Tours › 2011 › Sarek › Day 3

Tuesday 9/8

Stage map 3

Gasska Lĺvdak – Álggajávrre (via Násasvágge)

Horizontal distance:15.5 km
Vertical distance:+300 m, -300 m, +60 m, -60 m
Time:5 h 45 min
Lunch break: 30 min
Dinner:Chicken Korma
Night accommodation:Tent
Stage classification:Easy
Map point:Alkavare chapel
Guohpervágge 6

The wind increased again during the early night, and there was a bit of rain. In the morning a new cloud front was coming from the east, but to the west the sky was clear. The wind remained, and small drops were carried by it. As I went through morning procedures the clouds started to break up from the west, and I decided to go for the wind dress rather than the rain clothes, betting that there would be no real rain for some time. By then the wind had dried the tent, and at 10:15 I was on my way.

I followed a wee path close to Lĺvdakjĺhkĺ, investigating the depth as the stream split up into several arms, but it was still a tad too deep for my boots. After rounding a side channel I came to the sizeable alluvial cone of the stream from Gasska Lĺvdakruvtásj, but there was not too much water in it at the moment, so I had no trouble getting across the few courses that did in fact carry water. Shortly thereafter the central stream again split up, and I thought I detected a rocky passage of suitable (non)depth, so I decided to try it. The first couple of courses were crossed easily enough, and the third I could negotiate by walking a bit upstream and then downstream in the stream itself, following a deposit of rocks. More such passages followed, and then I was safely on the southern side of the valley.

Lĺvdakjĺhkĺ 1
An easy inflow
Guohpervágge 7
On the other side

I maintained some altitude in the bumpy terrain there, being careful not to get too high lest I end up at an impassable place at the stream from Násasjávrre. I spotted a couple of people further ahead on the other side, and it looked like they were just finishing either breaking camp or fording Guohperjĺhkĺ. I ended up at just the right spot in the ravine I suspected lay ahead, and climbed up the other side; the northern side of Násasvágge is too steep for comfort. After some more bumpiness I reached the reindeer fence marked on the map, and this one did have its mesh present. At one place the poles were about to fall, and there the mesh had been lifted from the ground so that I could crawl underneath it (without the rucksack on, of course).

I proceeded close to the lake on stony ground strewn with grass and wet patches. The wind had now abated considerably, and I slowed my pace a bit so as not to get too warm. As I neared the western end of the valley the stones grew sparser, and I started climbing the southern slope at a shallow angle. The weather looked nice indeed ahead, and soon I was presented with a great dual vista of both Virihávrre and Vásstenjávrre, divided by Máhttoajvve. I walked up to a suitable rock and sat down with this view before me after 12:45.

Guohpervágge 8
Ascending into...
Násasjávrre 1
Násasjávrre 2
Looking back at Guohper
Fjelds 1
Far-reaching views...
Virihávrre 1
...towards Virihávrre...
Vásstenjávrre 1
...and Vásstenjávrre...
Máhttoajvve 1
...with Máhttoajvve in the middle

At first it was rather warm, but then the wind returned. In over Sarek the cloud cover was compact, but it looked fairly light still. I made no change in my clothing as I started walking again, going straight across the next hollow in the slope. Having gone far enough to clear the immediate crest I could see the Alkavare chapel in the distance, and the lands beyond it. I was now walking on grass with small ledges in the slope, every now and then interrupted by a tiny mire. It was getting warmer, and my feet were starting to feel uncomfortable. I passed several lemmings, field mice and ptarmigans, and then I spotted movement over at the chapel, so obviously there were people there.

Miellädno 1
Steep-brinked Miellädno
Fjelds 2
The western parts of Sarek ahead
Fjelds 3
Norway all the way over there
Alkavare chapel 1
The Alkavare chapel

After acquainting myself with some mosquitos in an osier thicket I heard a noise from up ahead, and before I knew it I stood looking down into the rather impressive canyon of Gáinájjĺgĺsj. This was quite unexpected, and after walking a bit upwards to get a better photo angle I decided to go down below the canyon and cross the stream there, where it splits up; it looked like I could have handled the ravine itself higher up, but not the swiftness of the water. I found my way across using the same type of rock passages as earlier in the day, and after a somewhat warm ascent I finally arrived at the chapel. This little hut-like structure was built in 1788 for the benefit (a relative term, that) of the local Sámi population, but has no direct connection to the previous silver mining at the site. During the latter half of the 19th century it was abandoned, but was renovated and reinaugurated in 1961, and is now a popular object for hikers to visit.

Gáinájjĺgĺsj 1
Gáinájjĺgĺsj 2
Really, obstacle!
Mining traces 1
Here they dug
Alkavare chapel 2
At chapel level again

In the present day there was a family of four sitting around a fire. These turned out to be Swiss and had spent the night down in Álggavágge, where they had had "a beautiful but cold morning" with fresh snow on the peaks. I peeked inside the chapel, and finding it a bit dark I walked around the building opening the shutters to let light in. As I signed the guestbook the others were leaving, heading down to the lake and the boats there.

I made use of the on-site privy before starting down myself, but as I was going back into instead of out of the Park, I turned eastwards, aiming for an area by the lake that looked like it could support a tent; otherwise this whole region is very rich in osier. The Swiss were indeed employing the boats to cross the outflow of Miellädno, even if they had a roundabout way of doing it. The weather was steadily improving as I came down to the shore, where there were more insects. The ground was a bit uneven, but there were patches of grass – although those were right in the middle of the thickets, which meant more insects. I inspected another patch of heath just above them at 16:00, and even though it had a bit of a slant I decided that it would be better, so that's where I started putting up the tent.

Álggajávrre 1
Green Álggajávrre
Alkavare chapel 3
Inside the chapel
Alkavare chapel 4
Outside the chapel

Just when I was done the sun came out, and I went back to the beach to have a wash, which felt jolly good. Afterwards I sat in the sun for a while before going up to use the stove in the shelter of the tent, and then returned down with my dinner. However, it was not long before a substantial northwesterly wind picked up, so I soon returned to the tent; the sun was mostly covered up again, so the inside temperature was manageable. The wind was now striking the tent at an angle, but I did not really have any space to reorient it, so instead I made sure that the fabric was as taut as possible, and that the guylines were properly secured.

Campsite 3
Chosen spot
Boots 2
Kalle 1
Feeling good in the sun
Álggajávrre 2
The entrance to Álggavágge

More clouds were rolling in from the north, and as I looked in that direction I saw two people going up to the chapel. I read in my book and solved crosswords while clouds started amassing around the nearby peaks. The wind was rather cold, so I spent most of the evening inside resting, but later on the clouds started breaking apart again. A shower was affecting Máhttoajvve and then passed southwestwards, giving but a few drops at Álggajávrre. It was now mostly cloudy again, but the sky was showing through holes here and there. At 22:15 I turned in, not expecting too cold a night.

Sun 1


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