Tours › 2005 › Northern Kungsleden › Day 5

Wednesday 10/8

Stage map 5

Vistas – Nallo

Horizontal distance:9 km
Vertical distance:+320 m
Time:2 h 45 min
Lunch break:(none)
Dinner:Hen with rice and curry
Night accommodation:Cottage
Stage classification:Easy
Map points:Vistas, Nallo

I woke up at around 7 and immediately looked out, hoping not to see clouds – to no avail, as my glance hit the ceiling at about the same height as the day before. Not wanting to give up just yet (and feeling a distinct lack of stress due to the day's short stage), I lay for another hour and more. At 08:15, I heard the couple making mild exclamations having to do with views witnessed, so I got up and joined them. As expected, the sky was clearing and most of the valley could now be seen bathing in the morning sun.

Unna Reaiddávággi 2
The mouth of Unna Reaiddávággi: Bálggástakčorru and Reaiddáčohkka
Siehtagas 1
Visttasvággi 8
Northern Visttasvággi, now mostly visible
Vássačorru 1
The wall of Vássačorru behind the cottages
Stuor Reaiddávággi 1
Stuor Reaiddávággi with...
Nállu 1
...the sharp rock formation Nállu ("Needle" in North Sámi)

As the morning progressed, so did the scattering of clouds, resulting in splendid, magnificent and just plain breathtaking sights of all that which I never got the chance to see the day before. It was quite a revelation to suddenly be able to fully appreciate the grandness of the northern passage, which was previously only hinted at. Truly a terrific way to start a day!

The couple left just after 9, but I made no haste; I had been feeling somewhat worn, and so had officially declared this day a day of semi-rest. Oh, and the privy was very pleasant to use; especially after having suffered through Alesjaure, but also for its own sake. Very well-kept indeed, complete with assorted inscriptions and doodle.

Privy 1
"If school is life, why fear death?"
Stuor Reaiddávággi 2
Mostly cloudless: Stuor Reaiddávággi...
Nállu 2
...and Nállu itself
Visttasvággi 9
Siehtagas, Bossočohkka and Unna Visttasčohkka
Unna Reaiddávággi 3
One more look towards Unna Reaiddávággi

I finally set out at 10:15, passing the four campers whose tent was still up – no change there. By then, more clouds had started drifting in from the south, taking a hold on Unna Reaiddávággi some kilometers away. The trail between the Vistas and Nallo cottages is, as far as the map is concerned, not a trail at all: it is noted as "suggested path not marked". In the real world, however, it was better marked than many other "marked" trails, both regarding how well-trodden the path itself was and how well it was traced with cairns.

The first part, after the camping grounds, consisted of a series of low rises, which constituted the only perceivable resistance due to slope of the entire stage, even though it actually is uphill all the way. After that, it was pleasant heath for some time before the path descended towards the stream coming from up the valley, then going beside – and almost in – some of its minor parallel courses. Then it was time for a rock field, comprising a ford of the stream that comes from the northern side of Nállu, which presented some smaller difficulty. Another rock field beneath Nállu itself, then easy going again. The clouds had now re-formed their ranks, hanging around the peaks all around.

One thing you can be sure of in the fjelds is that wherever there is a summit of some kind, someone has made a cairn on it. I was therefore rather astonished to find that a distinctive hilltop right along the path was in fact clean. Naturally, I could not resist the temptation and erected a small cairn of my own on top of it. King of the hill indeed! I also came upon a bird which appeared mostly unfazed by my presence as it walked about some 20 m or so in front of me. I "chased" it for a bit, snapping a few shots, before it decided to take off.

Vistas cottages 3
The Vistas cottages from the west
Stuor Reaiddávággi 3
Entering Stuor Reaiddávággi
Reaiddáčohkka 2
Reaiddáčohkka up close
Visttasvággi 10
Southeastern Visttasvággi
Stuor Reaiddávággi 4
Nállu and Siehtagas
Stream 1
Following the stream
Nállu 3
Coincidental similarity?
Reaiddáčohkka 3
Clouds clutching Reaiddáčohkka
Stuor Reaiddávággi 5
A small glacier ahead
Stuor Reaiddávággi 6
Looking back down towards Visttasvággi, just after the ford
Nállu 4
Right below Nállu
Kugghjulskammen 1
Kugghjulskammen piercing the clouds
Stuor Reaiddávággi 7
Circumventing Nállu
Bird 1
The bird perched...
Bird 2
...and flying
Stuor Reaiddávággi 8
Eastward, with "my" hill

After fording the stream at the designated place, I climbed the little hill on which the cottage resides at 13:00. There were two men there already, who first mistook me for the warden; the actual one had left a message at the entrance, saying that he was on a small tour of his own and would be back at 16–17. There was a slight eastern wind, which was dimishing, and the air was warm (the thermometer on the wall said 18°C, which rose further in the afternoon).

I had reached my destination for the day, but the two men – who apparently were not travelling together – seemed like they were only there temporarily. While they embarked upon a deep discussion of politics, I walked around a bit, seeking photo opportunities (this mostly consisted of waiting for individual clouds to pass out of the way). When I returned after a good while, the discussion was still going on. At length, the pair of them split up, with the older one crossing the stream and pitching his tent close by, and the other one going on his way through the southwest continuation of Stuor Reaiddávággi, which makes a turn at the cottage site. Myself, I entered the cottage to prepare lunch at about 14:00.

Lodging records 1
Lodging records (the cottage has 20 beds...)

Now the weather was clearing; the sun returned to dominate the sky and the wind picked up again. Around 15:00, the four campers from Vistas arrived and started to make lunch outside. I parked myself on a bench by the wall and read some comics I found inside (during which I saw a lemming zipping across the yard). During this – and within the promised interval – the warden and his girlfriend returned from having ascended the 1333 m rise directly south of the cottage. We spoke together a lot, of present times, past experiences and future plans. In the meantime, the quadruple group had packed up and was preparing to continue on the path towards the Sälka cottages. They intended to camp somewhere along the way, and were given the advice by the warden that this be done along the northern part of Reaiddájávri, as the terrain grows stonier from there.

I was thinking over my own subsequent schemes; I was a bit worried that the planned stage of the following day might prove to be a bit too much. I therefore considered walking a little way towards the Tjäktja cottage after dinner and make camp, thereby subtracting a few kilometers (and a climb) from the walk to come. But I had no idea what the ground was like that way (i.e. if tenting would be possible in the first place), and the warden had not ventured in that direction and so could not provide any clarifying details. In the end, I simply stuck to my original intention of not doing anything further and got inside again, making dinner at 18:00.

Nállu 5
Passing beneath Nállu's ridge
Nallo cottage 1
First view of the Nallo cottage
Nallo cottage 2
The cottage and Stuor Reaiddávággi
Nállu 6
Nállu from another perspective
Čeakčačohkka 1
A series of shots...
Čeakčačohkka 2
...of the Čeakčačohkka massif...
Čeakčačohkka 3
...emerging from the clouds, ...
Čeakčačohkka 4 length revealing one of its glaciers
Nallo-Kalle 1
A series of shots...
Nallo-Kalle 2
...of my humble self, ...
Nallo-Kalle 3 rucksack and my boots, ...
Nallo-Kalle 4
...left to our own devices in front of the Nallo cottage
Fjelds 1
Some peaks without individual names...
Fjelds 2
...northwest of the cottage
Fjelds 3
Another unnamed peak directly southeast

During continued conversation with the warden, two women arrived, having walked from Sälka with the intention of spending the night at Nallo. A bit later, another pair came down from Šielmmávággi, so I was hoping to consult with them regarding that road, but they just passed by the cottage and continued towards Sälka. The next decision to make was once again one of outside vs. inside, but I also in this case remained true to my original plan, which included residing in the Nallo cottage.

The warden was engaged in a project of his own: the baking of bread in the old-fashioned stove. Half-expectedly, that turned out not to be the easiest of tasks, and he wasn't wholly satisfied with the result. He offered me a slice with orange marmalade, and I will testify that it was fully edible. It was certainly good enough to provide ample variation from the dominating hard-and-dried goods one mostly has to rely on in such places. And, as it happens, even that had been compromised: rodents had invaded the storage shed and eaten (or destroyed) a sizable portion of his supply package, sent by snowmobile during the winter.

It continued to be windy, and the sky still hosted a large number of clouds. I read some more, observed a couple of reindeer outside and also was unfortunate – or clumsy – enough to burn my left thumb on the handle of the firewood hatch on the stove. I had my customary evening snack and went to bed at 22:00.

Nallo cottage 3
The cottage in the evening
Fjelds 4
Twilit peaks


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