Tours › 2018 › Vaimok › Day 4

Wednesday 25/7

Stage map 4

Njunjes – Såmmarlappa

Horizontal distance:18 km
Vertical distance:+140 m, -60 m, +40 m
Time:6 h 15 min
Lunch break:1 h 15 min
Dinner:Risotto with asparagus and dried ham
Night accommodation:Cottage
Stage classification:Medium
Map points:Njunjes, Tarrekaise, Såmmarlappa

When I arose at 7 it was mostly clear, but a bank of high wads of cloud soon swallowed the sun. The most recent weather forecast spoke of quite a bit of rain during the day but fair weather on the morrow, so I decided to seize the opportunity and take the detour over Såmmarlappa and Fierrovágge rather than taking the direct route (which in this case would have involved stopping in Tarrekaise for the night, since I had no intention of repeating Micke's feat). After breakfast our primary star reemerged, but now more clouds were on the way from the south, quickly amassing around the peaks. I talked some with the other wardens outside, and then left after 09:30.

Njunjes cottage 4
Sun 4
Gasskájvvo 5

The stage started off comfortably, but as I soon found myself ascending through the luxuriant forest things quickly got warm. I met another hiker on the way down before reaching the crest of the outrunner blocking the entry to Tarradalen proper, from where I had a better view west than expected what with the increasing cloudiness. I passed one of the other cottage guests going down, negotiating some slippery duckboards, then passed a largish campsite close to the eastern end of Luoppal, and also met a quintet going the other way. Once down on the valley floor again I pressed on through the high, dense vegetation, soon reaching the rocky portion beneath Hilldo.

Trail 1
Leafy again
Flower 1
Njunjes cottage 5
Towards Kvikkjokk
Hiker 1
Hiker before Stájggá
Hiker 2
Hiker before Darregájsse
Tarradalen 1
Lower Tarradalen
Njoammelgårttje 1
Trail 2
Basseuksa 1
Basseuksa ("Holy Door")

After meeting a family I caught sight of a chimney close to the shore of Darrávrre, which obviously belonged to an old stone hut I knew to be in the area, so I went over to check it out, finding it to be still standing but in rather poor condition. In all likelihood this hut belonged to the Holmbom settlers in Njunjes and Bäcken in days of yore, but has seen little use since. Back on the trail I met two single men in succession and a while later emerged on the open field where sits the Tarrekaise cottages at 11:15.

Hut 1
At the hut
Tarrekaise cottages 1
At the cottages

I went down to the warden's cottage to speak with Helena, who had flown out with her family by helicopter the evening before, and while we stood there the promised rain started. I therefore decided to have lunch inside the main guest cottage, which was a good thing because before long it was pouring down. Another man came in from the north while I was waiting to see which direction the weather would take, but when it was clear that it was going to be more or less (usually more) rain for some time I saw fit to change into the rain clothes and get going again.

The first bit was just as wet and leafy as expected, but then the trail climbed a bit to drier (or "drier") ground, where I met two people. Visibility was now pretty bad, but then it was back into the dense forest again so no real loss there. It was, however, rather muddy, and what duckboards there were were often decayed beyond use. The rain waxed and waned in intensity, never quite holding up, and thunder rumbled in the distance. As I passed the trail split to Vaimok – yes, passed – the rain intensified markedly, and when I approached the stream from Bádurgårsså the thunder booms were closing in as well.

Flowers 3
Trail 3
Stream 1

This stream is infamous for being "moody": in dry weather it can almost disappear entirely, whereas after heavy rains it can swell to an impassable torrent. This was another reason why I hadn't wanted to dally too long in Tarrekaise, since at the present rate of precipitation the stream was sure to grow to difficult power later in the day. As it was the main course had already deepened beyond the ability of my boots to handle.

I found three people at the marked ford – two going south, one north – and after checking a short distance upstream I gave up and returned to the ford, where I changed into the slippers as quickly as I could with rain slamming against me and thunder in my ears. The ford itself was unproblematic, and once on the other side I wasted no time drying off, and even fastened the slippers with the chest strap so that I could get out from the open ground as soon as possible, for now the flashes were getting too close for comfort. Great timing, eh?

Campsite 1
The camp

The path ahead was riddled with puddles and things were very wet all around – including myself – so there was nothing to do but keep walking. Several thunder cells passed by, luckily before I came out onto semi-open ground again, by which time the rain was also decreasing. Around there I started noticing brand new duckboards, some of which followed different routes than the old ones, and a bit later I came upon a camp with an ATV that I reckoned belonged to the county administration whom I in turn reckoned were responsible for said maintenance. I then caught up with the other man from before, who was still wearing his sandals after the ford. He had himself just caught up with two foreigners, and we chatted briefly before I pushed on ahead of all three of them.

The wind was increasing, but it was only temporary and served to blow away the last remnants of recent bad weather – indeed, patches of blue were rapidly growing, and soon the sun glinted here and there on the wet vegetation. This made things quite warm, but since I was now fairly close to my destination I just walked on. Where the trail went right beside Darrhaädno it was rather fair, and the few campsites that exist there looked well-utilized. I passed a single hiker and then it was time to climb between/over a rocky portion that was just as cumbersome as I remembered. A last bit through dense forest followed, and then I suddenly found myself at the river bank and the Såmmarlappa cottage after 15:30.

Trail 4
Tarradalen 2
Cleft 1
Trail 5
Vuoksákvahta 1
Darrhaädno 3
Darrhaädno 4
...beside Darrhaädno
Cave 1
The old Såmmarlappa cave

The warden came out and greeted me and we talked for a while as I removed my wet gear and put it out to dry, and we were soon joined by the sandal man. It was now mostly clear and nice outside, save for a few mosquitos and horseflies (which were quite tolerable), so I went for a wash in the stream while it was warm. There I took the opportunity to lade water from the line ferry which I intended to use the next day, and then went inside to have a small snack.

More clouds were moving in the sky but it was still mostly sunny, so I returned outside to photograph – and I must say that it felt quite good to be "back home" in Såmmarlappa, this place being my first warden assignment and all. The other man I had passed had arrived and left, and in his place there came a Swiss family of five, bringing the overnight number up to nine as there were already two Swedes present.

Darrhaädno 5
Calm waters...
Såmmarlappa cottage 1
...beside the cottage
Såmmarlappa cottage 2
Cottage and Såmmárgårsså
Flower 2
Flowers 4
Flowers 5

After dinner the sun was mostly hidden by clouds, but it was still warm enough to sit outside for a while. I proceeded to read inside and take care of various wet items that needed tending to. I spent the rest of the evening resting and reading, and I was the last to go to bed before 22:00, by which time the clouds were sinking noticeably.

Evening 1


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