Tours › 2011 › Sarek › Summary


As assumed, the weather turned out better than the prognoses would have it for the most part – at least regarding the first half of the outing. Sure it was cold at times, and I had intermittent snow for several days, but it was no big deal. Also, the majority of the rain that fell did so during evenings and nights, when it was of no particular consequence. Besides, I've always maintained that it is not rain and bad weather per se that wreck a tour, but rather the often accompanying lack of views – and although the clouds obscured some peaks, I did not feel cheated this time around. All in all, I am satisfied.

As for the route I ended up tracing, I was pleased to pay visits – albeit quick – to Guohpervágge, Álggavágge, Sarvesvágge (which I found pleasantly verdant) and Luohttoláhko, and I thought including the chapel was a nice touch (especially considering how nicely my arrival at Álggajávrre turned out). That I chose to take the lower route around Tjievrra and go up to the observatory the following day was also good in retrospect – and I of course was happy to visit the latter place, to celebrate its 100-year anniversary no less.

Turning to the second part, the course, "rain" was the keyword. It started out nicely enough, although uninterestingly meteorologically speaking, but the continuation was much wetter than any of us felt necessary. This is actually the first time that I've experienced such prolonged, incessant rainfall in the fjelds; otherwise the clouds have tended to break up every once in a while, or at least after a day or so. Good thing it happened while I was living in the tent camp, where it didn't matter too much.

Regarding the course as such, it was time well spent. The weather behaved so strangely during that first week that I wished I had already attended it then, and I will certainly have use of the knowledge hereby gained in the future. TV and radio weather reports certainly have taken on a deeper meaning, and I often find myself looking at the clouds, attempting to read something into their properties and distribution. And, of course, the company was great, as was Hĺkan, who possesses formidable experience and status – Swedish radio listeners may also recognize his name from the daily reports.

When it comes to my equipment, I am happy to report that everything performed admirably. The new sleeping bag did precisely what it was supposed to, as did the stove; I never bothered with a wind shield, so I did most of the cooking in the vestibule of the tent, which worked very well. And speaking of the tent, it was really put through a trial during that ceaseless raining, and came through with flying colors (some of the others' were slightly less fortunate). Applying seam sealer to it at the start of summer was probably a good idea... I also got to put nearly every item to use (one exception was the little sunscreen stick...), so my packing plan was also a success, including the food which lasted precisely as long as it should – although I won't go any lower in that department on coming tours.

Finally, it was a good idea to wait that extra day before setting out on the walk down to Kvikkjokk; it was wet enough as it was – but not overly so – and those who had covered the stage the preceding day spoke of considerably tougher conditions, which we also imagined as we saw traces of them when we passed later. On the whole, I must say this whole thing was the fortunate object of fairly good timing. I can now tick off several more of Sarek's major valleys on an imagined list (like that of the Norwegians I met in Basstavágge four years ago), but there remains oh so much to be seen and done within the borders of that revered Park. Sarek is a place one will always (want to) return to.



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