Tours › 2019 › Vindelfjällen › Summary


Phew! That was, surely, the warmest tour I've made yet, and a temperature reduction of 5 or even 10°C would not have been amiss. As such, I was glad that I had planned a trip with relatively short stages – originally I had expected this to result in a relaxed feel and extra campsite time, but the heat took an extra toll.

For example, the stage between Rássjajávrrie and Glimmerstugan was one of the tour's shortest, but it also turned out to be the most taxing due to the combination of a relentless sun, very little wind and several challenges put up by the terrain. Still, that shelf beneath Juobmuobákttie was a joy to experience – should tent there sometime – and I found the valley of Jireskalet very pleasant.

This brings us to Glimmerstugan, which had been on my to-visit list for quite some time, and it was every bit as cute and homely as I had expected. With its perch high up the slope in a forgotten corner of the vast nature reserve, without trails or even real footpaths leading to its front door, it was the epitome of solitary and locational beauty. Of course, there being no one else present only strengthened this feeling, and the fantastic weather made for a near-perfect afternoon and evening in this little gem of an abode – with the bath in the cold brook as a flawless way to cap it all off. Great, just great.

Another high point in the "beautiful solitude" department was the Måskoesvaajja campsite, and the unexpectedly comfortable walk there from Jirestugan. That niche valley was really impressive and imposing, with a long wall of rocky precipices rearing their dark faces over a very green and open valley floor – for despite the inherent closedness of the niche, the half-circle shape together with my campsite's sitting a bit up the slope at the entrance made it so that I never felt confined. What a place!

As for the make-or-break day, when I set aim for Måskonåiveglaciären, it has taken over as the most precarious enterprise of mine, from previous candidates such as the climb up to and down from Vássačorrojávri, the ravine incident in Siŋŋivággi, or the spring flood ford in Härjångsdalen. Now, even though the climb between the tarns was a more or less (probably more) risky thing to attempt, I felt in control the whole time, but I would urge anyone wanting to repeat the feat to exercise extreme caution, and try to get around to that lower snowfield instead as a first option.

Speaking to the glacier itself, which I had wanted to visit due to my having seen reports and pictures of its secluded and otherworldly nature, it did not, in fact, quite live up to its reputation. Perhaps it was partially a reaction to the immediately preceding adrenaline rush of the climb, and perhaps partially because of the lack of the floating icebergs that said reports had so exalted – and in the latter regard I actually found the 1195 lake, with its extant ice, to be more striking, especially with its steep and rather colorful rocky sides.

The following visit to Viterskalet and Kungsleden was a stark contrast to the previous three days, where the seagull and the elks were the only other larger fauna I had encountered (human or otherwise), so this was indeed a solitary tour in more ways than one. In any event I did quite like the Viterskalet cottages, having only skirted the place before, and the social component was also welcome. My campsites had been tranquil and beautiful for sure, but there had been none to share the experience with (not counting the seagull).

What was not very welcome, however, was the immense quantities of mosquitos and other insects. This has got to be the worst I've experienced yet in that regard, which is one of the reasons I don't normally do tours during this time of summer, but rather wait for dates closer to the approach of autumn. But, well, vigorous application of repellant and just general persistence and patience made it bearable anyway.

For, whatever else, this is a very beautiful area of the fjelds, with many different types of landscape, but almost always with a very present sense of space – also in the more alpine parts, which display an impressive range of shapes and steepness. It is also very verdant, and the color palette under the blazing sun was most pleasing. There was a bit more water than expected in the streams, possibly due to extant snowfields that melted profusely in the heat, and all in all everything just felt alive (including the insects...).

That's it for this summer, but we'll see if the autumn and winter won't have something up their collective sleeve...



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