Tours › 2010 › Unna Allakas › Day 1

Tuesday 22/6

Stage map 1

Abisko – Abiskojaure

Horizontal distance:14 km
Vertical distance:+120 m
Time:4 h
Lunch break: 45 min
Dinner:Smoked ham with rice
Night accommodation:Cottage
Stage classification:Easy
Map points:Abisko, Nissonjohka campsite, Abiskojaure

After finishing up at the Gällivare hostel I made my way to the train station to catch the train to Abisko. The weather was good enough, but there were some clouds about, and unfortunately they appeared to be more numerous in the direction I was headed. This tendency was reinforced as I moved northwards, and when Torneträsk came into view I saw that the fjelds north of it were partially covered with low clouds and mist. There was also a wee bit of fresh snow on the peaks, or what could be seen of them presently, and at the station in Abisko Östra raindrops started appearing on the windows. When I disembarked there was a light drizzle in the air, and I made final preparations inside the tiny station building, putting on the rain cover. It seemed to be getting a bit lighter, however, and the drizzle had turned into mere drops, so I stuck with the wind jacket.

Soon the drizzle returned, though, but it was still fine, although the trail itself often had mud and puddles in store. I met a few people – but only a few – and at the first meditation spot along the trail to Nikkaluokta, beside an old marble quarry, I caught up with a group of Japanese. One of these pursued me all the way to the large suspension bridge across Nissonjohka, where I let him pass. Shortly thereafter, just after noon, I reached the official campsite which constitutes the only place within Abisko National Park, save for the Abiskojaure cottages, where tenting is allowed, and there I stopped to have lunch.

Rihtonjira 1
Rihtonjira and the car park
Trail 1
The start of Kungsleden
Ábeskoeatnu 1
Ábeskoeatnu canyon
Ábeskoeatnu 2
At the marble quarry
Giron 1
Giron in cloud
Ábeskoeatnu 3
Trail 2
Low clouds
Lapporten 1
Lapporten (Lapp Gate) partially visible
Ábeskoeatnu 4
Swifter stream
Bridge 1
The bridge over...
Nissonjohka 1
Nissonjohka campsite 1
At the campsite

There were some new-looking buildings, among them a spacious wind shelter that even included a firewood heater, and piles of timber told of coming constructions. There were many suitable tenting spots, two of which were occupied by tents, but I saw no people about. While I ate in the wind shelter a total of five persons and one dog passed by; the weather seemed to be getting lighter for a while, but then went back to unpredictable.

After walking about the place some I finally got going again, finding the wind rather chilly. Soon the rain increased, and it looked worse ahead. I went out to Ábeskoeatnu to check out a waterfall and another canyon, and by then it was actually raining, so I took to my old trick of leaning against the walking stick and letting the covered rucksack and the hat shield me. While I was standing in that manner a Japanese woman carrying nothing but a plastic bag overtook me, and when the rain decreased somewhat I started walking again. The trail was now ascending a bit to drier terrain, and soon came to a larger track with winter trail markers. After a short bit I broke off onto a smaller side track which was obviously used by ATVs, and just then one of those passed me by. Now the rain had all but stopped, but there was still a mist to the southwest.

Nissonjohka campsite 2
Ábeskoeatnu 5
Waterfall 1
Ábeskoeatnu 6
Another canyon
Torneträsk 1
Torneträsk far behind
Trail 3
Road ahead

As I was making my way past a series of particularly large puddles I met one of the trio who had come down from Mårma while I was in Vistas, together with another guy and a dog. He was still working in the reception at the Abisko tourist station, but would end his turn in just a few days. New duckboards were in the process of being laid out, but where this had not been done the path was rather muddy. The rain was also coming back, but not yet in force, so it was fine still.

I then came to some private cabins and huts, where I spent a little bit of time looking for the main path, after which I very nearly caught up with the Japanese woman, who was on the move again after taking a break. The trail now emerged onto open ground, where the wind came at me in full across Ábeskojávri, and it was pretty cold. I was now in the mist I had observed earlier, but things were still not wet enough to be of concern – and I did not have very far to go either. As I reached the last bridge over Gamaeatnu, however, the rain decided to put its heart into it, so I walked briskly the final hundred meters or so, arriving at Abiskojaure at 15:00.

Hut 1
A private hut...
Cabin 1
...and a cabin
Giron 2
Approaching Giron
Ábeskojávri 1
Cold winds across Ábeskojávri
Giron 3
Passing Giron
Bridge 2
The bridge over Gamaeatnu
Abiskojaure_cottages 1

I could see some things inside "the usual" common room, so I dumped my pack there and went over to the wardens' cottage to say hi. There I found the Japanese, and while Ulla tended to her needs I sat down for an afternoon snack with Curt and their dog. More people were arriving, and now it was raining in full. Before going back up to the main building I checked out the store, and found it to be much more well stocked now compared to when I had seen it in autumn.

There were some more people inside as I installed myself in one of the guest rooms, among them two Swedish girls from Abisko who were about to go out on an afternoon walk up Gárddenvárri. Outside the rain was diminishing and the light was growing, soon even giving way to a bit of sun. It could then be seen that the powder higher up had been added to during the day, and the wind was still blowing. While I relaxed inside a larger group arrived, but they were placed in the other part of the building. As I was preparing dinner the clouds pulled shut again, and the rain returned.

This was only a temporary setback, however, for after the meal the clouds started to lift again, even revealing a glimpse of Godučohkka. There was still another bout of rain, despite the light, and I remained indoors looking over the map and solving crosswords. After the rain had petered out for real I went out for a walk and found the weather cold, but the sky was starting to show to the northwest. Back inside I read some Danish comics during which Curt came in to check on things; the current tally was 32 overnight guests and some tents. The girls came back at 21, having almost reached the top of Gárddenvárri, but been thwarted by clouds; they had, however, passed a Sámi calf-tagging-in-progress in a reindeer corral on the way.

I had my evening snack while the girls had a rather late dinner, and we ended up talking for quite some time. In so doing I found out that one of them had been a part of the pair that had come to Vistas from Mårma while I was out, but with another companion. Outside the view of Giron was a strange one – it felt more like autumn than summer, but it did not mesh with the growing verdure in the lower terrain. Despite the scant snow during the winter, spring (and therefore also summer) was late in coming this year, and it had been rather cold for quite some time. Now everyone else had gone to bed, and I did so as well after 22:45.

Giron 4
Giron towering behind...
Abiskojaure_cottages 2
...the wardens' cottage
Abiskojaure_cottages 3
Not really summery


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