Sarek 1987
Ritsem - Sjnjuftjutis - Ruotesvagge - Sierkavagge - Ritsem, 60 km

Day1: 28 July, Ritsem - Vuojatätno, 4 km

It is late afternoon. The bus turn left down to the small harbour in Ritsem. We have after a short discussion decided not to stay at Ritsem over the night, but to take the afternoon boat to Änonjalme. From there walk the four kilometers to Vuojatätno. We started our journey at nine yesterday morning, it is now five in the afternoon. We still feel fresh and the weather is good, the reasons for the decision. The lake Akkajaure is part of a water power plant, i.e. it is regulated. Therefore are the shores dead, visible especially this time of the year. In Änonjalme is the dead part hundred meter long. Ugly, energy is needed. The varying water level require moveable landing stages. We get our equipment and struggle up to the "true" shore. Änonjalme consists of a few houses, used by the lapps during summertime, and spread out in the area. In the distance can we hear a dog bark.

It is also a start/end point of Padjelantaleden, at the other point is Kvikkjokk. One may also continue with the boat the Vaisaluokta, the alternative to Änonjalme if one plan to walk Padjelantaleden. Our goal is Ruotesvagge in Sarek, then Änonjalme is the choise. The part to the Akkahut is rather boring, uphill through the mountain birch forest. We look into the hut, nobody there. Soon there will be, passengers on the boat will walk Padjelantaleden, and stay in the hut during the night. We continue. The track continue through the birch forest, now and then show small open areas up. Such an area is covered with "polarull", the flower with the white beard. It is an easy walk, soon is sound of the river Vuojatätno heard. We stop at the bridge, walk upstream searching for a suitable place to stay at. Find a place where the river is in peace. On the other side of the river is the Akka mountain guarding us. The long journey has finally made as tired, we fall asleep early.

Day2: 29 July, Vuojatätno - Sjnuftjutisjåkkå, 9 km

I do not like bridges which vibrate when you walk in them. This is one of those. I get dizzy, the balance is not the best. Prefer to walk alone on it, then the bridge is more peaceful. We walk one by one. The sign on the bridge say that at most two persons should be on the bridge at the same time. On the other side is a thirty meter high steep slope, feels more with 25 kg on the back. The view of Vuojatätno is an excuse to take a break on the top. I have always liked the view and sound of streaming water. Now we have a few kilometers through a birch forest. Not really a forest, the birches are small and sparse. We pass the brook from Akka, the small brideg is broken and looks dangerous to use. The brook is almost empty, we walk through it. Then we must start looking for the small track towards Sjnuftjutisjauratj the small lake between Akka and the hill Sjnuftjutis. The track is not marked on the map, but I roughly remember where it is from last year, when we walked in the other direction. Somebody has laid out stones on the ground, in the shape of an arrow, where the track is. We do not miss it.

This is not a prepared track, but it avoids the marshes and is not wet. After two kilometers are we at the terrace formations that mark the beginning of the valley. A steep slope, then flat for a while. Repeated twice. The forest stay below the terraces. The brook from the lake is in a ravine. The lake itself is in a hollow, down at the lake is it wet and much osier, the track continue further up on the slope. Sjnuftjutisjauratj is a beautiful lake, the view from the north end is worth a break. We have lunch. The small brooks from Akka has made ravines, one has to walk down and up through these. At some places is the track not visible. From the south end of the lake is the track gone. The rain threaten us, we stop at the brook Rakkajåkkå. In the south can we look into our goal, the valley Ruotesvagge. The dark clouds that surround Akka in the north give away a drizzle.

Day3: 30 July, Sjnuftjutisjåkkå - North Ruotesvagge, 5 km

The morning is late today. We walk slowly down the slope to where Suottasjåkkå from Kukkesvagge in the east meet Niakjåkåtj from Ruotesvagge in the south. Here they get a common name, Sjnuftjutisjåkkå. It disappears in the west to meet Vuojatätno. The clouds are high up, behind are the peaks of Akka seen. In front of us is now the river Suottasjåkkå. We have to cross it to reach Ruotesvagge. At the shore do we hesitate for a moment, the river is wide and the water swift, but it does not seem deep. We try without switching to fording shoes. What a mistake, it get suddenly deep in the middle of it. Where we stand in the water does it happen to be a large flat stone nearby. We crawl up on it. Niak (1922), the steep mountain at the corner between Kukkesvagge and Ruotesvagge, laugh at us. Didn't you see that it was deep? We take of boots and trousers and ford barefooted. There is no danger, but it is not comfortable to walk on stones without shoes. To lazy to unpack our fording shoes. The water is cold.

When in safety, do we have a coffee break. The feets need to come back to life. When they switch on the green light, telling that contact with the brain is reastablished, is it time to continue. On the ground grow low vegetation, mainly grass, which makes it comfortable to walk on. The same do a bunch of reindeers think, or more likely is it their lunch. Strange they seem to like our company and follow us closely. They are normally very shy, but not these. They jog with and around us for a few kilometers, then they say goodbye and disappear to the other side of Niakjåkåtj. A whizzing sound is heard. We are attacked by a bird! "Fjällab". A very aggressive attack. A second one assist. They repeadely dive against us. Have the Hitchcock movie become true? They have perhaps their nest nearby. We retreat carefully. The birds let us leave in peace, satisfied with the victory. When we think we have retreated far enough, have we had enough for today. Our mobile home is placed at a brook with its origin somewhere up on Niak. On the opposite side of the valley is Kisuris (1664) looking down at us. Kisuris is a lone mountain and is easy to walk up on, is probably a good view from it. Perhaps some time in the future.

Day4: 31 July, North Ruotesvagge - Ruotesvaratj, 5 km

We sleep well. The morning is grey, humid, and no wind. For the first time do we have mosquitos as our guests. This will be a short day, our goal is the hill Ruotesvaratj (1004) five kilometers away, in the middle of the valley. We expect a 360 degree view from the top of it. We have no hurry, after lunch do we leave our temporary home together with our guests. The east side of the valley is an unbroken wall of mountain, empasized by the cloud ceiling. The clouds hide the peaks. We pass the brook from Niakvagge, through this valley is it possible to walk up on Niak (1922). Not today, to cloudy. In the west is the landscape more open, with the valley Sierkavagge between Kisuris (1664) in north and the low mountain region of Låutak. South of Låutak are the higher mountains of Ruotes. The few kilometers to Ruotesvaratj pass by quickly and effortless. North of the hill are small rills and ponds.The rills have their origin from the lake Ruotesjauratj, southeast of the hill. We place the tent at a brook that join from the mountains in the east. The rain start to fall, and we give up our evening excursion. Make a short tour in the surroundings, wet. Stay most of the evening in the tent, reading a book.

Day5: 1 August, Ruotesvaratj - Ruotesvaratj, 4 km

It rain the whole night, and all of the morning. We prepare the lunch, blueberry soup and sandwiches. The soup we put in one Thermos, in another one coffee. When the rain change into a drizzle are we prepared to visit Ruotesvaratj. Equipped with lunch, coffee, camera, and rain suits do we start towards the hill one kilometer away. Cross the small rills, enter a grassy area and reach soon the slope up to the top. With no effort are we on the top, there are no steep slopes. Ten minutes later at the south "viewpoint", do we have our lunch. Drizzle and chilly, the soup is warming. In the east is the mountains of Sarektjåkkå (about 2000m), below it the lake Ruotesjauratj. Ruotesvagge disappear in the south, behind Påisatjåkkå (1726). To the right is the glacier Ruotesjekna, with it's many rills that start their way as Smailajåkkå to the south. Many years ago was the mountain Ruotestjåkkå (1664) north of Ruotesjekna surrounded with glaciers, not so today.

Hiking is not only to walk and look at views, one should look down as well. By that do I not mean to look for where to put the foot the next time. Look for flowers, even a non-expert like me can learn the most common flowers. We find (sorry for the swedish names):
 svarthö, Bartsia alpina
 fjällgröna, Diapensia lapponica
 fjällnejlika, Lychnis Alpina
 purpurbräcka, Saxifraga oppositifolia
 a tuft of fjällglim, Silene acaulis
 an area with mossljung, Cassiope hypnoides

We move slowly to the north part of the hill. Niakjåkåtj guide the eye to where we came from yesterday. Somewhere should Akka be, it is partly hidden behind Niak and partly by clouds. From here should we be able to see our small home of today in the universe, a blue point. Time for coffee, and we try to find the blue point. There it is! To the right. The afternoon is leaving, evening coming. Time to return to our blue point. Thinking about blue points, we have not seen any such on the sky during these days. We take a different route back to the tent, follow the west side of Niakjåkåtj, the brook from Ruotesjauratj, to the small ponds where we cross the brook. Approaching the tent from north. We have brought with us a small amount of cognac, we taste it with the coffee.

Day6: 2 August, Ruotesvaratj - Sierkavagge, 9 km

We follow our footstpes of yesterday, cross the brook at the ponds. Try to keep the direction towards the jetlike extension southward of Kisuris, and not to loose height. The best way to reach the east entrance of the valley Sierkavagge. First one must pass the brooks from Låutak in the west, these are wide and shallow and give no problems. The weather is better today, one can almost see the peak of Kantberget (1857) on the other side of Ruotesvagge. Niak, the north outpost of Ruotesvagge, keep the hat on. From the entrance of Sierkavagge can look into Niakvagge, the small valley just south of Niak. It seems rather easy to walk up on Niak from this valley, further in is the glacier Niakjekna barely seen. Kantberget is also accessible from that valley.

While we stand there and look at the view, the sun breaks though the clouds! Fantastic, we enjoy it! It disappear as sudden as appeared.We bring it with us as a memory, during the rest of the walking-tour. The only time we got a visit of the much longed-for guest. This valley is not the most spectacular one in Sarek, but  nice. It is wide and easy to walk in. In the south is the low mountains of Låutok, in the north the lone mountain Kisuris. Kisuris can be walked up on from many places, but the best seems to be from Sierkavagge. For us an uninteresting observation, the weather is not collaborating. We choose the north side of the valley, we plan to turn north at the west end and continue up to the bridges at the border. We pass the insignificant lake which is the origin of the brook in the valley, Sierkajåkkå. The brook that flow towards west, here a child. Further west does it grow into something that can be a difficult obstacle. We follow it and watch it growing. Halfway through the valley do we find an excellent place at the shore. Here we stay. The fog descend, embracing everything. Creating a magic atmosphere.

Day7: 3 August, Sierkavgge - Kisurisrieppejåkåtj, 8 km

Sierkavagge is one of the least mentioned valleys in Sarek. Probably sine it belongs more to the "flat land" of Padjelanta further west, than the alpine inner parts of Sarek. But I like the valley, though there is nothing special about it. It is peaceful. We sit outside the tent having our breakfast, and then the morning coffee, before we leave. In the west is the hill Luouto(1187), just in front of it is the border to Padjelanta. Here Sierkajåkkå change name to Spietjaujåkkå, and turn north. By then it has grown to be wide and full with water. First we pass the reindeerwardenhut (renvaktarstugan), on our map placed in the middle of the jåkk. In reality is it on the north side. These huts are used by the lapps for the reindeer farming. On the other side of Spietjaujåkkå are the reindeer fences. Where the jåkk turn north do we find a large area with many King Charles sceptre (Kung Karls Spira).

We follow the turn of the jåkk, walking north. The hill Spietjau (1040m), which give the name of the jåkk, show up in the northwest. The brook from Kisuris, Kisurisrieppejåkåtj, meet Soietjaujåkkå in a large delta. Down to it is a ten meter high steep slope. We postpone the crossing of it for tomorrow, and start to look for place a to put the tent. That is not so easy. The ground is grassy, soft, and dry. But there is no flat place where we are. We retreat a few hundred meters to an almost flat place at the jåkk. The inclination is anyway disturbing. A strong wind tries to teach the tent how to fly while we try to erect our inclined tent. We have a cold bath in the jåkk, we have not had the possibility to clean ourelves properly until now. The strong wind force us to prepare our dinner inside the tent. Wake up several times during the night, finding ourselves in the low end of the tent. Very uncomfortable. The strong wind give up during the night.

Day8: 4 August, Kisurisrieppejåkåtj - Padjelanteden, 8 km

We did not have many hours of sleep during the night. Did all the time slide to the low end. Looking out do we see that dark grey clouds threaten with rain. It is still dry when we descend the slope down to Kisurisrieppejåkåtj. Since it is morning is there less water than yesterday evening, and we can easily cross it, and climb up on the other side. Here we sit down and study the wide delta which it form together with Spietjaujåkkå. On the opposite side can we see how the rain start to fall, rapidly moving towards us. Fascinating. It hit us with full strength. Rain suit on! We continue on the plateau north of Kisuris, the jåkk continue by its own. We have the wind from behind, which makes the rain less obstinate.

We walk in the direction of the point where Spietjau- and Sjnuftjutisjåkkå meet. Spietjaujåkkå find its way in a small canyon, further north with a birch forest. The clouds are high up, despite the rain can we dimly see Akka in norheast. If I had been an artist, then I should have stopped and made a painting of the scenery. Also in rain is there a beauty in nature. Our route join the Padjelantatrack inbetween the bridges of Spietjau- and Sjnuftjutisjåkkå. Just before them do one  enter the birch forest. We take the track northward. After a few kilometers is there an open area close to a brook. We have now been in the rain for six hours, and decide to stop here. Our rain suits have passed the test, nothing is wet. The place is perfect. Sleep without interrupts.

Day9: 5 August, Padjelantaleden - Ritsem, 7 km

Thoroughly rested. The track takes us through the birch forest, interrupted by  a few marshes. Wooden planks are laid out across the marshes. We pass the track that we took to Sjnuftjutis, and arrive at the brook from Akka. The small bridge is still broken, but now have the rain filled the brook. It is rather deep,and we have to ford it. The sound of the river Vuojatätno can be heard, we leave the track and walk to the slope down to the river. The bridge across is barely seen from up here. The weather improves, and when we reach the bridge do the sun show up.

We have not booked any room in Ritsem, but it is no problem to get one today. In the evening do the sun shine on us and we take the opportunity to take some photos in the sunset. Not really a sunset, the light is there all night, though the midnight sun period has passed. Next morning do the sun shine from a clear sky. Hm, why couldn't it do that a few days earlier. We see the mountains of Sarek from the bus to Gällivare.

© Mjörnmark,