Tours › 2014 › Vistas › Day 1

Saturday 12/7

Stage map 1

Vistasdalens naturrastplats – Gaippugorsa

Horizontal distance:10.5 km
Vertical distance:+220 m, -40 m, +280 m, -40 m
Time:3 h 45 min
Lunch break:
Dinner:Pasta Provence
Night accommodation:Tent
Stage classification:Medium
Vistasdalens naturrastplats

The train was actually on time, travelling the new route around the Kiruna mine to a new, temporary train station away from the city center. Conveniently enough this was where the Nikkaluokta buses picked up its passengers as well, so I was soon on my way. The journey was a scenic one, with all the fjelds in full view, and the clouds that had started to amass in the previously clear sky were lighter in that direction. I had the bus driver drop me off at the lay-by before the mouth of Visttasvággi, like I did once before, and had my lunch there in a nice wind that countered the very warm air. After getting rid of some trash (again, one of the reasons for choosing this place as a starting point) I set off along the road at 12:15, wearing the lighter sun hat.

I met both returning buses before reaching the Vistas trail start, where the ATV tracks were as clear as before, and so I followed them once more. I took a regular footpath around a wetter portion, coming back to the tracks at the main slope up Alip Gáhttár. It was a very warm ascent, accompanied by a fair number of mosquitos, but the wind returned once I got higher. The open area at the first crest did not disappoint this time either, after which the continued route up to the top took place mostly in shadow, as the clouds had started to grow. I lost the tracks on the dry ground, but found them again down at the tarn, and this time I had no problems following them all the way through the forest, soon reaching the (unoccupied) reindeer-watching hut which was their destination.

Road 1
On the road again
Tracks 1
Panorama 1
Panorama from Alip Gáhttár
Visttasvággi 1
Lower Visttasvággi
Visttasvággi 2
More of
Tarn 1
Passed this
Reindeer-watching hut 1
No-one home

The passage of the adjacent brook was a bushy business, which increased the mosquito content, so I picked up the pace across the sprigs and heath to Guhppusjohka. I passed the ravine (Guhppusgorsa) easily just above a waterfall, and then made my way up the hills on the other side, somehow picking an arduous route over a slippery slope overgrown with flowers. From there it was an easy matter getting around the steep rise of Guhppusčohkka, which landed me on a ledge with a few intersecting rock tongues. The stream that flows down the western side of the mountain had gouged out a marked ravine, but I was lucky enough to come right at a passage. On the other side the ledge had a considerably greater slant, and an increased amount of rocks and bushes made the following portion tricky. The slope above to my right looked scalable in case I needed to break off, but I decided to look around the corner formed by the northwestern ridge first.

Flowers 1
In bloom
Delta 1
The lower delta
Guhppusgorsa 1
Coming to...
Guhppusgorsa 2
Waterfall 1
Water falling...
Guhppusgorsa 3
...into lower Guhppusgorsa
Flowers 2
Low flowers
Bird 1
Visttasvággi 3
Visttasvággi sprawling out
Visttasjohka 1
Meandering Visttasjohka
Ravine 1
New ravine

Thankfully, things improved appreciably from there on, the rocks giving way to heath and the ground flattening out quickly. Gaippugorsa displayed itself in more and more of its dramatic glory as I made my way upstream, looking for suitable campgrounds, but was thwarted by both the slant and the lack of easily accessible water. After some more bushes I came up onto the low hills flanking the top of the deep ravine, but the way down to the stream was still discouraging, so I went on a bit further. Eventually I came upon a patch that looked acceptable at 16:00, with better water access, so I decided to at least put the pack down and evaluate.

Gaippugorsa 1
Gaippugorsa 2
Gaippugorsa 3
Soon losing sight of the valley
Gaippugorsa 4
Upper part of the ravine

After considering for a bit and looking around the immediate area for something better I set about pitching the tent, with a pleasing result. After a visit to the stream I had found an easy route that worked well with my new camp slippers, and I spent some time outside in the wind, which appeared to have turned exactly 180°. Threatening clouds were rolling in from the southwest, and as the rain finally approached I moved inside for dinner. The first bout was light, but now thunder was rumbling off to the west, and it didn't take long before a much heavier shower hit. It was quite intense for a while, with the bulk of the lightning happening as close as 2 km away, but eventually the whole cell moved off and the rain gradually petered out.

Govggečorru 1
Govggečorru across Visttasvággi
Tent 1
Good spot
Rain 1
Rain comes
Gaippugorsa 5
Rain left

The sky was slowly getting clearer, and the sun was reemerging from hiding, making for a pleasant evening. The pressing warmth of the day was also subsiding, even though it was still warm, and with the diminishing wind there was quite a lot of mosquitos outside. I turned in around 22, looking at the still-not-quite-setting sun and listening to the active birds all around, electing to keep the sleeping bag open lest I perspire away.

Evening 1
Evening 2


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