Sarek 2004
Staloluokta - Njallajávrásj - Tjågnårisskájdde - Álájávrre - Staloluokta, 55 km

Day1: 10 August, Home - Gällivare, - km

At six in the morning do the cat wake me up. I have no newspaper this morning, since I have redirected it to a friend. One feel alone without it. After the breakfast do I call Gällivare Taxi and book a taxi from the airport to the youth hostel in Gällivare. Our plane land 20.30 in Gällivare, then there is no need to try to get a taxi when we arrive. My rucksack is ready so I spend the day playing in the garden with my cat.  I feel a bit nervous, it is not often I travel these days. This year do I take a taxi to the airport, this is cheaper than having the car at the parking place at the airport during ten days.

Goodbye and have a nice trip, do the cat say and leave for inspecting her territory. She is still away when my taxi arrive. The driver is a nice man from Iraque, who is astonished about my luggage. I will hike in the mountains, I explain. Mountains in Sweden? He looks even more astonished and leave the highway at the wrong exit. After a severe traffic offence are we back on the highway. The next exit is the correct exit, which he manage properly. The window on his side is not working, he is with pure force trying to close it. The car stagger, do at least have hand on the steering-wheel! The speed vary depending on if there is a supervision camera or not. Half past three do I safely arrive at the airport.

According to the rules do I put my walking stick and rucksack in plastic bags. In the meantime do my friend arriver. The flight to Stockholm is boring, we get coffee but nothing to it without paying.  On the cheap flights is nowadays nothing free. On Stockholm do we change flight. According to our tradition do we have a pizza at the airport. We manage to upset a few ladys in the queue to the flight to Gällivare, the "babbling" ladys did not move with the queue so we thought they did belong to it. This time do we on the plane get a sandwich to eat. Nearby sit a young boy with a hacking cough. We hope it is not infectious.  The plane fly right above Gällivare, it looks like a model railway.

The taxi is waiting for us, it costs 140SEK to be taken to the youth hostel. At the youth hostel has the old house been painted, the driver say it will be something for Italian tourist. We have been told where to find the key to our room in the hostel, but the girl in the reception is still there waiting for us. We pay 150 SEK each to get room C2.

Day2: 11 August, Gällivare - Njallajávrásj, 7 km

The bunk bed is not stable, it shakes and makes noise each time my friend move in the bed above me. For the breakfast do we take some of the breakfast intended for the hike. I protest since it is not dimensioned for it, my intention was to have breakfast at Åhult's café. We leave the youth hostel, and walk the short distance to the railway station. We cross the railways on a footbridge. In a building close to the railway staion is the taxi and tourist information, where we leave our luggage. The bus to Ritsem will leave at ten, the bus station is outside the railway station, and we have one hour to spend. We use it to buy fuel for our stove at Öströms färg, and have coffee at Åhult's. I buy a baguette to have as lunch on the bus. We are back at the railway station in good time.

After the cross road to Ritsem is the road in a bad shape, but my friend sleep well anyway. At Kebnats does man enter the wrong bus, he wanted to go to the cross road "Vägskäl Ritsem", but confusion of languages made him enter the bus to Ritsem instead. He leave it at Stora Sjöfallet where he will wait for the bus coming back. He has a plane to catch and is a bit nervous. Quarter past one do we walk down the road to the helicopter place in Ritsem. The helicopter is supposed to leave at two, but we are the only passangers so we fly almost at once.

I get the place at the pilot, with the task of taking pictures, since my friend has no camera. The clouds are high up, and we get a nice trip. The view is impressive, the ground slowly move beneath us. It is a fantastic feeling to fly with an helicopter. The pilot is a nice man, who state that "we elder do not like all of the new rules for flying". After 20 minutes do we approach Staloluokta. A quick touch down at Olle, to deliver a parcel, before we land at the shore of the lake Virihaure nearby the tourist hut.

We walk up to the hut and repack our things. We continue to the "shop", and ask if he has smoked fish. We know the answer, it must be ordered in advance. Instead do we buy dried reindeer meet for dinner tonight. Our plan is to walk to the lake Álájávrre, and we ask the man in the shop for the best way to get there. "Keep left on the track through the forest, else you will end up at the lake, until we reach the 'old Padjelanta trail'.  After a while should we leave the trail and continue on a small ridge between two lakes". We follow the tracks through a birch forest, find the old trail and is soon above the tree line. The view in the south towards Gierkevarre is nice. In the east can the distant mountains at Njoatsosvagge be seen. The weather is pleasant, and we don't meet any mosquitos. Apart from a few bogs is the track easy to walk. The track climb up a steep slope, on which it grows dense osier.

In front of us can we see Alatjåhkkå, and we wonder where the ridge is that we should have followed. We realise we have missed it, it was probably at the steep slope. We change our plans, we abandon the track and walk down the gentle slope to the lake Njallajávrásj. The slope is easy to walk on and it does not take long time for us to reach the lake. At half past five do we find a good campsite not far from the outlet of the lake, a place with a beach. The water is warmer than the air, which is nine degrees. Our world is limited by Alatjåhkkå in the north and Gierkevarre in the south.

Day3: 12 August, Njallajávrásj - Tjågnårisskájdde, 18 km

The summit of Álátjåhkkå is hidden from our view, clouds are surrounding it. My throat feels strange, I hope it is a feeling that will go away during the day. At twenty past nine do we walk on our beach, and then we have an easy walk to the outlet from the lake. The brook is about five meters wide, both sides consist of rocks. There is not much water, and there are several stripes of rock that stretch from one side to the other. On one of those can we easily cross the brook. Further downstream is the brook in a canyon. We keep the altitude, walking north of the hill Unna Liemak. The slope is hilly, but nothing that makes it difficult to walk. We are not alone, a young couple from Stockholm are on their way to Álggavágge, via the north side of the lake Álájávrre. The man in the shop had told us that there is probably one boat missing at Álggajávrre. We hope there is one on the correct side for them, else they have to ford. In front of us is a large wetland. The couple walk towards it, we walk south of it and think on what to do. The tempting alternative is to walk up on Álátjåhkkå. The summit is still in clouds, and I start to feel sick with fever and a sore throat. A visit on Álátjåhkkå is not what I feel for right now.

We decide to walk on the hills south of Álájávrre towards the lake Rissájávrre and then from there to the mouth of the valley Sarvesvágge. We follow a reindeer fence up the slope south of Álájávrre. Where the fence cross a brook is a couple struggle to get through the fence. They have walked south of Álájávrre, "beautiful and easy to walk there, but it is chilly" they say. The thermometer say ten degrees, we find it is a comfortable temperature. The fence change to consist of red plastic tubes hanging from a string. Small pieces of the tubes litter on the ground, it does not look nice. At lunch are we up on the plateau between Álájávrre and the hill Stuor-Liemak. Here are a few small lakes, at the first one do we have lunch. My friend takes a nap, while I walk around looking for flowers. Besides Cottongrass do I not find anything interesting. It is a flat landscape, around us are small hills except in the east where the mountains at Sarvesvágge are seen. It is beautiful and an extremely comfortable walk on grassy meadows.

From the slope down to the lake Liemakjávrre do we have a good view of the lake and the distant Álggavágge. A minor snow field still exist this late in the summer. We walk south of the lake, still an easy walk. At the next lake Rissájávrre is the place in Sweden that is most isolated, i.e. furthest away from any road. As we descend to the lake do we have a remarkable view of it and Álggavágge, which is here is more close. At the lake is it somewhat stony, but nothing serious. We turn to southeast, towards the peaks at Sarvesvágge, which is our landmarks as we walk up the hilly slope up to the lakes without names south of the hill Oarjep Rissávárre. At the lakes is it a barren landscape. We start looking for a camp site while we walk south of the lake, but up here is nothing we like.

As we descend to Tjågńåris do we pass a reindeer fence (actually the same as before), here as well does it consist of hanging red plastic tubes.  For us is it easy to pass, but the reindeers must find it impossible. We follow a brook, looking for a campsite as we approach the mouth of Sarves. Though there is no problem in walking on the grassy slope do we not find any place that suit our requirments. We and the winding brook end up in the shallow valley at Tjågńåris. The mountains have now grown to giants. We reach Tjågnårisjåhkå, where it split in two do we find a meadow with low growing osier at one side. Here we stay. My throat feels as an open wound, the fever is rising. My friend volunteer to be my servant, and makes an excellent evening dinner. My sleeping bag welcomes me.

Day4-6: 13-15 August, Tjågnårisskájdde - Tjågnårisskájdde, - km

13 August.
The sore throat and fever is still bad, it is even worse than yesterday. We cancel the day and hope for a better day tomorrow. My friend volunteer to continue as a servant. Though he hawk, does he not feel sick. I stay in the tent all day, except for doing what must be done outside. Through the opening can I see many reindeers passing by. Birds have an airshow above us. The cloudiness is varying during the day. In the evening is the throat better but the fever is still slowly rising.

14 August.
Even worser day. I spend all the day in the tent, and most of the time inside the sleeping bag. In the afternoon do a lone hiker from Germany pass by. He ask how it is to walk in Lullihavágge and from there to Pårek. My friend who has lived many years in Germany tell in German:
"Lullihavágge is a rather nice valley, somewhat steep from Sarves. In the mountain pass is it very stony. In 1985 was there snow field to walk on. Gådokjåhkå can be dangerous to ford, use the bridge if it exist. 1985 was it gone, but it was easy to walk on the glacier instead."
He ask if he may put is tent a few hundred meters further away, he has been walking many kilometers today and is getting tired. We don't mind. It is a cloudy day, the temperature rise to eight degrees. My temperature rise to 39.5 and I take a pill that reduce the fever. My friend is surprised that I bring a clinical thermometer. So what, he is carrying a normal thermometer.

15 August.
The temperature is falling, mine and the one outside. The weather is nasty with many showers, but the sun do also show up during a few short moments. A hill a few hundred meters away block the view towards Sarves. I ford the brook and walk up on the hill. A strong cold wind meet me. The view north of the valley of Alep Sarvesjåhkås is extended. The view into Sarvesvágges is still blocked. I continue further towards it, it is up and down in something that looks like since long dry river beds. I'm sweating and freezing at the same time, one of the many showers pass by. I choose to return to the tent. Two hikers visit us, wondering about the best way to the Tuottar cabins. 2003 did we walk among the small lakes on the highland, but it can be difficult to navigate in bad weather. There is nothing to guide the eye. Perhaps one should open a tourist office here, it has never happened before that somebody has asked us for an advice. Now it has happened two days after each other. Other guests is a herd of reindeers. I write this at 21.30, and the reindeers are still around. They are not afraid of us any longer. when we leave the tent do they look up and then continue to eat without being disturbed. It has rained for a few hours, but now it is decreasing cloudiness. It is getting colder. There is snow down to 1300 m.

Day7: 16 August, Tjågnårisskájdde - Álájávrre, 10 km

The reindeers stay all night with us. The have made small pits all around, they must have found something that taste very good. It has been raining during the night, and in the morning are the clouds far down on the mountain sides. Gradually do the clouds dispurse, we can then see that there is snow on Tjågńårisvárásj, i.e. well below 1200 meters. Today I do not feel that bad, so it is time to leave. But to where? Our planned route is too long, we decide to return to Staloluokta via the north side of the lake Álájávrre. We walked there in bad weather 1996, we hope the weather will be better today. Exactly 9.53 do we start.

We try to keep the same altitude, with the hill Nuortap Rissávárre as the landmark. The slope is hilly, a bit wet here and there, but overall is it a comfortable walk. The valley of Alep Sarvesjåhkå, to the right of us, is embedded in rain. A few raindrops reach us. As we approach the brook Rissájåhkå, still hidden behind a hill, can we hear a rumble. The origin show up when we can see the brook, a rather impressive waterfall. After the fall do the brook widen, and one can easily walk over to the other side. We walk up to where the fall start. Here we can see into the valley Álggavágge, a haze disturb the view. In our direction does it clear up. We follow the brook upstream, walking on grassy meadows, to start with along the brook and then the lake Lulep Rissájávrre. In front of us is the fjäll Álátjåhkkå. We pass strange small hills, about a meter high. We leave the lake, walking between Nuortap Rissávárre and a lake without name. The landscape change character, to a strange landscape with many stones and rocks scattered around. An almost visiblee and partly cairned track wind between the stones. The weather is fantastic, the lunch at the lake without name takes part in sunshine.

The stony landscape continue all the way to Álájávrre. Álátjåhkkå is naked, in the east are the snowpowdered peaks in Sarek. Far in the west, is a glacier. It must be Ålmåijekna, at the border to Norway. We choose not to walk at the lake, but further up on the slope of Álátjåhkkå. It is stony and hilly. After a while do we approach the lake, when I suddenly drop my rucksack. One of the straps is gone! We search for it. My friend, who is more practical than me, realise that all pieces are still there. It is just to mount it again. At the lake is it easy to walk. At a brook, with a wide delta at the lake, is a nice grassy meadow. My friend say his pulse is rapid, and I do not feel recovered. This place is a perfect camp site. Though it is early (15.30) do we decide to stay here for the night.

A short rest, a bath in the lake. This evening do I prepare the dinner. The hills on the other side of the lake are smooth. Towards east is the glacier Lánjekjiegńa. During our evening stroll do we find an empty liquor bottle. Bring a whole bottle? The sun set, time to sleep.

Day8: 17 August, Álájávrre - Staloluokta, 18 km

The sun smile at us, there is a cold wind from the lake. We walk at the water's edge, either on gravel or on meadows which sometimes are bumpy. We follow the edgein detail, points and creeks. Sometimes we hear something screaming, and then a few meters away do grouse fly away. We get as scared as they are. A small bird, which is flying as a swallow and can swim, follow us. Gulls sail above the water. At the end of the lake is a hut used by the reindeer farmers. From our view does it stand alone against the sky. There is still a cold wind from the lake. We continue to the end of the lake, where we walk up the slope to a crest. We have not seen any good camp site, one could possibly use the shore at the end of the lake. On the top are bare rocks, shaped as whales. Inbetween two such rocks is a depression where we get a shelter against the wind. In the east is Álájávrre, further away is Lánjektjåhkkå with it's glacier. In the west behind the flat Liemakláhka, between Unna- and Stuor-Liemak, can we see Ålmåijekna.

Time for choise of path, north or south of Unna Liemak? South, on the flatland Liemakláhka and then try to find the ridge we missed on our way out. Liemakláhka is dominated with meadows, a few marshes which one walk through with no problem. Stállojågåsj is a rill in a canyon, which indicates it must be more furious when the snow melts. The brook is our guide until the moment the view open up to let us see an odd landscape. Lakes and rocks are randomly spread out, with the scarfaced Stuor Dijdder as the background. We enter the odd landscape. It might be possible to find a camp site here, but we can not find a place where we can get the tent pegs deep enough. We decide that at the "sausage" shaped lake beneath "our" ridge are good places. We fight our way down a steep but short slope down to the lake, and through a dense vegetation. Where we hoped to find a good place is it too wet.

We look around for a while, but give up. We continue in a depression, to the right is wall of rock covered with birches and osier. The only thing missing is a scout standing up there. We baptise the place to "Indiangorge". In the south is a good view of Gierggevárre och Jiegńáffo. It is a beautiful place. When we reach the track to Staloluokta do we decide to continue the few remaining kilometers to the hut. The hills start to feel steep and the small marches that the track pass are huge. The track pass thorugh a birch forest, then we get the impressive view of Virihaure with Staloluokta. The church cot is half naked, the new dress of sod is waiting to be put on. At six do we get room 8 to a cost of 190 SEK per person. A room for two.

We want to fly to Kvikkjokk tomorrow, in the hut is a direct phone to Norrlandsflyg. All flights except the morning flight with Norrlandsflyg are cancelled, due to lack of booked passengers. Fortunately is there place for us in that helicopter. We do not manage to get any smoked fish, so we eat tuna fish with potato purée, while watching our neighbours who eat smoked fish. A few things have changed since last year. The water pump, with a pipe from the jåhkk, has been moved to the neighbouring  house. The electricity system do not work any longer, nothing happens when we try to switch on the light. Before I go to bed do I check my temperature, one degree too high. That's perhaps why I don't feel so healthy tonight.

Day9: 18 August, Staloluokta - Kvikkjokk, 2 km

It is only me who is alert in the morning. Half past six do I sit alone in the kitchen and is eating breakfast. Gradually do more people wake up. It is good weather for an helicopter flight, almost no wind and the clouds are high up. The helicopter is late, while waiting do we chat with two norwegians. We test their binocular with autofocus, it is very practically. Finally can we hear the sound of an helicopter. In total are we five passengers. We fly close to Gierggevárre, the pilot explain that they must avoid the trail else will people complain about the noise. The lake Festajávrre arrive and disappear, we pass Tarraluoppal, and further into what I believe is the valley with the lake Buojdes. We end up in Tjuoldavágge. It is a fascinating flight. Upper Tjuoldavágge is dominated by birchforest, which gradually is replaced with coniferous forestas we proceed. Many animals are said to live in the valley, the pilot point out an elk. Eveybody lean to the side he points to. I would really like to visit the valley. It is difficult to identify the hills, but the stone mounds must be Tjårok and Ruovddevárre? Änok is a fantastic view, with meandering river and wetland. We get an impressive view of Kvikkjokk before we land at the helicopter port a few kilometers outside the village. There are two hangars and an office, where we pay for the trip: 750SEK per person.

To Kvikkjokk do one have to walk on the road for a few kilometers. In front of us are the norwegians who will wait for the bus to Jokkmokk in the cafeteria, which is in what we call "the old shop". There was many years ago a rather well equipped shop, now there is a small shop, a naturum, and a restaurant. We continue, pass by the church, and further to the mountain station nearby the fierce Gamajåhkå. After a shower do we have something to eat in "Utkiken". Utkiken is a room in the mountain station where food is served, together with a nice view of Gamajåhkå and the distant Bårdde. On the wall is a photograph of an aircraft, a british bomber from the second worldwar. It crashed on the fjäll Tsahtsa. It was found many years afterwards by some hikers. Three in the crew was killed in the crash.

On my own do I give a visit to the beautiful church, built about 1900. I continue to the house that once was the vicarage, which is not as well maintained as the church. In a house nearby is an artgallery, that I unfortunately do not visit. Instead do I look for the traces of the silver mining that took place in the 17th century at Silbbatjåhkkå. It was transported and then worked upon here. The main parts of the remnants are on the other side of Gamajåhkå, which I can not reach.

Day10: 19 August, Kvikkjokk - Jokkmokk, - km

We have breakfast for 65 SEK that the mountain station serve. The girls in the reception ask us about Sarek, they want to know more to be able to answer all questions they get. The old men (i.e. us) try to give some information. The bus to Jokkmokk leave from the church, we put our luggage there. My friend lie down on a bench and rest, while I visit others that rest on the churchyard. It is a beautiful and peaceful place, with a frame of birches surrounding it. I continue to a meadow nearby, looking for flowers. I find a few for my photo collection. The man on the bench wake up and is hungry. We walk to the restaurant in "the old shop" where we eat a "kvikkjokkare", an hamburger wirh reindeermeat. Not bad at all. On TV do one play table tennis in the olympic games, double between a swedish and danish pair. The dane win.

The bus leave at one, it is us and six more that are going to Jokkmokk. The trip cost 110SEK. The first part is a narrow road between the lake and a stony slope. Stones that at any moment seems to fall down on the road. As we approach Jokkmokk do the road get better. At the busstation de we change bus to get to Åsgatan where the youth hostel i situated. The hostel open at five, we leave our luggage on the veranda. Nearby is the tourist office, where we ask how one get to Lars Pirak, an artist we visited 1991. We get a map. On the way do we make a stop at Conditori City for a coffee and yummy cake. We continue. At a crossing do we look on the map. "Are you looking for Pirak?" do a man shout. They must be used to tourists that is looking for him! Pirak is nice man, and he seems to remember that my friend bought a painting here 13 years ago. He is not very active nowadays, he do not have much to sell. But at the "gamla apoteket" do they sell a few things. We have a chat, he tell us that when he was young did he thin out beets in Skåne (where we come from).

At the youth hostel does it take a moment to find out that our room is booked in the name of Mannermark. My southern dialect must be difficult to understand. We walk to Hotel Gästis, where we plan to eat. It is closed, open lunchtime only. Instead do we eat at the China restaurant Kowloon. A good nazigoreng, bread, and two beers. There is a drizzle when we walk back to the hostel.

Day11: 20 August, Jokkmokk - Hem, - km

My friend complain that I poke about, when I pack, visit the toilet, eat breakfast, and clean the room. In the meantime does he manage to get up so we are in time to leave the room before the deadline at ten. We leave our luggage on the veranda, and go to ICA to buy food for breakfast (a second one for me). W eat it on the veranda. At the "gamla apoteket" do I buy arctic honey, and a book about reindeers. The latter as a present to one that love reindeers.

Next is a visit to the Ajtte mountain museum. My friend is looking for a christening gift, but do not find any. We have no time to visit the interesting museum. We walk back on Storgatan, where many of the impressive birches are gone. New ones has been set, but it will take many years until they have grown up. 13.05 do the bus leave to Gällivare. In Gällivare do we eat a sausage with potato purée at MJ. In the gift shop "Hantverksboden" do we find the christening gift, a beautiful box of silver with Same symbols.

At four do we take a taxi to the airport. The flight to Arlanda is uneventful. At Arlanda do we have time only to walk between the gates. The plane is full, I feel shut in. I'm used to the freedom in the mountains. The plane leave 15 minutes late, it changed gate in the last moment and everybody did not realised it in time. We are 15 minutes late when we leave the plane at Sturup. In front of a monitor in the arrival hall, is a crowd of people looking at the screen.  When we pass it do the crowd shout of joy, J.O. Waldner has won the quarter final of table tennis in the olympic games. I'm just in time to catch the bus home.

The cat greets me when I open the door. On the table in the kitchen are keys and a note. I will look after my neighbour's cats and appartment, and the note say that one of the cats did not come home before they left. The evening is warm, though it is almost eleven, and I leave my door open. My cat suddenly angrily look out, then I hear the bell. The neighbour cat is coming home. I let her in, and make sure that they have water and food for the night. Outside the door is my cat waiting. She look at me and mutter, do you have to be that friendly to such wasters.

© Mjrnmark,