Tours › 2014 › Vistas › 27/7–2/8

Sunday 27/7 – Saturday 2/8

Rain, take two

Sunday 27/7

The day started out mostly clear, but the forecast spoke of showers. After I had taken care of some garbage-related stuff a single hiker arrived from the north, but he was but the vanguard of a group of eight who shopped to their hearts' content – especially zoning in on my canned pineapple sale – and I also serviced an unrelated group of four. By lunch things had calmed down, and now clouds were slowly rolling in from the south.

Morning 1
Morning 2

I set about baking another batch of bread, and as this process neared its completion a light shower passed. Soon thereafter a single girl arrived from Nallo, in the form of an off-duty Kebnekaise employee having taken the Three-Pass Trail from Tarfala in the morning(!) and now intending to go back(!!) to Tarfala. Well, that's beyond me. The rest of the afternoon saw some shifting weather conditions, eventually developing into full-blown thunder with heavy rainfall. A number of people started filing in, all in varying degrees of wetness and in need of drying facilities. Later in the evening the rains petered out and the clouds remained for some time yet, but as I readied myself for bed at 22 the sky was well on its way to clear status.

Rain 9
Rainbow 3

Monday 28/7

Night 9

After a night dominated by a peculiar "end of the world" dream, I arose tiredly to a mostly cloudy day and a cottage most guests of which had already left. There was, however, a Polish couple who had arrived late, and were only just getting up. As the forenoon progressed the weather improved, and I spent some time outside. Another running girl then came from Nallo, and she also turned out to be a Kebber. She too was to continue to Tarfala, but at least she had "only" started in Sälka that morning. Now she was to have lunch, and since it was that time for me too I joined her.

Morning 3
Campsites 3

A long conversation (and some donation of various spices to liven up her freeze-dried meal) later she left, and I rested with the radio. More slumber followed after dinner, interrupted by the entrance of a couple of people seeking to visit the shop before – you guessed it – camping on the other side of the stream. By then the sky was completely covered in clouds, and the peaks were just touching them.

Eventually rain started falling, in the middle of which a single guy came in, and as it turned out he knew me from both this site and Utsidan. He was on a very ambitious peak-collection tour, having been stuck upon Šielmmáčohkka for five(!) hours in the heavy thunder the day before, but was now mulling Bossosčohkka. Apart from some more rain this was the last event of the day, and I could go to bed around 22 as usual.

Evening 1

Tuesday 29/7

Clouds extended over and between the peaks, letting only a little bit of sun through, and they grew into a mist later on. A pair of campers originally intending to take the high way to Tarfala changed their mind in face of the reduced (or even nonexistent) visibility, and opted for the easy route via Nallo and Sälka instead.

Night 10
Clouds 11
Rain 10

Myself, I set about cleaning the outside of the windows of the upper cottage, just barely managing to reach some of the uppermost panes, then moving on to the lower cottage. All the while the clouds descended, and at times there were some light drops in the air. After lunch a number of people arrived all at once while the mist spread, eventually turning into actual rain.

As I was just relating some advice to a couple of people who were moving on I saw a single woman arrive outside, and realized that it was Emma my warden colleague; she had alerted me to the fact that she might be passing by sometime this week, and had now obviously decided to do so. I spent most of the afternoon talking with her, and as time passed so did the rain, so we moved outside. As we were sitting on the bench a helicopter approached – not too uncommon an occurrence, but this time it made a turn and landed right beside us. It turned out to be carrying both a hiker who wanted to continue a tour previously aborted due to sickness, and some much needed supplies for the shop (although only about half of what I would have wished for). Having gone through and registered everything I started carrying it in, while everyone else went out in the now-sunny afternoon.

Clouds 12
Clouds 13
Clouds 14
Clouds 15
Helicopter 1
Shop 1

After dinner I shared a dessert with Emma (who took it as a starter), and while she went out hunting for cloudberries up on the heights I started the project of fitting all the new stuff into the very limited space offered by the shop compartment. In the end it turned out really well, and I could now offer many (but not all) of the things people had been missing thus far. Emma returned with half a liter of berries, and I offered some sugar and another glass jar besides the one she had brought for the resulting jam, earning me a bit of the stuff in return. Mmm. At bedtime it was mostly back to low clouds and somewhat chilly temperatures, and after another talk with Emma I turned in at 22:30.

Shop 2

Wednesday 30/7

Also this day started with very low clouds, so apparently those guys who had foregone Tarfala had made the right choice. One of the tenters alerted me to the fact that the bolts holding the walking platforms in the Visttasjohka bridge were coming loose in a few places, and after Emma had left I located some appropriate tools and tightened the nuts in question, finding four that were in need of attention.

View 10
View 11

After lunch I started cleaning the insides of the various windows (and the between-sides, at that), which was a time-consuming business – and I discovered lots of fly colonies in the process. Before I had finished with half the upper cottage a light rain came, and I decided to leave the rest for another time. When the rain intensified a bit I went down and fired up the incinerator, which was once again stuffed, and then took to some other indoor tasks.

Smoke 2

A single man soon arrived, having come from Unna Reaiddávággi on the southwestern side of Visttasjohka, which had earned him a difficult ford of the swift Stuor Reaiddávággi stream at the end, forcing his rather large dog to go for an actual swim, so he now wanted to stay inside to dry up. More people came, some staying and some not – some inside and some not, after which I mostly took it easy inside. The clouds were sinking again, giving more rain as I was going to bed.

Cottages 9

Thursday 31/7

I had trouble sleeping this night, but at least this did result in my experiencing a mesmerizing early morning, with low clouds making the peaks look like nunataks. As the clouds drifted to and fro and a mist hung in Stuor Reaiddávággi I spent the forenoon taking care of the rest of the windows in the upper cottage, leaving the lower one be for now. People came and went while the weather improved, and eventually I went out for a walk.

Morning 4
Morning 5
Morning 6
Morning 7
Clouds 16
Bridge 4
Rain 11

I picked my way through a thicket close to Visttasjohka, emerging on a narrow strip of open ground at the brink, and then turned up into the forest across a wet bog that offered a few cloudberries. The forest above it was dry and nice, and opened up in a series of rising clearings with a good view over Stuor Reaiddávággi. I was now drawing close to the cottages again, so I turned around on a slightly higher level, going upwards when the forest grew denser, suddenly coming onto the Alesjaure trail. This I crossed and then headed back, traversing an older path before reaching the trail again right behind the privy. Quite a good way to spend half an hour, I thought.

Visttasjohka 14
The strip
Forest 3
The dry forest
Stuor Reaiddávággi 1
The view

Soon another mist with a wee bit of rain and quite a bit more wind passed by, but then things cleared again, so in the evening all of the present guests could be found out on the bench. I spent most of it outside as well, going in when the sun passed into a large cloud above Šielmmáčohkka, and had a calm end to the day inside.

Woodshed 2
Back at the woodshed
Cottages 10
Newer cottage
View 12
Evening 2
Evening 3
Evening 4

Friday 1/8

Since it was a new month I gave a couple of report letters to a couple of the guests that were leaving, to ferry to Alesjaure and Abisko, and when a strong rainbow formed in a passing shower everyone ran out to photograph it. Once they were all on their way I set about cleaning the remaining windowpanes, while the mists remained in Stuor Reaiddávággi.

Morning 8
Morning view
Siehtagasglaciären 1
Closeup of Siehtagasglaciären
Rainbow 4
Faint rainbow
Rainbow 5
Stronger rainbow
Rainbow 6
Even stronger rainbow
Panorama 5
Panorama of a full rainbow

After an outdoor lunch a large elk with her new calf slowly passed by above the privy, and those of us present stalked them at a respectful distance, not wanting to tick the mother off. When they had moved on I started rearranging things inside the woodshed, preparing to move in the drying logs outside, keeping at it until rain was approaching.

Elk 14
Elks 1
Elks 2
Elk 15
Nállu 4
Woodshed 3

The evening saw a man and a group of three women deliberate their respective plans for the coming day, involving long and arduous stages either way; one of them went in search of reception in order to raise the Nikkaluokta boat, but returned without having met with success. The clouds dissipated more and more, giving rise to a nice evening light that somehow found its way onto various memory cards.

Evening 5
Evening 6
Evening 7

Saturday 2/8

Morning 9
Cottages 11
Panorama 6

It was a still and somewhat chilly morning – the radio reported that the temperature had reached freezing in Gielas further south – and the rising sun together with showers passing out of Stuor Reaiddávággi created not just one, but two great rainbows to everyone's delight (including mine). I spent some time rearranging things in the storage building as well as servicing a few day visitors, and then had lunch inside.

In the afternoon the sun broke through more and more, and after sitting some on the bench I walked down to Visttasjohka, seeking out the flowery brink on the near side where I spent some time reading before returning to greet some new arrivals. It was getting warmer and warmer, and now all the clouds had gone. I continued reading outside in the powerful sun, noticing the approach of a couple of elderly people across the stream; they walked close to the water, and eventually pitched a tent in among the first trees.

Cottages 12
Bird 3
Visttasjohka 15

After I had had my dinner the pair came up to shop and to inquire about both boat and helicopter transfer; the wife had suffered an injury to her calf which impeded her movement, and they were unsure whether or not it would be worth the effort to cover the last stretch to Nikkaluokta on foot (not least because they were both 76 years old). It was a great summer evening that heralded a change in the weather, and I decided to go for another walk.

View 13
Another sunny evening
Cottages 13
Flowers 13
Fireweed galore
Flowers 14

I strolled around the campsites, noting that it was now problematic to acquire water from the adjacent stream course, but Visttasjohka itself was of course accessible. Back up at the cottages a group of six (which was actually two groups of four and two, respectively) was just arriving, having gone from the boat drop, and the larger bunch opted for beds. They were later followed by another group of three who had walked all the way from Nikkaluokta, and while they settled in and did their thing I dropped off to bed.

Vássačorru 5
Sun on Vássačorru
Unna Visttasvággi 2
Shadow in Unna Visttasvággi
Visttasjohka 16
Visttasjohka downstream
Evening 8


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