Tours › 2010 › Vistas: Day Tours › 9/4

Friday 9/4

Stage map 9/4

Around Nállu

Horizontal distance:20.5 km
Vertical distance:+760 m, -760 m
Time:6 h
Lunch break: 30 min
Night accommodation:
Stage classification:Medium
Map point:Nallo

I went up the lefthand slope to Stuor Reaiddávággi, thinking that the righthand one looked a tad too steep. Above the crest the snow was rather good, but beside the track it was a bit too soft so I remained upon said track. There was a light draft coming from up the valley, which only felt good seeing as how it was getting warmer all the time. My eye was caught by a slain reindeer a bit off to the side, and I skied over to investigate – it was the work of a predator all right, but not much had been consumed, and there were no identifiable tracks of that kind in the immediate vicinity; in fact, it looked as though the body had been dragged down from higher up.

When the track turned down to the stream I continued straight ahead, where there were a few older ski tracks. I now entered the shadow of Reaiddáčohkka and was cooled off for a while as I easily made my way between what rocks there were, but when I reemerged into the sun it quickly got hot again. Some distance ahead I observed what I judged to be a single person upon a small bare hill immediately below the spire of Nállu itself, but as I got closer I lost sight of it/him/her. I skied across some old avalanche debris from the crevices up Siehtagas/Kugghjulskammen, and when I reached the snow-filled stream from the valley north of Nállu I stopped to put the climbing skins on – and to remove the jacket.

Vistas cottages 1
Over the stream
Visttasvággi 1
Clouds to the southeast
Stuor Reaiddávággi 1
In Stuor Reaiddávággi
Reindeer 1
Nállu 1
Nállu by itself
Reaiddáčohkka 1
Reaiddáčohkka West
Kugghjulskammen 1

As I did so I heard the sound and saw the sight of two ptarmigans ostensibly speaking to each other, but other than that everything was perfectly still. When I got going again and rounded another little hill I immediately caught sight of that other person again – for it was indeed a person – and I skied over. This person was Lena, the Nallo warden who was to be relieved in a few more days' time, and I stopped to talk. She had fled the cottage since one of a group of three who had arrived via the Yo-yo Trail from Tarfala the day before had come down with the Kebnekaisian stomach flu during the night, and she did not really fancy ending her term in a state of vomiting herself. After a good while we parted ways, with her returning to Nallo and me starting to climb into the northern valley.

Ptarmigan 1
Ravine 1

Not long thereafter I saw the small tracks of an ermine, but of course the animal itself was long gone. Above me I could see some old downhill tracks, and there were also traces of uphill ones, which I followed for the most part since they described a good route up the slope which in some parts held some risk of avalanches. It was now warm indeed, and the snow agglutinated heavily under my ski(n)s. Looking back I could see a bank of clouds in the process of covering up Duopmačohkka, and more were getting closer behind Reaiddáčohkka, but ahead the sky was still clear.

On the first lake the ice had swelled into a low rise, and a gurgling hole upon it showed how this had happened. I was now in the shadow of Nállu, which was quite a relief as I crossed the ice, keeping to the right up the slope towards the next lake. Back out in the sun there was a bit of wind, so skiing was comfortable, and the snow was cold and very good – a stark contrast to conditions down in Visttasvággi. Looking up at Šielmmáčohkka I could see that while it was white as usual, it had amassed less snow than it typically does, but in any event it looked perfectly climbable.

Reaiddáčohkka 2
Stuor Reaiddávággi 2
Lower Stuor Reaiddávággi
Fjelds 1
Ice above the crest
Šielmmáčohkka 1
Peaks 1
1750 and 1884 ahead
Fjelds 2
Behind my back

That was not my goal now, however, and I changed my heading to the southern edge of the middle lake, finding fresh fox tracks in the process. I continued up the lower slopes of Nállu at an angle, going beside some rocks at first and then just skied around the bend of the mountain. The snow was still excellent, and below me there was a great little slope down to the lake should I have wanted to make turns. Now that I could see the steep Šielmmávággi slope I thought that it looked even steeper than usual – the scant snow this season had apparently not filled it in as much as it usually does. The Bossos pass, however, looked better than it had done previously, which goes to show how much winter conditions can change from year to year. Completing the turn I saw that there were quite a bit of clouds over and behind the whole Reaiddáčohkka massif, and the bank continued all the way down to Stuor Ruška – and further off around Sarek things looked considerably worse. Right where I was, however, things were as fair as one can ask for, and I found myself a nice rock to have lunch by before 12:15.

Šielmmáčohkka 2
Šielmmáčohkka major
Panorama 5
Panorama over the Šielmmáčohkka massif
Bossos Pass 1
The Bossos Pass
Šielmmávággi 1
Šielmmávággi from above
Stuor Reaiddávággi 3
Stuor Reaiddávággi
Čeakčačohkka 1

As I was taking out my lunch I observed a group of snowmobiles coming through Stuor Reaiddávággi from Sälka, which was odd given the general prohibition against snowmobiles in the area. While I was eating the clouds started to lift and/or pull back, and it was nice sitting there looking out over familiar lands, with nothing moving in any direction. When I got moving myself a cloud was just making its way up the valley through which I had come, obscuring Šielmmáčohkka, so my ascent had been well timed. I skied across the slope to a rock-less field of snow that bore clear tracks of previous turns and then added my own; the snow was soft, but it went alright. I proceeded down to a large cairn and then turned more or less straight down the southern slope, going beside the older tracks. Here the snow was great, and I had much fun until I had to stop and take off the jacket once again due to the warmth.

I went on until I could see the Nallo cottage – a pleasant ocular reunion – at which point I stopped above a small edge – and just then I caught sight of something rapidly moving up the southern slope of Nállu a couple of hundred meters away. This was the fox the tracks of which I had seen on the other side of the mountain, and I stayed to photograph it as best I could given the distance before turning around, going a bit to the west in order to clear the ravine below, since I wanted to get a run in The Slope. This I reached from above, and then I threw myself down the hill; here the snow was softer again, and previous skiers had made persisting tracks in it, but on the whole it was pretty good.

Čeakčabákti 1
Stuor Ruška 1
Stuor Ruška
Panorama 6
Mini-panorama over 1773, 1750 and 1884
Vaktposten 1
Vaktposten (Sentinel)
Reaiddáčohkka & Vaktposten 1
Broader view
Nállu 2
Nallo cottage 1
The Nallo cottage
Fox 1
Šielmmávággi 2
The Šielmmávággi slope
Nallo cottage 2
Cottage below
Vaktposten 2
Vaktposten again
Reaiddáčohkka 3
Reaiddáčohkka West
Čeakčačohkka 2
Čeakčačohkka major
Nallo cottage 3
Gliding the last bit

Outside the cottage the two guests who were not ill were sitting behind a makeshift wind shelter, and soon Lena emerged as well. Just looking at the immediate surroundings of the cottage it was abundantly clear that there was considerably less snow this year than during my wardenship period two years prior; I estimated the difference to at least a full meter. We all talked about this and that outside, and I learnt that the snowmobiles had not come all the way to the cottage but rather continued down towards Vistas after stopping some distance away, so most likely they really had no business being there (and probably knew it). I peeked into the warden's room, reminiscing, and I also found out from Lena that on the coming Monday she would be picked up by Erik Sarri in the morning, and her replacement would be transported out by Anders from Abisko later that day, so I was to act as the middleman as far as the keys were concerned. After some (as in a lot) more talking outside I finally left for home around 14:15, which gave me 01:45 to cover the nine kilometers in order to meet my announced return time.

Čeakčačohkka 3
Čeakčačohkka and The Slope
Peaks 2
The way to Sälka
Nallo cottage 4
Lena outside the cottage

I made good speed at first, but after the first couple of hundred meters I met a man going in the other direction, and I stopped to talk with him. He had come from Alesjaure in the morning, having paused in Vistas, and was now headed for Nallo, or possibly Sälka. He also asked about the route through Unna Reaiddávággi, notifying me that he might return that way later. Beneath the spire of Nállu there was ice on the stream, and I kept to the snow at the side. Skiing in the shadow of Reaiddáčohkka was comfortable, and when I had completed the bend I spotted the two Swedish-Germans sitting on a hill in the sun, so I went over to share my findings about the snow conditions on the backside of Nállu.

After that I skied on at a good pace, being able to maintain a fair cross-country style in the nice snow, but it was starting to get warm again. The clouds remained in the northern valley as well as atop Kugghjulskammen and Siehtagas, and there were more on the other side of Visttasvággi. I left the stream more or less facing the Siehtagas tower, which brought me back out into the full sun. A light wind was blowing from the west, and I frequently turned around to let it cool me down a bit. This time I followed the lower ski tracks to the final crest, where there was more wind (us usual), and minutes later I was crossing Visttasjohka below the cottages after 15:15.

Nallo cottage 5
Goodbye to Nallo
Nállu 3
The spire
Ice 1
Passing the ice...
Nállu 4
...beneath the spire
Reaiddáčohkka 4
Jagged shapes upon Reaiddáčohkka
Nállu 7
The Needle
Visttasvággi 2
Visttasvággi coming into view
Siehtagas 1
Cloud on Siehtagas
Unna Visttasvággi 1
Unna Visttasvággi

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