I have been meaning to write other things here the last days, don’t worry nothing too interesting mostly whining actually, but I wanted to write about our adventure in the fells before I wrote something else, and that have resulted in that I didn’t write anything at all… Now that is logic for you… =)
Early on Monday morning… uhm.. no actually I should start on Saturday or so with all the packing and repacking but that is quite boring so early on Monday morning, thinking about it nothing too interesting happened on Monday morning, or day or even afternoon we just drove all day… about 820 kilometers from here to Ammarnäs, in northern Sweden…
We did actually stop in Haparanda, just over the border to Sweden to buy a new backpack for my mother and a GPS holder for my car… then we stopped in a small hole somewhere in Sweden called Töre and had some pizza, as usual there aren’t much alternatives if you don’t eat meat… sigh… so I took the only alternative and
had them make it a turnover (no I am never ever satisfied as it is…)
When we came to Ammarnäs we went to get the key to the hostel and to the cottage out in the wilderness where we were to sleep the two nights of our hike, then we went to see the village. The guy told us to go see two old Saami ladies that were making Saami art, they were apparently quite famous and had exhibitions all over the world. When we got there they were closed though unfortunately. Then we went to see something rather odd, a huge man-made hill that the locals used to grow potatoes on, the thing is that Ammarnäs is too far north to grow anything really, but by using the south side of the hill they got a better angle to the sun and could grow potatoes… and the view from the top was quite amazing…
Then we went geocaching, I had checked beforehand that there was a cache in the village that no one had yet found and I wanted to get the FTF (first to find, if you aren’t in to the sport). We went where the cache was suppose to be and found nothing but a field of grass, nothing at all that could hide a cache, especially a simple one like this, the hint also indicated that it was elsewhere, so we had to give up and go to bed.
Woke up bright and early to get going, we tried to lift our packs and decided that there were no way we could carry all of this over the fell so we left a whole lot of stuff in the car, repacked everything and off we went. The hostel was at 402 meters above the sea, our first climb was to 700 meters where we rested and filled up the water bottles at a lake called Näsbergstjärn. From there the journey went upwards, we soon passed the point where the trees could no longer grow and the only vegetation was moss and low shrubbery. At about half of the way it started raining quite hard and We weren’t quite prepared. I had a rain jacket but no rain pants and got quite soaked. It was windy, cold and wet and we really wanted to get to the cottage at rävfallet, so we pushed a little harder then what was wise… We passed the peak at 932 meters in heavy rain. We also had a bit of trouble with the Swedish GPS maps that was quite inaccurate, there were times when we were over a hundred meters from a point according to the GPS when we was there for real and the trails seemed to have been painted in approximately where they should be, not where they actually were… I had the GPS and checked how far it was to the cottage but some sadistic person had made the end of the trail go in a big loop, like a “J” so it kept saying 4 km left, for a few kilometers, we even went past it so the arrow pointed backwards. Then after that a steep downhill, it is actually almost as heavy if not even worse to walk downhill with a heavy packing as it is to walk uphill. About 300 meters from the cottage mother started to feel ill from exhaustion and me too for that matter so we stopped fr almost half an hour that close to the destination, then we dragged ourself the final bit to the cottage and collapsed in bed. Soon we recovered enough to make something to eat this days food: Macaroni stewed with a instant soup (creamy broccoli) and soy mince. I managed to get sores on my heals, nothing big but enough to be annoying, I think it was because the feet got wet. Gore-tex and all kinds of membranes doesn’t help much when the water is coming in from above, next time: bring good rain pants… We put a big fire in the fireplace to dry our clothes, which resulted in hat the room got almost too hot to sleep in. I put compeed (adhesive plaster that sticks very rigid and suppose to be very good) on both feet, something that I would regret later and we went to bed.
Woke up with the sun and had a good breakfast, it was a fine day and there was to trace of rain so since we decided to travel as light as possible we didn’t bring any rainwear or extra clothes, just some sandwiches and coffee, and I had the camera and a few lenses… My feet had swollen quite much and I had to use a pair of thin socks to get my feet in the shoes. We went up north towards the cottage at Vitnjul and at about half way there the first drops came and soon it was heavy rain again. We contemplated turning around, but decided to go on as planned so soaked like beavers (Mother prefers to say drowned cats, but I think that sounds a bit brutal) we arrived to Vitnjul. We made a fire and dried up a bit ate our sandwiches and tried to get the rain to pass by, it didn’t seem to want to, so we walked back in the rain, now I started to get sore feet for real and my legs were heavy to lift from all the carrying heavy backpacks, the last bit I had to lean on the monopod quite frequently but eventually we came “home”. Now when I had a look at my feet I realized what had happened, the adhesive plaster on my small sores on the heals had pulled downwards and pulled the skin with them so now I had a problem… It was probably the same reason as the day before, water had entered the shoe from above and the whole inside of the shoe was wet… We learned from last nights mistake and didn’t make a huge fire in the room we slept in but in a small room specially made for the purpose of drying clothes… It wasn’t as effective but it sort of worked… Made food: Macaroni stewed with a instant soup (mushroom) and soy mince… slept like a baby this night…
Woke up with the dawn and every muscle in my entire body was stiff and aching, The idea that we had a over 20 kilometer long hike with heavy packs didn’t sound too fantastic at all, but we packed ate breakfast and cleaned up after ourself… when I put my foot in my trekking shoes the really didn’t fit, it was like the shoes was a few numbers too small, so swollen was my foot, I forced it in there and tried to walk but after 100 meters I just had to give up, there was no way I could do a full kilometer like this, so I took off the shoes and hung them on my already too heavy backpack and walked in sandals, over 20 km… the first 10 or so was just enjoyable, the sun was shining and I got some good photos… But sandals are for walking short distances, not for trekking, and I started to get blisters under the front soles of the feet, and the last bit was quite a pain. I don’t really know how hard these two last days was on Mother because she doesn’t say anything until it really is bad, I am more of the whiner, looked like she was tired enough too towards the end of the day. The last bit of the days hike as following a road and we was thinking about hitchhiking, but there were no suitable cars, most cars came the other way, so we met them. In retrospect I’m glad we didn’t cheat, it would have felt like we gave up o the goals we set… Anyhow, we got to the hostel and today we were not gonna have pasta but mashed potatoes, there was just this little problem, the store was closed and we needed milk and butter to make the mashed potatoes mix… so it turned out to be: Macaroni stewed with a instant soup (Two bags, because we could) and soy mince…
The trip home.
The last day we didn’t have anything but coffee and cracker bread (without butter) for breakfast, so we had coffee and cracker bread, a quick shower and off we went, the nearest open shop was in Sorsele, 85 km from Ammarnäs, so we went there to get some bread and butter and stuff, drew out to a lake, sat in the car and had a sorta picnic, then we drove home pretty much the same way as we drew there…
All in all it was a good trip, the weather sucked much of the time, my feet are still not completely healed but it was an adventure and the mood was always good… Of course there were times when the feet hurt like hell and I almost didn’t have enough energy to lift them from the ground and just felt like laying down to wait for a helicopter or something, but luckily we have a selective memory and next year we are aiming for Kebnekaise (in august)… =)