The day begins stormy, at least the sun is shining and with 10°C, it is not cold. Especially not when it’s uphill again right after the hut. We start at 8 o’clock and want to be in Čáihnavagge before the announced bad weather arrives. This means that we now descend from our 1100 m altitude to the Gautelisvatnet (at about 850 HM), only to ascend the other side again to the 1200 m high pass. As a reward, a long block field awaits us, which other hikers have described to us in recent years in the most dazzling colours. After a short descent, we reach our destination of the day at 1000 m altitude, Čáihnavaggehytta, which is 21 km away according to my basecamp measurement. The two Norwegians are still sleeping when we leave, I would really like to know if they have reached Kebnekaise.
The first picture is a look back at the Skoaddejávri, the hut is already behind the edge of the terrain and can no longer be seen.
After passing the highest point it goes down over many terrain levels. Early we see the ascent on the opposite side, as the next picture shows: on the far right you can see a small part of the big lake Gautelisvatnet and behind it goes up to the flat mountain in the background and then into the valley on the left (behind the mountain, which is slightly to the right of the middle of the picture).
We make good progress and are – after a short breakfast break in the sun hidden behind big rocks and sheltered from the wind – at 11:15 a.m. on the road. The signpost shows 7.5 km to Skoaddejávri and 15 km to Čáihnavagge. We walk about 30 minutes on the gravel road until it ends before a dam and we continue over this dam, the following photo is taken from the dam with a view to the west. It is also worth mentioning that the wind is not only stormy but also very gusty and our backpacks provide a good surface for attack. On the road this required one or the other side step, here on the exposed dam we don’t feel too comfortable, fortunately, the dam is quite wide.
Little later comes the next wobbly bridge. Elisabeth is finally tired of this kind of bridges, goes down and through the almost dried out riverbed and up again over there, where I am waiting patiently. 🙂
The trail now leads well along the slope with cairns and red dots, mainly through a heath-like landscape, sometimes stony and sometimes with a touch of block field. Shortly before 1 pm we reach the next signpost: 9 km to Čáihnavagge or 4.5 km to Gautelis. 9 km and still enough time – we are very satisfied and start the ascent.
The higher we get, the stumpier the path becomes and again and again smaller and bigger blockfields move us the way. The path is marked quite well with stone males and small red dots, but these are often hard to spot on the block field passages. In principle, no problem, as the position of the pass is completely clear, but it is hoped that the marking represents the ideal route through the block fields and therefore we were anxious to keep to it.
The picture you just saw: Yes, this is the way, who looks very closely, sees two red dots in the middle of the picture, one on a dark stone and a very small one in the background. In this picture it’s about 14 o’clock, so one-hour ascent since the signpost.
As you can see, the road has become much more strenuous and we are now making slower progress. At the place where the higher Gautelis junction is marked on the map, we take a little break for lunch. At 15:30 this photo series was taken.
After the pass it goes relatively even to slightly falling until the view to the north opens into the valley and the lake 1094 lies below us. But not only the lake is below us, but also the infamous block field. The picture with the lake was taken at 17 o’clock.
She’s still smiling! 🙂
The first part actually goes quite well, but then we get into an area of really big blocks. Between the blocks, there are crevasses, which are sometimes more than one meter deep, between the blocks sometimes height differences clearly over half a meter – which is especially not funny with our heavy luggage and stepping down. As if that wasn’t exhausting enough, we struggle with the extremely gusty and meanwhile also very stormy wind. We offer too much surface with our backpacks and the gusts are strong enough that they bring us out of balance and we have to stabilize on the rocks in the block field. After all, it doesn’t rain and we are lucky that the block field isn’t slippery.
The photographer was busy not losing his balance and mastering the most difficult passage without an accident, so there are no photos of this part, but luckily the block field stretches along the whole lake and so we brought some pictures with us.
The last picture already shows the evening mood, the last sunrays on top of the mountain and the cool shadows in the block field.
Evening mood? 19 o’clock? When did it get so late? We actually needed 2 hours through the block field east of the lake. And as you can see in the next picture, our destination is only very small at the end of the next lake and it will take almost 1.5 hours until we actually arrive there.
The path to the hut leads west in a larger arc around lake 1004. The path remains stony and is interspersed with a light block field, in addition, smaller streams have to be forded. Slowly but surely we run out of daylight and the last part we walk in the dark. In the distance, we can see a candle in the window of a hut. Besides, it starts to rain, but we reach the huts before the rain gets stronger.
Of the three huts the two small huts are occupied, one by two hunters and one by a German/Belgian couple. So we take the big hut, which is strangely unlocked but also lies in complete darkness, the oven is cold. Nevertheless, there is one inhabitant, a young German, who hikes the E1 and didn’t want to make a fire. Now we make up for it as soon as possible, we are quite cooled off from the long and slow descent. Of course, we don’t get the hut warm anymore, but we sit close to the warming oven, eating our food tiredly. Next stop: bed!
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