Thanks to Carina and Gustav I finally got together the n00b trek I’ve been speaking about for a while. So, Yours Truly, Carina, Gustav and to my happy surprise also Jennyann (also known as Red Eyed Jenna elsewhere on this blog) went for a short hike in the Abisko range in the beginning of July.
Yes, we have pretty pictures!
As usual, being a complete nerd, I had some new equipment:
- Hilleberg Allak. A two person tent, and of course in Hilleberg’s usual standard, in other words absolutely lovely. And in a red lovely color.
- Exped Alpine poles. I was curious as to how it would be waling with poles. I ended up using one pole and Jenna the other. It was indeed very good, good for the balance but also I imagined it helps the back by introducing small movements in the shoulder area.
The simple plan looked like this:
- Night train to Låktatjåkka train stop
- Låktatjåkka -> Rissajavri (Geargevaggi)
- Geargevaggi -> Låktatjåkka station -> Latnjavaggi
- Latnjavaggi -> Gorsavagi (east end)
- Gorsavaggi -> Abisko (and fly home from Kiruna)
Day one and two; The dreaded train
I’ll point out directly that I’m no particular fan of the night train to northern Sweden. I have, after all, lived up there, and it ended up with me swearing never to set my foot on the train again. However, that was a few years back and this time we’d be travelling in a group, thus getting our own compartment, so when C+G actually wanted to take the train I made an exception.
And it was actually very good. A nice slow start to the trek, and sharing a compartment with friends as good as C+g and Jenna is rather harmless. So we talked, talked, slept and then all of a sudden it was afternoon again, and we had arrived at Låktatjåkka (which is basically only a small hut beside the rails).We went up Geargevaggi – which is a gourgeus valley with rather interesting stone formations – heading for “Trollsjön”. Quite a few day trippers, but as it was late afternoon and we didn’t need to get back to the car afterwards, but they did, we mostly met those on their way back. Trollsjön is completely clear down to 24 meters (owning to copper traces in the water) and a really nice location. Ice on the water and majestic mountain sides.The ladies had promised they would take a swim. I mean, seriously, how cold can it be? But for some reason I must have missed it…
We went back a kilometre or two in the valley and found a really nice spot for the night. The weather was gorgeous and the sunset striking.
Day three; Up and down and rain
We back tracked Gorsavaggi and then went up Loktajonka towards the Låktatjåkka Station. The rain entered as we where striking the tents and then kept as a steady downpour for a couple of hours. Also, it was rather windy. And we needed to take some height before reaching Låktatjåkka at 1200 meters above sea level. Brace yourselves ducklings! This is where it gets harder 🙂
The shelter in Gorsavaggi came in really handy for lunch. And a huge applause to whomever left the shelter just before we came. It was warm and cosy!
During lunch the rain let off and we could climb the last bit rather easily. The Låktatjåkka station is manned and well stocked. I believe the ladies in particular enjoyed themselves (with a bit of help by a “våffla”).We aimed south for Latnjavaggi. There was a bit a snow to get over, and the path wasn’t always clear, but no big obstacles (not counting when yours truly temporarily lost his mind, crossing a snow field leading everyone over a completely stupid and unsafe snow bridge).
We went up Geargevaggi – which is a gourgeus valley with rather interesting stone forLatnjavaggi was a very good spot for the night. Plenty of water, nice flat soft ground and stunning surroundings. And reindeer. A. Lot. Of. Reindeer.
They came slowly during the evening. Small groups entering the valley. But keeping their distance. Until we sat down in C+G’s tent for a small night cap, when they obviously surrounded the tent… Stupid animals!
When the sun hit the tent wall in the morning it quickly became very warm. Jenna, who wasn’t quite prepared, looked half-panicked and scrambled out, only to realize that there was now several hundred reindeer in the valley, surrounding us completely!
As you should disturb reindeer in the Swedish mountains I was a bit worried that we’d have to back track or take a ridiculous way out of the valley. But thankfully a herder came by and all of a sudden all the stupid meat was gone again.
Day four; Down Gorsavaggi
The exit of Latnjavaggi into Gorsavaggi is dramatic and well worth the trip in it self. This is where the magic grandeur and splendour of the mountains really hit you. I could spend hours just sitting there, watching the valley floor below.
We lunched at the Gorsavaggi station. Hat off to the man who provided the lunch time entertainment by making the crossing below a bit hard on himself. It is a long streak of water, not very deep, but significant. And he hesitated, stopped, climbed rocks and eventually half fell to his side, only to quickly jump to his feet and give us – who where sitting like a jury on a small rise just above him – a friendly wave. He also was good sport and gave a stage bow as we applauded him when he was over.
We landed for the night at the end of the valley, just outside the wildlife preserve (in which you’re not allowed to camp). C+G went for a small expedition of the mountain side. Me and Jenna settled for a wind-free spot, with whisky and a wonderful view and soft conversation.
Day five; High flying home
The next day we needed to make the train in Abisko by lunchtime, so we started a bit earlier than the other days. The trek down was lovely through the birch woods of the Abisko wildlife preserve.
We took the train from Abisko to Kiruna. In Kiruna we had the almost traditional after-trek-pizza, talked to some German fellas, and visited the lovely little wooden church while waited for the taxi to the airport.
And then, home.
Over and out: Fjällborgarmärket
So how did it go for my little ducklings? Did they enjoy themselves? Did they exit with flying flags and high colours? Did they in fact make it?Yes, I do think they did! 🙂
Jenna and Gustav brought the whisky. And it was lovely.
We have pretty pictures!