Henrik Sundén has made the two remaining secondaries in
Sweden. Congratulations Henrik! Well done! In his report from visiting the 68 N 19 E point on 9-Aug-2003 Henrik mentions a cairn that seems to be built recently. It is also visible on a photograph. We report on visiting the point on 7-Aug-2003 and building the cairn.
As the visit was part of a trekking trip in the area it has not been possible for
us to post a report until now. It's thrilling to think about how close we were without meeting, our party had continued to walk northwestbound in Visttasvággi as Henrik made his way to the point. Our main objective was to make a week-long leasure trek around the Giebmegáisi (Kebnekaise) mountains. This is an alpine area in northern lapland of Sweden and the south peak is the top of Sweden at just above 2100 m. Weather permitting we also had plans for some day-excursions including the south peak and the 68 N 19 E point.
Here is the story:
06-Aug-2003 -- Maria and I drove from Umeå to Luleå, 260 km. In Luleå we went shopping and packed up the gear and food for a weeks supply. Magnus brought his Magellan SporTrek.
07-Aug-2003 -- Left Luleå at 8 am for a trip by car to Nikkaluokta, 420 km. We arrived in Nikkaluokta at 1 pm. I had made a reservation at Nikkaluokta Sarri AB (telephone +46 980 550 15) and we met up with Erik Sarri who would take us by boat up the winding delta of the Visttasjohka stream. It saved us some 12 km of walking through the lower parts of the valley, Visttasvággi. At this point we had not decided for sure whether we should make the detour to the C.P. or not. As we studied the map again and watched the walls of the valley grow taller and taller I felt a bit sceptical towards the whole idea. I felt as if it would be a total waste of time to walk to that place unless we could make it part of our trek. Still I wasn't keen on dragging our gear from 500 m asl to above 1100 without knowing if it would be possible to return to Visttasvággi due to its very steep walls further northwest.
Finally we decided to leave our packs with Maria (she is probably the sanest person in our company) on the trail in Visttasvággi and make a hit-and-run attempt on the C.P. Peace-of-cake, by estimate it should take maybe 4 hours without the packs. We pitched one tent by the trail, between two streams (Roavigorsa and Márffigorsa) that end up in Visttasjohka. After saying goodbye to Maria we started off at 2.30 pm.
We had planned to follow the course of Márffigorsa back to it's origins near the hill Ruohkkecohkka once we got above the tree-limit at 780 m above sea-level and onto less steep terrain. We aimed towards a visible sami-hut located at the tree-limit along our way to the C.P., found a way out of the marshes without wetting our boot-liners and began ascending towards the hut. We found a ridge of dry ground that we followed. Climbing out of the valley we found the ground covered with dense brush. There wasn't any mosquitos or other insects though.
During the walk Magnus, who is a seasoned C.P. hunter, explained some more about confluence.org. Until then I had mostly thought about the project as some sort of competition. During our walk I actually suggested the possibility that some other person or party might be on its way towards the same point at that very moment and that we might end up in a race across the plains towards the C.P. I also imagined us reaching the C.P. just to find it marked with a cairn by some earlier elusive C.P. hunter. I have recently read a book on Swedish pioneers in mountaineering and found how important the symbol of the cairn was back when not all peaks had been climbed. I therefore decided to put a cairn on the C.P. if there was none. For C.P hunters it would have a meaning, for other passers-by it might be a bit puzzling.
As we reached the tree-limit we found ourselves 370 meters southeast from the sami-hut which could not be seen from our position, not far from Márffigorsa´s rocky canyon. It was now 1h 15 mins since we started and I still thought that we could make it to the point in one hour, back in another hour and down into the valley again in 45 minutes. We picked up a pretty fast pace across the moor but soon found that we were pressed for time as we hurried along the stream.
Erik had told us that it had been raining the week before and parts of the grassy moor was soaked with water. The ground was also full of small humps due to the palsing phenomenon.
The snow-clad southeast slope of Ruohkkecohkka was easily distinguished and we knew that although we didn't seem to get any nearer we had to walk past it. Finally we did and there was a threshold with a field of moraine. We headed north between the moraine and the hill, expecting to find a small lake on the other side. So we did and the stream leading from it was running northbound very close to the C.P. We quickly paced 250 steps from the lake and checked the area for signs of human activity. We found nothing and Magnus identified the exact C.P. with his Magellan just after 5.30 pm. Adrian and I gathered some rocks to form the small cairn on the C.P. Magnus and I took pictures and a 360 degree MPEG video. Then we took some more pictures using the self timer before we started to walk back at 5.45 pm. Maria was waiting for us and we were all hungry.
On the way back we decided to use a direct route towards the tent. It meant a little steeper downhill walk towards the tree-limit and walking a long side-slope from Ruohkkecohkka. Adrian had some pain in his right knee on the way down, he has an injury in a cruciform ligament from telemark skiing. We went past the sami-hut on the way down to the tent. Just before 8 pm we were back at the tent, the round trip took us nearly 5h 30 min.
We cooked dinner, Chorizo hot-dogs with mashed potatoes. Then we folded the tent and walked a bit further along the trail towards Alesjaure. We pitched our two tents at the Bíernamoski stream and called it a day. It was late in the evening before we got to bed.
08-Aug-2003 -- Tried to find Lisas cottage. Continued to near the Vistas-hut where we set up camp, played some cards and had some Irish coffee. (Did you know that spray-cream needs refrigeration only just prior to serving it?)
09-Aug-2003 -- Cold winds swept from the north as we walked the greater Reidda-valley towards the pointy peak called Nállu. We huddled by a big rock as we had lunch. Maria was concerned about the harsh weather and doubted that she would enjoy the trip. After that the weather improved quickly. Within a few hours the sun was shining from a clear sky and the wind decreased. We took a moment to bask in the sun at the Nallo-hut before proceeding to Reiddajávri where we set up camp at the northern shore. We then proceeded to make a trip into the lifeless emptiness of the smaller Reidda-valley where several glaciers pour into a system of small streams and lakes. The valley is divided by a step of roughly 100 m height. On the step there is a lake with green water that pour over the edge into a thin silver cataract. Rumour has it that the collecting lake beneath is blue, but we never had the chance to see it 'cause we had to turn back before reaching it. The lakes of Unna Reiddávággi will be a future goal for me.
10-Aug-2003 -- Perfect weather again. We moved the tents down into the Cheakca-valley and had a sauna at the Sälka-huts.
11-Aug-2003 -- Rested at the same campsite near Sälka-huts, good weather but at 4 pm a weather front arrived from the west with rain and a low ceiling. Sauna again, plenty of company this time due to the foul weather. Decision to move to the Kebnekaise tourist station the next day.
12-Aug-2003 -- Trek along the "Kungsleden"-trail and into Láddjuvággi. After a long stage new camp was set at the station. Weather forecast gives no hope for an attempt at the summit. Magnus and Adrian has another sauna and buys decent beer.
13-Aug-2003 -- Walk-out towards Nikkaluokta, we use the boat-shuttle across the lake Láddjujávri saving us 6 km of walking. Drive back to Luleå.
14-Aug-2003 -- Maria and I drove back to Umeå. Log-on to confluence.org and is met by "Sweden complete". Henrik Sundén has made the two remaining secondaries. Congratulations Henrik!
(Report written by Jonas Bergdahl)