Sarek 1995
Suorva - Njabbejåkkå - Kukkesvagge - Pierek - Skarja - Kuopervagge - Alkavagge - Alajaure - Pållaurjåkkå - Staloluokta

Day1: 18 July, Suorva - Njabbejåkkå, 9 km

My friend fetch me at eight, our flight to Stockholm will leave at 9.30. At Arlanda do we continue to Luleå with Transwede, and to Gällivare with Air Nordic. From the airport, which is 10 km outside Gällivare, is a bus to the railway station, where the bus towards Ritsem leave. At half past six in the afternoon do we reach Suorva. This was once, a long time ago, a magnificient water fall. Now it is made into a water power plant dam, one can walk on the dam and a small road to get to the other side of the lake . It does not look nice, but it is comfortable. On the other side is at a reindeer fence, a track leading through the forest up the slope. It is warm, about 20 degrees, and damp. We are dripping with sweat, making the mosquitos happy. The first and so far only time the mosquitos is a plague. Halfway up the slope is it written on a stone about a father and his son, who disappeared in Sarek a few years ago. They were never found it says, perhaps they got into the quicksand in the delta at Pierikjaure. True? Have not heard about this before.

Finally, after fighting mud and mosquitos, do we reach the bare mountain region. The reward is to look out over the lake below in the north. The track is not any longer visible. It is getting late, almost eleven in the evening, when we put up the tent at Njabbejåkkå or is it Njavvejåkåtj. The brook has on the map two names, we are somewhere where it change name. The brook is fierce and full of water, it is an easy decision to wait until the morning to ford it. We find a good campsite. We have a quick bath in the brook, have food, and say good night.

Day2: 19 July, Njabbejåkkå - Kukkesvagge, 15 km

We are lazy and get up late. The breakfast consist of gruel and sandwich with cheese. The weather is warm (20 degrees), there is no wind, and it is partly clouded. At 10.30 do we ford the brook. It is stony and swift. We continue on the slope of Njavvepuolta, it is easy to walk here. The flat land in the valley further down is covered with large stones, probably thrown by some giant in ancient times. Where we walk are some large stones. We avoid most of the osier at the brook Sluggajåkkå by passing below it. There is much water in the brook, so we must ford this one as well.

After lunch is it getting colder, it feels more comfortable than the morning heat and humidity. In front of us is the lake Lietetjaure and the Äpar mountain, a beautiful landscape. It is late in the afternoon when we reach Kukkesvagge. Nowadays is there a bridge across Kukkesvakkjåkkå, else would it be difficult to cross the river without making a detour far up in the valley. We notice that it is not possible for a horse to use the bridge, a few riders experience this when trying to. Then they try to get the horses into the river, but no, no, no. The horses refuse, clever animals. We don't stay long enough to see how it develops. Besides, is it allowed to bring horses into Sarek? A few kilometers after the bridge, on the slope towards Vuoinesvaratj, is a good view of Lietetjaure. We put up the tent at a small brook, and enjoy the view. At nine do I fall asleep.

Day3: 20 July, Kukkesvagge - Kuopervagge,, 18 km

The sky is cloudy, no wind, and it is as warm as yesterday morning. We pass Vuoinesvaratj, where we make a long pause and enjoy the view into the valley towards Pierikjaure in front of us. We visit the camping place we had 1986 at Pierikjåkkå, near the steeply falling Pierikvaratj. We follow the west shore of Pierikjaure, the mountains is reflected in the glassy water surface of the lake. We find the track that leads to the bridge at Skarja. The ravine at Tjågnårisjåkåtj is filled with snow, the water passes under the snow, which simplifies the passage. The snow bridge looks very rigid, and we pass safely. The next brook, Matujåkåtj, is more problematic. A danish couple is sitting there with wet boots and socks. The water was too deep for them. We ford it without problems. Skarja is said to be an overpopulated place in Sarek, one must pass the bridge over Smailajåkkå if one wants to visit this part. A sort of bottleneck. There are rumours that the bridge will not be put in place coming years, since it is too expensive. This will make it difficult to pass here, it's dangerous to ford Smailajåkkå. It carry much water and is very swift.

This year is the bridge existing. The sky clears up. After the bridge do we continue to Kuopervagge. The river Rapajåkkå meander in the valley. There are a few areas which are rather stony and covered with osier, but nothing problematic. After a few kilometers is a place where Kuoperjåkkå fall down the rocks. We make the effort to get there, one must walk through low growing osier, in addition is it somewhat stony. We select a grassy ground at the waterfalls in Kuoperjåkkå as our lodging for the night, right above where the water fiercely fall down to the plain below. Towards east do we have a magnificient view of the valley. With this view in front of us, sitting on the flat rocks at the waterfall, and making the dinner, makes the hiking effort worthwhile.

Day4: 21 July, Kuopervagge - Alkajaure, 20 km

Despite the good weather yesterday evening, did it rain the whole night. Just in time, when we are ready to start the day, do the sun break through the clouds. It will be one more warm day. We follow the brook Kuoperjåkkå upstream, until we reach the place where it splits into two parts, one from Alkavagge, the other from Koupervagge. We ford the latter, aiming for Alkavagge. Sitting in the sun on the other side, can we study a company that tries to jump from stone to stone across the brook. It might be Possible most days, but not today after the rainy night. They finally realise that they must ford it. Unfortunately do they not have proper shoes to ford with, they have to cross barefooted. This can not be comfortable, with all the stones in the brook.

We leave them, and we walk up the slope into Alkavagge. A pleasant wind is blowing, keeping the any mosquito away that might be here. The first part of Alkavagge is very comfortable to walk in, it is like a large football ground. After the grounds do we find a well used track. Further in, after passing the mouth of Neitarieppevagge (from where we came 1982), does it get worse. On the slope towards the lake Alkajaure is it much of osier and mud. It doesn't help to get further up, the osier climbs high up on the slope. We console ourselves by the view of Alkajaure. The wind disappear and the mosquitos attack. An almost visible track leads to Alkavare chapel, built 1788, and still occasionally used (restored 1960). Here was a silver mining area in the seventeenth century. The nearby brook Kainaijåkåtj is in a deep canyon, and is difficult to ford this high up. The best place is where it flows into the river Mielätno. It is getting late, and we feel tired. When reaching Mielätno is it time to think of food and sleep. After the bath in the brook, is a delicious meal served: ham and mashed turnips. We can hear a rowing boat on the lake. We have met several hikers today, otherwise a rare event. The spirit of the water makes us to fall asleep. It starts to rain.

Day5: 22 July, Alkajaure - Pållaurjåkkå, 21 km

We have had a rainy night, but in the morning is it dry. We cross the brook Kainaijååtj near where it meet Miellätno, where it spread out in several smaller brooks. No problem, but the water is cold, very cold. The feets get numb. After the brook dow continue on a heath to the bridge over Mielätno. The bridge looks worse than ever. Anyway, it is safe to pass. The slope north of the hill Nuortap Rissavare is tiresome. At lunch is Alajaure in front of us. The landscape is barren and stony, and it is emphasized by the weather: cold (5 degrees), windy, and it is now raining. In addition do I stumble, and fall among all the stones. Three sprained fingers, one wounded knee, and a hole on my new rain suit trousers. That will cost some money to repair. Clumsy me.

We are now close the place (said to be Rissajaure south of Alajaure) in Sweden which is furthest away from a road, ca 40 km. A strong wind blows against us. The mountains hide behind the clouds. We can only guess the beauty of the place. We had planned to climb Alatjåkkå (1572 m) north of the lake, but this is useless in this weather. We walk on the slope of Alatjåkkå a few hundred meters from the shore of Alajaure, it is not difficult but tiring in the bad weather. At the west end of the lake do we get a temporary shelter behind a locked hut. One kilometer from the hut is a reindeerfence. There is barely space enough to crawl beneath it. The plateau Liemalako, from where one can see Virihaure at a distance, is comfortable but wet after the rain. The rain finally cease, and it feels better. Finally, at seven, is Råtokjåkkå in front of us. The brook is very swift and deep. We hope that it is less violent downstream. We follow it and after a few kilometers does it broaden to 30 meter, and is less deep than one meter. Here we ford it. From here is it not far from Padjelantaleden. We decide to find it, and put up the tent after the small bridge over Pållaurjåkkå. In the osier is a small open place, enough for our tent. Let's call it a day.

Day6: 23 July, Pållaurjåkkå - Staloluokta, 6 km

It is rainning now and then during the night. A nice lie-in, we are not in a hurry. It is only six kilometers to Staloluokta, and the helicopter to Ritsem leave five in the afternoon. We have a strong contrary wind. The track is easy, we pass soon the lake Kieddaure. At Luoppal, before descending into the forest, is a nice view of Virihaure. We arrive at Staloluokta in time for lunch, which we make in the hut kitchen. We do not feel for walking around, we are missing the sun, and the wind whine outside the hut. We sit in the kitchen until the helicopter takes us to Ritsem. In the kitchen do we recognise a person we met here last year, he his deeply involved in a discussion with an other guest. Also last year was he fond of talking.

In the helicopter do I get the place with the pilot. The wind is not a problem, we fly just below the clouds. Now and then do we fly through a cloud. I enjoy the flight. Only clouds can be seen where Sarek is supposed to be. We have in advance booked beds at Ritsem youth hostel. That turns out to be good planning, since the hostel is completely full. We have to share the room with another guest. We buy hamburgers from the freezer, and prepare them in the mircowave oven. It is not the most delicious dinner I have had.

Day7: 24 July, Ritsem - Home, - km

Unfortunatley is the third person in the room, snoring loudly the whole night. We wake him several times, but no improvement of the noise. I am very close to become a murderer. We have an early breakfast, the bus to Gällivare leave at 8. The breakfast consists of mineral water (Ramlösa) and youghurt. My friend feel bad and spew, probably is it the hamburger we had yesterday evening that wants to get out. The bus to Gällivare cost 120SEK. In Gällivare do we leave the luggage at the railway station. Since there is no bus to the airport do we instead book a taxi. We have lunch at Domus, a rather tasteless fläskschnitzel. I am visiting many of the handicraft shops, looking for a grouse in bone of a reindeer. It should be gift for a friend, but I do not find any. We fecth our luggage and take our booked taxi to the airport. Air Nordic take us from Gällivare to Umeå, and then to Arlanda, where we have to wait for more than two hours. We are at Sturup 21, my friend is nice and driver me home. My cat is sitting on the passage outside my door. She is happy to see me.

© Mjörnmark,