Kärkevagge, or Geargevaggi in the local same language, is suitable for an excursion for a day or half a day. The name means the stony valley, a name that describe it perfectly. I have visited this interesting valley twice, in 1987 and 1988.  Many do this excursion, and it also the reason why we (me and my girlfriend) this day in August 1988 get off the train at the Låktatjåkka stop. The train do not stop unless one tell the train personnel in advance that one want to get off. The weather is perfect, which means sunshine, a comfortable temperature, and a refreshing wind. The forecast promised it to stay like this all day. Kärkevagge is a 5 km long valley, with a dead end at a small lake, Rissajavri which is also called the "Troll lake" (Trollsjön). The valley is known for the many giant stone boulders, that the ice during the latest glacial period spread around in the valley.

We slowly walk up the slope towards the valley. Many flowers do their best to emphasize the feeling of nature when it is  from it's best. If one turn around and look towards north do one see a far reaching view consisting of small lakes and with the mountains of the national park Vadvetjåkka at the horizon. We are of course not alone, several others have the same goal as us today. Kärkevagge is a popular place for an excursion, and the track is well used all the way to the lake. The line of people walking up the slope to the entry of the valley stretch out, it is a height difference of 200 meters during 1 km, and everybody walk in their own pace. We are soon alone. Halfway up do the track we follow divide, one part turn left and continue up to the Låktatjåkka cabin, the other one which  we follow continue towards the valley of our interest.

When we have walked up the slope do the valley appear in front of us. Large stones are scattered around in the valley, some lie down, some are standing up, there is no order at all.  When the track turn behind one particularly large boulder, do we see a flower we have not seen here before. I lie down on the ground, I do not realise that I do it across the track, to take a photo. Hidden as I am behind the stone do a man and a woman almost step on me as they turn around the stone. They avoid it in the last fraction of a second. It was probably meant to be like this, since he is fortunately working with botany and can tell us that the flower is an alpine saw-wort (fjällskära in swedish), a relative to the dandelion. We excuse me for being an obstacle on the track and thank them for their understanding and information.

The track continue to wind between the stones. The ground suddenly start to shake, we can hear a thunder. Earthquake up here!? Can't be! It can not be a thunderstorm either, the clouds that rest on the mountains along the sides of the valley are not of the correct type. Do the mountains fall down? We stand still and wait. Klippedeklippedeklick, the explanation, a large herd of reindeers appear at full speed, spread out around us, ignore us, and disappear. Silence.

The valley is not long, only about 5 km, and it do not take a long time to reach the small lake at the end, Rissajavri. The mountains form a wall around the lake, most pronounced on the right side. The left side may be possible to walk up on. The outlet from the lake is hidden under ground, and do not appear until after some hundred meters. It is said that one can see more than 30 meters down into the lake, the lake is almost sterile and without the small particles that normally decrease the depth of sight. The depth of sight is roughly the depth of the lake. Today we can not see that deep, the wind disturbs the surface too much. We eat our lunch at the lake. We have walked slowly, all the others have already left the lake and returned the same way back, leaving us alone together with the lake. When we finally walk back do we have all the valley in front of us. There is a large grassy flat area, a contrast to the rest of the valley of stones. This is created by floods from the mountain side. We make the return more interesting by taking a long break in the sunshine and the green grass halfway back to train stop.

If one have time can one, instead of taking the train back from the Låktatjåkka stop, walk up to the Låktatjåkka cabin, and from there down to Björkliden. This is 16 km extra, which makes it more suitable for a (long) one day excursion. When I was here 1987 did I do these 16 km extra. It turned out to be a very long day. From Kärkevagge do one walk on the flowering slope eastward, with the same nice view towards north, until one meet the track that further down join the track to Kärkevagge and now follow the brook Luoktajohka through the valley that lead up to the cabin at 1150 m.

The track is broad, it remind me about walking in the alps. I walk alone without meeting anybody. At the bridge over the brook, do I make a halt for lunch. Suddenly is there a strong  wind, it takes my hiking hat and gently drops it into the streaming water, that rapidly carries it away. Since the hat is a very dear thing to me, do I make a new world record on 100 meter, and manage to rescue it before it dissappear down in between the stones in the brook. I put it back on my head, happy but wet. Me and it will soon get dry in the sunshine. It is really a nice weather, and one can see the flat peaks of the mountains around the valley, the peaks are about 1400 meters high.

Further up, before reaching the cabin, do the track become almost invisible among the rocks. The cabin is placed on the saddle point beneath the Luoktacohkka mountain. In the cabin is a small restaurant that among other things serve waffles. I sit down at the window and order one. A good fuel for the body before starting the descend to Björkliden, 9 km away and 800 meters downhill. The first part is on a large snow field, I miss my skis. Further down does it get warmer, and I'm sweating which makes a few mosquitos to like me very much. On another snow field on one of the mountain slopes are many reindeers escaping the mosquitos and trying to get some cooling. The valley is wide open, and in the north do the lake Torne Träsk show up. It is getting late and get I worried that I will miss the last train. I speed up, and when I pass the hotel Fjället in Björkliden do I almost run. I arrive at the railway station just in time for last train back to Abisko. My legs are very tired.

Boulder stone
Seen from upper part of valley
Up to Låktatjåkka cabin
Down to Björkliden