Part III

On the Nordkalottleden from Abisko to Lappjordhytta

to the map

Already 6 o´clock in the morning I departed Abisko turist station. In particular I delighted in the fine weather. Brilliant spring sun-shine over the Torneträsk. The evening before I had put waypoints in my GPS and determined the course to the long peninsula 4km north of Björkliden. I did this for any eventuality that means if the sight is zero I have the cours 330 Grad . Soon after the turist station I left the birches behind me and went on the ice over the Torneträsk.

Overall in this Abisko-region there was only some snow. Therefore a thick coat of ice had grown by the strong polar-frosts. This was used by the scooter drivers, who were driving straight ahead to their fishing grounds. I took the track leading me north to the end of the Lake. Here on the picture you can see right the top of the mountain, of which the Nordkalottleden to Innset is going around. The difference in altitude between lake and the skitrack was 500 Meter. I knew I had some work to do. If the weather stayed nice, I think it would be no problem.

About 11 a.m. I arrived at the cape of the peninsula. I was surrounded by strange ice figures. The sun stood not high in the sky and casted long shadows but it shined and was so warm like in the Alpes. Here I took a break and enjoyed the wonderfull sight back on the fine geometrie of the Lapporten.
It was midday when I saw a few wanderers certainly coming from the Lappjordhytta. I would speak them but they directly headed to the Lapporten. We were passing 100 m of each other without speaking a word. However a rough calculation showed me either they were leaving Lapjordhytta very late or they needed long time for the 3 km downhill to the lake. A short look on the steep slope anticipated the latter. You didn´t directly go down such slopes with Pulka and backpack.

The "secret" was soon lifted, since only 100 to 200 m after the end of the lake the terrain got very ascending. Finally the trail led to such a steep slope that it was impossible to draw up the Pulka directly. The surrounding area wasn´t convenient either. Again I had to practice the method "Tjäkta pass" it means backpack out of the Pulka and then wearing backpack and pulling pulka going uphill. But no, also these was not possible. First I had to hike up with the backpack alone, then with the second pack and at last with the Pulka alone.

I used a full hour for the first 100 meter. I accepted umperturbed and enjoyed the fantastic weather that I missed so long and the beautiful sight into the mountains.

The trail broke the way through birch forests going uphill and downhill. Sometimes it was going so steep that I took off my ski and went up the slope like on stairs.
4 o´clock in the afternoon I arrived the Lappjordhytta after 3 hours rising. I was happy and content. In this moment I was pleased immensly to get fresh water here. "Vann" the norwegian water was the magic word.
As accomodation I choosed the smaller cabin. Here I had to heat only a little and besides this the toilet and the firewood were under one roof. It was a sheer delight to live in this cabin.

For the next day I planned with great optimism to circumnavigate the mountain Lullehacarro in a height of 800 m. I was hoping to see the ski-track with the best topology. "Cross-ways" like in Sweden they aren´t in Norway though they are very helpful if you have a whiteout or even a storm.

When I looked out the window and door next morning I was a little bit shocked. Over night new snow had been falling about 25 cm. All the ski-tracks were covered and in the best case I could anticipate it. Moreover a heavy whiteout made you blind. I was clear in my mind that I couldn´t start for going to Innset.

I made myself comfortable in the living room and was looking into the beautiful scenery. At lunchtime I decided to explore the way to Innset untill the next waypoint.
With my ski I sank in until my feet was snowed under. I couldn´t get the ski over the snow. Therefore I waded through the snow like through the deep water.
Behind these trees the Mountain had to go up. I didn´t see anything. Suddenly I felt with the ski it was going steep uphill. So I turned back , made a big circle and tried it again.
The visibility became worse and worse. As I abruptly slipped downwards I was reminded of the big fall in the Padjelanta. For heaven´s sake don´t run away. I quickly pulled back and tried it again with a wider bend. So I was looking for the right track during the whole afternoon untill I stood in 800 m height without seeing any bush or stone. I gave up and skied downhill with a big risk. Great pleasure to see my cabin.
Crazy world! The next day just sunshine and roses. The contrast couldn´t be bigger. One time I saw nothing the other I saw everything. I came into conflict. Should I continue my Tour or not? My track from yesterday was also not to be seen, since it was also snowing during the night. I tested the area to the other cabin and came to a conclusion, that I shouldn´t go on without a track in this mountains when the weather is not sure. Besides I had taken only a minimum of food. Without sight I could rapidly get difficulties. It took revenge that I had to let the days of nice weather lapse in Abisko turiststation.
Incredible how beautiful Lapland could be
Midday 12 o´clock I left this nice cabin to look for the right track down hill through the birches. Simple was this not.
If the slope was very steep I took off my skis and worked in little steps downhill. Shortly before 2 p.m. I stood on the Torneträsk enjoying a bright sun.
Whole families with scooters and little huts were on the lake for fishing. When I approached they got all the equipment together and disappeared at the shore. I wondered since the weather was nice and it wasn´t too late.
Originally I had planned to spent the night in the Palno cabin. But after inspection I changed my intention and decided to go on to Abisko.

Already a little bit on the Lake I saw a shelf cloud over the mountains coming to me. Now I understand the hurry of the scooter people. Lonely I skied on a scooter track over the Lake. A quarter of an hour the hell broke loose. A very dense snowstorm with mikroskopic snow cristals made me nearly blind so that I couldn´t go any step for 10 minutes. Then I went on. But 20 minutes later the same game and so on. I could only follow the main track in the midst of the lake.

In the evening about 18 o´clock it became quietl and stopped snowing. I skied very fast directly to the south shore. About 9 p.m. I reached a smooth increasing beach. I didn´t hesitate to put on my tent.

For I knew that the turist station closed exactly 20.00 o´clock and then a hiker had no chance.

The next morning I had a last view on the Lapporten. I knew that was the Good Bye from Swedisch Lapland. It was a very adventurous and very good sportimg skitour through Lapland. So I travelled with a heavy heart to Kiruna.