Nissonjohka und Nissončorru

Day 13: Kårsavagge – Abisko

Snow, fog and perfect autumn colors

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Today is already our last stage, about 15km through the Kårsavagge, rather downhill. We get up at 8 o’clock, very tired and the snorer himself looks very tired too, at least! We have crispbread with salami for breakfast and are invited by the Swedes for fresh coffee, the first coffee since the Kebnekaise mountain station.
We start at 9:30 am, it’s only 4° Celsius, the sky is overcast, after all it doesn’t rain. The mountains are already sugared high up, in the night it has already snowed in higher altitude. At our altitude it only rained, the omnipresent willow scrub is wet and passes the water on to us only too gladly. We alternate who walks first, the first one gets much wetter than the second one. Yes, you’re right, we could also have put on our rain gear, but who does?

Elisabeth im elisabethhohen Weidegestrüpp, dahinter die KårsavaggestuganElisabeth im elisabethhohen Weidegestrüpp, dahinter die Kårsavaggestugan, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 35mm, 1/80s, Blende 8, ISO 200
Viele kleine Flüsse sind im Kårsavagge zu querenViele kleine Flüsse sind im Kårsavagge zu queren, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 35mm, 1/50s, Blende 8, ISO 200

The Kårsavagge is a water-rich valley, on the right side of our way lies the Gorsajávri and we cross again and again small tributaries, which come down from the mountains left of us. The scenery is beautiful again. Full autumn colouring and the closer we get to the Abisko National Park, the more the density of birch trees increases.

Weg durch das KårsavaggeWeg durch das Kårsavagge, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 20mm, 1/80s, Blende 8, ISO 200
Weg durch das KårsavaggeWeg durch das Kårsavagge, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 35mm, 1/60s, Blende 8, ISO 200
Weg durch das KårsavaggeWeg durch das Kårsavagge, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 35mm, 1/100s, Blende 8, ISO 200

What I have described as a “valley rich in water” in the text above shows up a little later from its wet side. The easy way becomes a river and the swampy places become deeper and deeper.

Weg durch das Kårsavagge – ja, das ist der Weg!Weg durch das Kårsavagge – ja, das ist der Weg!, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 35mm, 1/100s, Blende 8, ISO 200
In too deep…In too deep…, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 24mm, 1/250s, Blende 5.6, ISO 200
KårsavaggeKårsavagge, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 35mm, 1/200s, Blende 8, ISO 200
Blick zurück ins KårsavaggeBlick zurück ins Kårsavagge, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, 24mm, 1/200s, Blende 8, ISO 200

At the border of the Abisko National Park we look back into the Kårsavagge, take a break with Beef Jerkey and Mars and enjoy the great surroundings!

Schmalblättriges Wollgras (Eriophorum angustifolium Honck)Schmalblättriges Wollgras (Eriophorum angustifolium Honck), © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, 300mm, 1/400s, Blende 5.6, ISO 400
Schmalblättriges Wollgras (Eriophorum angustifolium Honck)Schmalblättriges Wollgras (Eriophorum angustifolium Honck), © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, 300mm, 1/320s, Blende 5.6, ISO 400

So far the Njunesgeahči and the Gorsaskáidi have blocked our view into the Abescodal. Now we are past these mountains and still at almost 600m altitude – we have a fantastic view of the national park with its dense birch forest and the opposite mountains, Nissončorru and Čuonjáčohkka.

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Nissonjohka und NissončorruNissonjohka und Nissončorru, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, 84mm, 1/500s, Blende 8, ISO 400
ČuonjáčohkkaČuonjáčohkka, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, 170mm, 1/400s, Blende 11, ISO 400

Soon we dive into the birch forest ourselves and eventually come to a turn-off where we are careless and follow the winter path, which quickly takes revenge in the form of a very swampy path. As we have also lost some meters of altitude, we are too lazy to turn around and continue the way until we can follow another narrow path to the north parallel to Abiskojåkka.
Birkenwald bei AbiskoBirkenwald bei Abisko, © Markus Proske — Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, 182mm, 1/100s, Blende 8, ISO 400
Suddenly it gets much too fast, every step brings us irrevocably closer to the end of our tour and so we are not happy when we suddenly come out at the road. We arrive in Abisko at 2.30 pm and exchange our reservation in the 4/6 bedroom for a luxury 2-bed room in the hotel. 🙂
After a long and extensive shower we lie in bed the rest of the afternoon and then go to the traditional Abiskodinner at 20.30: today with “Gus Pacho” (a stupid joke from “Breaking Bad” times, of course it’s Gazpacho), moose fillet(!) with parsley root puree, potatoes and red wine sauce and for dessert a donut with vanilla filling and berries.
In the evening we see weak northern lights at the Fjällstation and go down to the lake with headlights. The sky is rather cloudy, but every now and then it loosens up a bit and we see weak northern lights again – perfect end of our tour.

Epilog

We arrived in Abisko one day earlier than planned and spend the day lazily in the mountain station in really bad weather and in the evening we treat ourselves to a second big dinner. The next day, after an extensive breakfast, we take the bus at 11 am, which takes us directly to the airport in Kiruna. The flight to Stockholm is uneventful, in Stockholm we have time for our traditional visit to “Maxx” for a good burger, then we continue to Copenhagen. There we arrive with a little delay. The time for the change to the plane to Vienna was very short with just 45 minutes, we run to our gate. Hardly boarded, lift-off – that was close! How close we see in Vienna, when our two backpacks are not on the conveyor belt. They remain lost, even the search of the ground staff at the airport is useless and they don’t even manage to find out where they were last scanned. After 45 minutes of annoying waiting and filling out forms we leave the security area, where Sissy and Karl – our always reliable collectors – are waiting impatiently for us. Far after midnight we arrive at home.
The backpacks arrive two days later by home delivery, my Kajka 75 completely dirty with black abrasion or traces of oil – as if they had dragged it across the airfield. After various attempts by the airline to get rid of the problem and shifting the case to a claims adjuster and my request to shift the case back to the airline I finally got a payment of 267 EUR to buy a new Kajka.

Result

This tour is now over a year ago and meanwhile, we made a second autumn tour, again with tent (from Ritsem to Riksgränsen, we will post this tour here on Lustwandler.at).
From our point of view the autumn tours have almost exclusively advantages. There are no mosquitoes or hardly any mosquitoes anymore, the mountains shine in the most beautiful autumn colours, you can see the first northern lights and there are considerably fewer people on the way. But the days are cooler and the nights (especially in tents) are very cold with night frosts. At higher altitudes, the first snow falls – an advantage for viewing and photographing, a disadvantage if you have to cross the pass. 😉
Although our route led over parts of the Kungsleden, it was not overcrowded on the trails and lonely in the side valleys. However, we felt Abiskojaure to be exhausting, we’d better skip that next time and Alesjaure wasn’t really relaxed either, but you can hardly skip that without a tent without making a forced march.
The Kebnekaisefjäll landscape is extraordinarily beautiful and varied: you roam through the vegetation zones from the birch forest to the Hochfjäll, move through water-rich valleys and are surrounded by striking and sometimes very rugged peaks. We enjoyed the tour very much and were lucky to meet nice people and make new friends. After the tour we were really relaxed and had gained new strength for the working autumn. Still today we often think back to this tour – if you have the possibility, then we can warmly recommend a tour in this area to you. As a hut tour and perhaps a bit shorter, this tour might also be suitable for beginners!
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