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In the highlands of Padjelanta National Park

 

Southern Padjelantaleden (Kvikkjokk-Staloluokta), 77 km, 5 days

(1994)

Carola and me hiked the Padjelantaleden in the late June of 1994. We started in Kvikkjokk, a very small village and one of the bigger stations of the STF (Kvikkjokk Fjällstation).

In the library of Kvikkjokk Fjällstation

The Fjällstation is situated near the picturesque Kamajåkkå river. After a sauna in the evening we took a bath in the river.

Church in Kvikkjokk

In Kvikkjokk you should visit the wooden church built in 1907, before you go on the trail. The first four kilometers of the trail are the easiest: you have to cross the delta of the Tarraätno, and no one hikes that part, as there is a scheduled boat. If you come from the opposite direction, it is possible to call a boat by telephone. We had high water level at that time and the boat could make two extra kilometers.

Lower Tarredalen

The trail followed the valley of the Tarraätno. It was not difficult, but the backpacks were a bit heavier in the beginning, of course. The distance to Njunjesstugan was 11 km mostly through forest. After arriving at the cabin, we took a short rest and then hiked to Tarrekaisestugan, where we spent the night. The next day the path continued along the Tarradalen. The distance to Såmmarlappa was only 13 km. We arrived at 2 p.m. and rested on the beds in the cabin for the afternoon. At late afternoon the cabin filled up with hikers. Two groups arrived, one from the south and one from the north, and they seemed to be very tired. Some people would have to sleep on the floor on mattresses. The weather was fine, we had our tent anyway, it would not get dark, and we did not feel tired any more, so we gave up our beds, took our backpacks and continued the hike.

Tarredalen, near the timberline

At 10 p.m. we crossed the border of the Padjelanta National Park. We had reached the treeline now and looked back to the forests of the lower Tarra valley. Half an hour later it seemed to be time to end the hike and build up the tent. We decided against a lower area with some mosquitos and for a higher area with some wind. The wind freshed up in the night, and so it was a little bit loud in the tent.

In the tent

After breakfast at our campsite halfway between Sammarlappa and Tarraluoppal, we began the third day not to early. At noontime we arrived at the Tarraluoppal hut. Now the path steadily climbed and we had to carry the backpacks from 700 to 1000 m.

View on Upper Tarredalen

We had left the Tarredalen and had a beautiful look back on its upper part. For the next hours we hiked through an impressive landscape with snowfields, hills, moors, lakes and rivers and with only a sparse vegetation.

Reindeers in the highland

In the distance, a herd of reindeers moved slowly across a snowfield. During warmer days in summer the reindeers like to cool down on the snow.

Betweem Tarraluoppal and Tuoddar

Looking at the hiking map that showed a lot of lakes, it was astonishing that we only had to wade very few of the ice cold rivers. Long snow fields made walking harder. In the afternoon the Tuoddar huts came into sight. We rested for the night and checked the trail for the next morning. It would start with crossing the inlet and the outlet of the lake in front of the huts.

Wading near Tuoddar

The rivers were not so deep, but the water was cold as ice. I found that my woolen socks helped a bit against the cold water. To avoid injuries, you should never cross a river barefooted. Many Scandinavians are used to rubber boots, but we still prefer hiking shoes.

Tuoddarstugorna

Before fording the second river, we looked back to the Tuoddar huts in their chilly surroundings. The way to Staloluokta was easy, the trail continuously descends. However, already at lower level, we had once more to pass some melting snowfields, where walking was difficult.

Virihaure und Staloluokta

The way seemed to be longer than expected, but finally we saw Staloluokta in the distance. The buildings in the foreground are the cabins for hikers. They were managed by the Nature Conservation Board and have a similar standard to STF cabins. In 2000, the Badjelandda Economic Association took over the responsibility. The house near the river is the sauna. The houses in the background belong to the summer village of the Sami people. The Padjelantaleden continues along the Virihaure lake. The weather now was not too good, it was stormy and rained a little bit. We got beds in one of the cabins, and in the evening we could go to the sauna. We had only four days without warm water, but heating up in the sauna, washing with a lot of warm water and cooling down in the river was a pleasure we will always remember. The next day we continued our tour on the Northern Part, Staloluokta - Sallohaure.

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