Tours › 2008 › Nallo: Day Tours (April) › 8/4

Tuesday 8/4

Stage map 8/4

Tjäktja

Horizontal distance:16 km
Vertical distance:+360 m, -260 m, +260 m, -360 m
Time:5 h 30 min
Lunch break:2 h 15 min
Dinner:
Night accommodation:
Stage classification:Medium
Map point:Tjäktja

This time I went up The Slope rather than the steeper way beside the ravine, during which a few lenticular clouds started appearing above to the southeast. In the Šielmmávággi slope I could at times make out my own tracks from a few days ago, but the ascent would have been comfortable in any case and I made good speed. While I was still climbing – and while Šielmmáčohkka was still in sight – I saw another helicopter that set down on (or hovered just above) the saddle between the two rightmost peaks of said fjeld; yet another heliskiing group, obviously. As I was approaching the pass point two things grew: the number of clouds in the southeastern sky, and the strength of the headwind. On the threshold itself the latter was significant enough that I sought shelter behind a large rock to take off the climbing skins, and just when I was done a group of five suddenly appeared a bit down the first slope.

A quick talk revealed that they would be staying in Nallo, so I introduced myself and gave some general instructions before we parted ways. The snow on the other side of the pass was rather hard and uneven, but gliding downwards upon it was very easy. I swished by another seven people in total heading in the opposite direction, and close to the last rise I encountered a trio; apparently the five whom I had met up in the pass hade forgotten a few items, but since the three were unsure whether they would stay in Nallo or not they had not taken said items with them. The last downhill portion was actually fairly good, and the wind had gradually petered out. I arrived at the cottage at 11:00, where a few other overnight guests were still present.

Stuor Reaiddávággi 1
Up The Slope
Šielmmáčohkka 1
Šielmmáčohkka et al
Cliff face 1
Cliff face and Vaktposten
Panorama 1
Panorama over Šielmmáčohkka, Nállu, Reaiddáčohkka, Knivkammen and Vaktposten
Reaiddáčohkka 1
At the threshold: back...
Fjelds 1
...and forward
Šielmmávággi 1
After the threshold
Šielmmávággi 2
From the rise: back...
Tjäktja cottage 1
...and forward
Fjelds 2
Southwest

The new warden – Sven Eric – was inside the main building, but he soon emerged with the lost&found items, and as we entered the warden's cottage for lunch etc. the others left for Sälka. We talked for a long time about this and that, among which was some stories of rescue missions during the recent storm, which I had thitherto only heard rumors about. While we were sitting there the southeastern clouds made their way over Čeakčačohkka, but before long they had passed on again. As feared, however, they were soon followed by a better held-together front, and low drifting clouds had appeared up in Šielmmávággi; soon enough the peaks to the north and northeast had acquired caps as well. Thus I saw fit to get going before things would get uncomfortably bad visibility-wise, and naturally I brought the forgotten objects with me since I knew where to find their owner.

Panorama 2
Panorama north from the Tjäktja cottage
Giron & Čoamohas 1
Closeup of Giron and Čoamohas in the distance
Bridge 1
Approaching clouds

At first I skied in a considerable headwind, but it only lasted for a few hundred meters. I passed over the rise above the place where I had come down, coming onto some tracks on the crest which I followed where I could see them. I was now faced with the peculiar circumstance that the pass before me was entirely hidden in cloud, whereas the sky directly above and beyond this pass was mostly clear. I continued up the valley in intermittent sunlight where the approaching front-front had holes in it, after a while discovering that a group of three were holding a parellel course on the other side of the ravine of Šielmmánjira.

When I reached the crest before the little tarn that is the source of this stream the whiteout hit in full. After passing this tarn three other figures emerged from the fog, in the form of the three women I knew would be coming – they had had a great tour all the way up to the threshold, but from there it had been all white, so it was apparently a recent development also on the Nallo side. I stopped at the same boulder – recognizable due to its size – to take off the same climbing skins, and I also took the opportunity to change into the thicker pair of gloves, since the headwind was now keen again.

Tjäktja cottage 2
Departure
Clouds 1
The Front
Luoktekriehppi 1
Luoktekriehppi still in the clear
Šielmmávággi 3
Veiled pass

This allowed the other three going my way to catch up with me, and since they were going to Nallo too I offered to act as guide on the way down; the descent can be difficult and, should worst come to worst, downright dangerous under conditions such as those present at the time, and I knew the way quite well by then. It was still an almost complete whiteout, and even though I soon located my own (now fortified) tracks the lack of contrast made them next to impossible to discern while in motion. The wind did, however, decrease steadily, and when we reached the slope before the icy crest of the steeper portion, parts of the landscape ahead crept out from the whiteness; I reckoned that the cloud base lay around 1200 m.

Since the others announced that they would probably take their time coming down, I just described the best way from there on, and then set off on my own again. I followed the tracks leading over the outrunner, catching sight of a lone figure beside the ravine, who turned southwards before I lost sight of him. Just before the main crest I met three people who were just out on a short tour, and they turned around after I had passed them – a new cloud had come in and veiled also this crest in impenetrable fog. I went down in The Slope, where the snow was good but contrast nonexistent, pulling in at the cottage just after 15:00 in a perfect absence of wind.


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