09:20 Camp 1km East Alggajåhkå in Alggavagge
It’s been raining and quite windy all night and I rested/slept/stayed in my sleeping bag more or less twelve hours – I feel amazingly rested and recovered!
Now, for the last half hour or so there has been no more rain and I made tea and have some jerky and coconut oil for breakfast.
Actually feeling hungry in the morning for once.
My plan for the day was to move on up the valley and turn east through Guohpervagge, yet for now it’s totally dependent on how the weather develops. Not having had a real rest day so far I’m actually ok with staying here, should the rain start pouring again. It’s just one of the things we can’t control, yet we can chose if we want to start a days hike in a rain storm or wait it out. I’m very grateful that I am in no hurry at all!!!
For now I’m happy having my tea and breakfast, when done with that I’ll just start get my stuff sorted and then see what it looks like outside. I’m rather positive that I’ll get back on the trail today as well!
19:40 Camp 300m east of Tjågnårisjågåsj on the mountain side above the trail
It turned out there was no more rain today – after finishing breakfast I wiped off the tent and the wind did the rest. Just before 11:30 I moved on with everything packed dry, just amazing how well things work out!
The actual trail runs rather far down the bottom of Alggavagge and that area was way to wet for my leather boots due to all the melting snow and the rain. I’m sure it’s wonderful and easy to follow at another time, yet today I was back at my reindeer tracks and the first part of today was through wet bushes again. Not my favorite, yet what a great metaphor for having to go through some trials and tribulations to get to the boon!
In this case, the wonderful soft and smooth mountain grass under my feet!
The higher part of Alggavagge is beautiful with huge plains o green grass and an abundance of camp sites, you could basically put a tent down almost anywhere up there.
This changes rapidly when starting to descend on the northern side, much rougher ground, more stones, yet still very pleasant to hike.
Crossing Guoperjåhkå was the real thing, murky water from the glaciers so I knew it would be cold.
It was impossible to see the depth so I chose a part with less strong current and left my pants off in case – turned out the water was never more than knee deep and the whole thing turned out to be just fun.
After walking a couple of hundred meters to get warm I stopped for coffee and a snack. At the same time renewing the tapes on my feet, they had become wet too many times to still stick.
Sitting there I saw two people with blue covers on their backpacks start up the hillside and turn the direction I was heading.
Turns out I catch up on them, two Swedish guys named Carl and Fredrik, a few km’s onward and we hike together to the next river crossing. Passing the emergency cabin at the bridge over Mihkajåhkå we stopped and looked inside – definitely a place to remember if ever in need for shelter in this area!
Also passed a German party of six people on the trail, I’m really quite surprised how many people move around here. I thought everyone was doing Sarek through Rapa valley and Rouhtesvagge.
Anyway, after the first river crossing over Mahtujågåsj, I continued by myself again and, once again, went for the reindeer tracks as the trail pushed through the wetlands lower down on the mountain side. Also I had my first close encounter with a reindeer herd on this trip, really nice to see them close up again. Especially the ones born this year are so adorable!!!
Little later I get to the next river to cross, Tjågnårisjågåsj, and find a nice snow bridge over the stream. Now, let me get one thing straight here, I don’t normally use snow bridges for crossing rivers and I certainly don not endorsed doing so! It’s potentially very dangerous as one can never know exactly how strong or thick the snow is or when or why it might break.
My decision today was built on two facts, first that an entire herd of reindeer had come this way before me and their tracks were all over the snow (and they probably didn’t cross one by one…) and secondly that I could see from both sides that the snow was over 1m thick and I had no reason to believe it would be thinner towards the middle.
That said, every situation like this has to be analyzed separately and one better be very sure, or else go downstream and wade!
This time all went well and I’m off to another night with amazing view and great, fresh air!
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Peace // Claes