September 10, 2019
I was up very early today. There were only three guests down our end of the hut. I moved my gear out of the cubicle from where I was sleeping and into the kitchen area so as not to wake the others. Although I think Jon was awake; he was also up a little earlier to visit the little house. As soon as I started moving around I could hear that Francesca was up and about too. I presumed that she liked an early start as I did. It was actually Francesca’s footsteps that I had followed the previous day from Alesjaure. I actually caught a glimpse of her in the distance at one stage as she had also stopped for a rest in the same area as I had. I think she said to me that she took a little middays siesta. She had stayed at Alesjaure and hiked out earlier than I did the day before.
I bid Francesca and Jon farewell and thanked them both for their nice conversations and perfect company. As I conveyed in my previous post, shin splint pain on my right leg forced me to re-route back to Kungsleden today and then hike on the flatter valley floor north up towards Abisko. Looking up at the Mårma massif I felt slightly defeated but defiantly not disappointed; Mårma will always be there for another day. My hike started at 07:13 AM.
My route for the day
Elevations graph for the day
Even though I was back tracking the first 18 km to Kungsleden via Alesjaure, as it was the same track that I walked in on yesterday, it was defiantly not monotonous or uninteresting; quite the opposite. This time of the year when leaves begin to fall, temperatures drop and the days get shorter Lapland showed me some amazing autumn colours. I love the diversity of the colours in image 3 below.
On my way out of the birch forest I noticed a camp site next to Visttasjohkka stream (image 4). It looked like a nice location if you want to camp on this side Visttasjohkka away from the Vistas hut. I didn’t walk over the bridge at Vistas which crossed the Visttasjohkka stream, but the warden said to others that if they wanted to camp without paying any fees then there were some good pitches there. I’ll keep that in mind for my future plans. I would like to revisit Vistas, climb Mårma pass and do the 9 km walk to Nallo.
At around the 5 km mark I caught my last glimpse of Siehtagas glacier which was even more spectacular than the previous day (image 5).
When I was chatting to Francesca at the Vistas hut yesterday afternoon she said that she saw an elk or moose. She noted that it had some large antlers. I can’t remember if she saw one or two but the warden Hans, backed her story up saying that they are around in this valley. So today, annoyed at myself for not seeing them yesterday, they were all that was on my mind. At every location where I thought that they might be I would stop up and scan the landscape and forest area searching for a moose. Unfortunately I never saw one but I did encounter this guy (image 6) below on the way out of the valley.
It started to rain and so for the first time since day one I donned my rain clothes. The rain only lasted for 30 minutes or so and by the time I reached the Moarhmmájohka bridge I removed them again. While I was fussing with my rain clothes and at the 10 km mark I said hello to a nice Swedish girl walking in the opposite direction. I can’t remember her name but I think she said it was Natalie. We chatted for a bit and she explained that she was walking on Kungsleden and should be at Abisko the following afternoon, where she would take some transport down to Kiruna to catch a flight home to Gothenburg. I told her that she had taken the wrong turn before the bridge at Alesjaure, where she should of walked north over the bridge and continued on Kungsleden. I showed her our present location on a map and also where she had taken the wrong turn. She was very thankful for me turning her around and so now it was not only me but also my new friend that was back tracking to The King’s Trail.
After crossing the bridge at Moarhmmájohka I suggested to Natalie that she should hike her own hike and not to wait for me as she needed to maintain a reasonable pace to reach Abisko by tomorrow. The next 4.5 km we climbed 177 m up to the highest elevation for today at 883 meters.
We said our farewells and agreed that we might bump into each again other at Alesjaure as we would both stop for lunch there. Natalie disappeared into the distance and I thought that I wouldn’t see her again.
At the 15 km mark I caught my first views of Alesjaure (image 8). Now it was just 2.5 km downhill to the huts. I crossed the bridge over Aliseatnu river and continued up to the the main hut and purchased a tube of cream cheese and some crisp-bread. I was having some stomach issues and wanted something other than soup for lunch. I had a nice chat with the warden who gave me some post to deliver at Abisko on Thursday. The warden recognised me after my visit two days earlier when I purchased a beer and chips. I didn’t see Natalie here and I thought that she most probably already had eaten and was continuing in the right direction along Kungsleden.
After lunch break at Alesjaure Mountain Hut I continued heading north along Kungsleden which would take me to Abisko on day 7 (image 9). I follow lake Allesjokk for the next 9 km from Alesjaure and I push out 27 km today with my sore shin. The Kungsleden path is wide, flat and well trodden so it was easy going from now on even with a painful shin.
At 16:39 pm I sent the below message (image 10) from my inReach. While I was sending my message Natalie came by. She had apparently taken lunch before the bridge. I never noticed her there. So here we were again and this time I never saw her again.
- Elevation: 808.00 m
- Lat: 68.200216
- Lon: 18.514903
My pitch at lake Allesjokk (image 11), is one of the prime camp sites along this stretch of Kungsleden with the finest views of the high precipice of Njuikkostabákti.
I was fairly exposed at this location so when the wind got up it really blew forcing me to boil some water for my evening meal in the vestibule of my Tarptent Notch (image 12).
After dinner I strolled around for a while trying to glimpse any form for wildlife and to take in the awe inspiring views of Njuikkostabákti massif that rose before me on the opposite side of the lake (image 13).
After dinner and around 7 PM the local population came out to graze (image 14). This was a perfect ending to a perfect day!
End of day five … to be continued