Tours › 2008 › Nallo: Day Tours (April) › 2/4

Wednesday 2/4

Stage map 2/4

Čeakčačohkka

Horizontal distance:8 km
Vertical distance:+180 m, -180 m, +600 m, -600 m
Time:4 h 30 min
Lunch break:1 h
Dinner:
Night accommodation:
Stage classification:Medium/Hard (comment)
The distance figures do not include the three downhill runs, and neither does the path drawn on the map.

As I proceeded up the slope the clouds pulled themselves together, but a blue hole remained overhead, and once off the valley floor a northeasterly wind was in evidence. When I was nearing the crest I spotted a group of six coming from Sälka, and they had obviously made an early start for they were not very far off. I left my little pack at the aforementioned crest and then went down; the snow was fairly good at places, but I've had better. The last bit back to the cottage I skied in a sled track which offered incredible glide, and my arrival coincided with that of the group. It turned out to consist of six Frenchmen and -women who were to have lunch inside before heading back to Sälka, and after establishing this fact I went up again.

Reaiddáčohkka 1
Clouds covering sun
Vaktposten 1
Clouds covering Vaktposten
Stuor Reaiddávággi 1
Clouds covering the southern fjelds
Slope 1
First run (not covered by clouds)

Now the sky was getting clearer again, and I produced an 8 before turning up once more, having noticed a couple of skiers on their way from Vistas in the meantime. Back up on the outrunner I also noticed some zigzag tracks in the Šielmmávággi slope which had not been there a moment ago, and shortly thereafter the human elements responsible for them showed up a little ways above my position, heading towards Sälka. Myself I sat down at the usual rock for lunch at 11:45, with the usual dual view of Stuor Reaiddávággi. The pair from Vistas never touched by the cottage but took a shortcut past it, pausing after the bend to make lunch camp. As for the two from Tjäktja, they had settled behind a low rise in the vicinity, so it was apparently lunch all around. The weather was now fair indeed, but over Sarek far off to the south clouds were holding position.

Having sat still long enough I continued southwestwards, passing just above the others (who were also about to leave). I followed south of the moraine ridge bordering the Čeakčačohkka glacier, and in the warm stillness I observed the sextet making their leisurely way back on the western side of the valley. Something else I certainly could not help observing – and hearing – was a helicopter that went round and round and round; it all had the character of a search-and-rescue operation, and the color pattern on the machine itself lent credence to this hypothesis, but it was hard to see precisly what the objective of such a mission could be under the circumstances. Turning my attention to terra firma (albeit covered with snow), I could sometimes follow old, faint tracks going in the right direction, eventually landing me on the gentle crest just below the main bulk of Čeakčačohkka proper. From there I skied around the fairly steep southeastern outrunner into the basin of the Čeakčabákti glacier, where I left my skis and pack.

Nallo cottage 1
The shadow of Reaiddáčohkka west covering Nallo
Reaiddáčohkka 2
Clear
Čeakčačohkka 1
Čeakčačohkka proper
Fjelds 1
Still cloudy to the south
Šielmmáčohkka 1
Šielmmáčohkka
Šielmmávággi 1
Šielmmávággi
Snow 1
Snow patterns
Stuor Reaiddávággi 2
Vaktposten across Stuor Reaiddávággi
Stuor Reaiddávággi 3
Stuor Reaiddávággi east
Sun 1
Stuor Reaiddávággi south
Panorama 1
Panorama over Reaiddáčohkka, Unna Reaiddávággi,
Vaktposten, Čeakčahjälmen and Gaskkasnjunni
Čeakčačohkka 2
The overhang of...
Čeakčačohkka 3
...the perilous ridge of Čeakčačohkka major
Čeakčabákti 1
Čeakčabákti close at hand

I had my mind set on the intermediate 1500-odd-meter summit next to one of the highest lakes in Sweden, and a quick glance at my watch told me that it was feasible time-wise, so that I could still get back to the cottage before the announced hour. I started ascending the rather steep slope in my ski boots, using the poles as support; there were a fair bit of rocks in the clear and where not the snow was a bit mischievous, as it were, and certain portions were trickier than others, but I judged that the risk for avalanches was acceptable. During the ascent I was accompanied by the constant sound of the helicopter, even though it remained outside visual range most of the time. I covered the last bit to the top from the east, reaching the highest point at 14:00. The view from this point was marvelous regarding the eastern half, with Stuor Reaiddávággi spreading out all the way to Vistas and Reaiddáčohkka showing its very pointiest profile; in the other direction, however, the other significantly higher peaks blocked most of the view, but Čeakčabákti certainly looked impressive from this perspective.

Čeakčabákti 2
Čeakčabákti certainly looking impressive
Panorama 2
Mini-panorama of Čeakčačohkka major
Fjelds 2
Furrowed peaks to the southeast
Panorama 3
Panorama from the summit: north via east to southeast, with the Nallo cottage looking very small left of the center
Vistas cottages 1
Clear line of sight to Vistas
Fjelds 3
Bossosčohkka revealing itself
Helicopter 1
Helicopter passing above

Since I still had a time to meet I did not remain on the summit for too long. In going down I sought out a somewhat different route, which was easier to find in that direction, and I reached my things without incident. Once ski-borne again I went back around the bend and then kept above my own tracks, finding the unbroken snow to offer stupendous gliding properties. Having reached the crest beneath the overhang of Čeakčačohkka I could see a dense'n'dark bank of cloud approaching from the south, the front of which appeared to be in the vicinity of Kaitumjaure for the moment.

Looking in the other direction I saw a very fresh and rather large avalanche that had swept down the south side of peak 1884 – and what was worse, there were ski tracks leading into it from above! Agitated, I looked more closely, and to my relief I also found ski tracks below the cone. I then started the descent of a much more gentle slope myself, but even so I got to put all my skill and balance to use – the snow was of such quality that I picked up (and kept!) great speed very quickly, whether I wanted to or not, and through careful but unprepared manoeuvering I made it down in one piece. I followed the main track back to the cottage, arriving under the gaze of a couple of men sitting outside with several minutes to spare.

Sun 2
Sunny still...
Fjelds 4
...but clouds on their way
Avalanche 1
Avalanche!
Sun 3
Shining
Čeakčačohkka 4
Čeakčačohkka
("my" peak to the left)

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