Stora Sjöfallet, Vietas and the Fiskflyg AB

(1996)

Stora Sjöfallet (Great Seafall literally) is the name of a waterfall, which was one of the most impressive in Sweden. Because the water is now used for electric power production, not much is left for the waterfall, and it does not attract so much tourists as in former times. The beauty of the landscape with its forests and lakes has remained. Very impressive is a primeval forest of pine trees along the street to Stora Sjöfallet. Years ago the street ended in Vietas for car traffic, but now it is extended to Ritsem. The reindeers, which often use the street, have to share it with the cars now.


Stora Sjöfallet is the name of a recreational area in the nearby. It offers many services to the tourists. Gas station, shop and restaurant are the only ones within about 50 km. There are tentsites, sites for mobile homes, service building and hotel beds. Hints for day hikes are given at the building. One interesting possibility is to go on the short trip to Kebnats with bus or car in the morning and take the boat to Saltoluokta Fjällstation. From Saltoluokta you can hike to viewpoints on Kungsleden and return in the afternoon with boat and bus to Stora Sjöfallet. During summer season direct connections from Vietas to Saltoluokta are offered. For longer tours you can reach the Kungsleden for hikes to the north in Vakkotavare and for hikes to the south in Saltoluokta, and there is a short way to the Sarek National Park across the Suorva dam.


The bus from Gällivare respectively Jokkmokk to Ritsem stops for more than half an hour in Störa Sjöfallet for lunch. The time is long enough to eat a "Dagens Rätt", the special of the day, in the nice restaurant or to buy some things in the shop.

It was the third time that we ended a hiking tour in Stora Sjöfallet. The rooms with toilet have reasonable prices. Shower and kitchen can be found in the building. For some people the standard perhaps would not be high enough, but a warm shower, a washing machine with drying room, a sauna and the opportunity to get a delicious dinner was everything we needed to recover from the tour.

A walk of ten minutes, and you are at the summer base of Fiskflyg AB. This company is a cooperative of the Sami people. They operate seaplanes und a helicopter mainly to provide services for reindeer herding. The name was chosen because they transport fishes that were cought in the mountain area to the street, and so fishing can be an additional income for the indigenous people.

Of course taxi flights are available for prices between 200 and about 1800 Skr depending on the trip. In the summer of 1996 after our hike in the Sarek we were short of time and the Fiskflyg helped us to be one day faster. The man in the office noted "2 turist till Sitasjaure kl. 11" . We were well in time at the plane. The backpacks were stored behind the rear bench, we fastened seatbelts and while the window was still opened we slowly moved out on the lake. After checking the instruments the pilot closed the window and accelerated for takeoff.


A moment later we were in the air and looked back to the base and the vacation area.


We flew along the Akkajaure, which had low water in this summer.To the left in the backgound of the picture the Akka massif can be seen, to the opposite, at the right lakeshore, Ritsem Fjellstation is situated. Near Vakkotavare we left the street and followed Kungsleden for a while, where we had hiked some years ago.


Fifteen minutes later it was time for the approach to land. The touchdown was very soft, and the pilot steered the plane to the shore.


We jumped to the land with our hiking boots, while the pilot put on fishermen's trousers. He stepped into the water and gave ous our backpacks.


We sayed goodbye and watched him taking off again, before we shouldered our backpacks and started for a new hike.

Homepage of Fiskflyg AB: www.fiskflyg.se
Homepage of Stora Sjöfallet: www.storasjofallet.se. It is opened in summer and winter.

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