September 9, 2019
I awoke early at 05:30 am. I would of stayed in bed a while longer but I needed to go to the loo … my usual morning routine 😌 . It is only about 3℃ this morning with a very fresh breeze. I use one of the rocks around my camp as a seat and with some fine views of the Aliseatnu river I make some coffee and down my breakfast (image 1).
After breakfast I packed camp down and walked up to the huts to dump some garbage. The Alesjaure huts sit on a small, exposed rocky ridge about 20 meters high. I was camping just south alongside the Aliseatnu river. The fresh breeze made it chilly up there as I made my way down again to the suspension bridge over the river. Once on the other side I turned east away from Kungsleden and then later south with a heading for Vistas through the Visttasvággi valley.
My route for the day
Elevations graph for the day
I turned and looked back in the direction from where I just came from at Alesjaure below (image 4). If you click on the photo you will be re-directed to my Flickr site where you can enlarge the image. You can see the suspension bridge that I walked over with the huts to the right sitting 20 meters higher up on the ridge. Just use the left arrow key in your browser to come back again.
Looking across Alisjávri you can see the summer Sámi settlement of Leava below (image 5) where I turned to the east towards Vistas. At the 1.6 km mark I climbed for 1.5 km to the 3 km mark near lake Bajip which was also the highest elevation for today at 884 meters. From here the trail descended to the valley.
The trail then follows lakes Bajip and Vuolip Čazajávri (image 6). There are a lot of rocks and some boggy areas. As soon as I’m past the lakes my view of the Visttasvággi valley is breathtaking.
Between the lakes lies an old abandoned peat goahte hut (Sámi tent) in disrepair at Tjatjajaurekåtan (image 7). If you try to search for this on the Internet then you will find a lot of images and over the years. The hut has deteriorated considerably comparing my photo with the others on the Internet search from other periods.
After the lakes, at the 4.5 km mark there is a steep downhill slope (image 8) towards Visttasvággi valley dropping from 861 m at the Sámi tent down to 803 m at the Moarhmmájohka ravine (image 9) at marker 6.2 km. It was a killer coming up again the next day; more on that at the end of this post.
The weather soon changed becoming very warm and sunny with temperatures between 17-20℃. The view of the valley and surrounding mountains were magnificent. At the bridge across Moarhmmájohka (image 9) there is a rocky ravine and a waterfall (image 10). I rested here for 20 minutes or so and filled up on water.
Moarhmmájohka waterfall (image 10).
The Visttasjohkka stream winds along close to the steep mountain sides of the valley (image 11).
I took a nice lunch break at the location below (image 12). Refer (image 13) below for my inReach Tweet. The site was actually the one that I planned to camp at the night before if I had stuck to my original route. There were obvious signs, like a fire pit, showing that others had used the site for camping at. I think it was here that my Danish friend Ib had camped at when he hiked this section.
- Temperature: 20℃
- Elevation: 668.00
- Lat: 68.094538
- Lon: 18.537540
At the 14 km mark or 3.6 km from the Vistas mountain huts, I glimpsed the east side of the Siehtagas glacier (image 14) protruding out over the valley. Siehtagas has an elevation of 1663 meters high. So this gives you an idea of the high mountains projecting on both sides of me from the valley floor. I was pretty stoked as I have never seen a glacier before, even if it is just the side of it 🤨. It is a little difficult to see in the below photo but the ice was a deep blue colour and typical for glaciers.
For the next 3.6 km, which is the last leg of the hike to the Vistas huts, I passed through flourishing mountain birch forest (image 15). There are also some boulder fields to negotiate here which were obviously remains from rock slides from mountain walls collapsing. Perhaps a result of winter ice expanding in wall cracks.
At the Vistas Mountain Hut (image 16 & 17) I purchased a beer from the warden on arrival and leaned back on one of the sun chairs soaking up the sunshine in the fresh mountain air. I chatted to Hans the warden and another guest called Francesca from Italy. Hans had just retired and was spending some weeks here as the acting warden. I think that this was the third time that he had worked at one of the STF huts as a warden. Before he retired he would use his vacation time to work as a STF hut warden. Eventually some more hikers turned up. Some stayed at the hut and others went over the bridge and camped on the other side of the stream.
I decided that I needed a break from my tent & camping for one night. Some company and social contact would be nice too, so I paid for one nights stay in the hut (image 17).
The other guests convinced me to participate in the mixed sauna (image 18) at 19:00 PM. It was located right next to the Visttasjohkka stream. As this was my first time in one of the STF mountain hut saunas, the other guests were very helpful in explaining the “normal process” once entering the sauna. Strip off and then a wash first using some tapped hot water from the stove. I borrowed some liquid soap from a nice Polish lady and her husband/boyfriend (he was American BTW). They were also hiking with a dog, although the dog did not participate in the sauna activities 🤣. Then after sitting and sweating for some time we all ran naked down to the stream and jumped in and then back into the sauna. The process was repeated several times until I had enough. This was one of the highlights of my trip and I look forward to my next “Swedish mountain sauna”. I enjoyed the heat from the sauna and the several dips in the “fresh” glacial water.
The bridge over the Visttasjohkka stream below (image 19) where I skinny dipped several times after sitting in the hot sauna.
The Vistas Mountain Hut has one of the most beautiful mountain locations in the whole area with views up to the Nallo Mountain Hut some 9 KM away (image 20). I would like to re-visit one day in the future and walk the day hike up to Nallo.
Before I went to bed I sent out this message below from my inReach (image 21). One is limited to 160 characters when writing these messages so I just typed “knees” at the time as they always seem to bother me on descents but the issue was actually my right shin splint being inflamed and giving me pain. I chatted with one of the young guests, Jon from Sweden. He has also been a hut warden. He was a really nice guy. He said that he spent 5 hours climbing down from Mårma that afternoon. He was young and a very fit guy. He also wore Altra Lone Peak 4.0 BTW 👍. He said that it was hard going and you basically have to boulder hop all the way down over several hours. He didn’t think it would be advisable for me to tackle the climb the next day with my leg injury. I didn’t need any more convincing and decided to re-route my hike. Next day I would re-track my route from today back to the Kungsleden and then hike North to Abisko from Alesjaure.
End of day four … to be continued