake by which the cabin lies, soon turning upwards in the direction of a pair of elongated snowfields. I followed the rightmost one of these as far up as I felt comfortable doing, under the calm and watchful gaze of a small group of reindeer, and then I glided over to the other, larger field where I left both skis and rucksack. I then started walking up among the rocks, which was somewhat tricky at times due to the varying depth and quality of the snow cover, and since I was now back out in the sun it was pretty warm and also still again. Just when the slope started levelling out somewhat the snow turned to something resembling ice, but after some careful steps I could pick up speed during the last easy bit to the summit of the ridge.
And what a ridge! The eastward continuation was impressive indeed, showing precipitous, jagged shapes better suited for, say, the Himalayas. I just stood there and let my gaze sweep over the magnificent vistas; the blend between the feeling of acute elevation and having to look up to several considerably higher peaks all around was most to my liking. I sat down at the inescapable cairn and had an apple, and then I walked around a little bit on the flattened top. I was now physically ready to leave, but on a mental level it took some time still before I could make any move in that direction.
Panorama from the summit, showing Pyramiden, Knivkammen, Čeakčahjälmen, Vaktposten, Čeakčabákti, Čeakčačohkka and Reaiddáčohkka
Finally, though, after putting another stone in the cairn I started the descent, taking a slightly different route down to my things. From there I skied down the larger snowfield and then held a diagonal course towards the watershed, reentering the chilly shadow in the process. When the downhill inclination grew I veered off slightly towards the north, getting a good run out of it before I decided to check my downward motion and maintain some altitude going around 1333. This I did, and then made some nice turns when the slope got steeper, coming onto the tracks just as the cottage came into my line of sight – and I saw that it had just been cast in shadow. During the last bit home I noticed the tracks of at least three skiers, one sled and one dog, but I could see no equipment – or people, or animals – outside the building.