Smaila Bridge - Pielaslätten - Pastavagge - Rinim, approx. 27 km, 2 days
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In the first part of our tour we hiked on the route Kisuris-Ruotesvagge-Smaila. On a separate page you can find pictures of Skarja, the area around Smaila bridge. The tour follows an unmarked path indicated as a dotted line in the BD10 map. There are no cabins available and there is no possibilty to buy food. If you are not familiar with these conditions in the Sarek National Park, read an Introduction first. We made the tour in two days and therefore had time to enjoy it. Since we had originally started in Vaisoluokta, this was now the fifth day in total and the backpacks were a bit lighter.
Once more we awoke in the morning when the sun heated up the tent. After breakfast we walked around a little bit near the bridge. We talked to a couple that camped near the locked Mikkastugan, they would make a tour to one of the summits today. Although the weather was excellent and a day trip here would have been fine, we then decided to follow our original plan and continue on the trail to Pielaslätten.
After one hour, we reached the Tjågnårisjåkåtj. In the information of the Swedish "Naturvardsverket" it is mentioned that this river near Pielaslätten can be difficult to wade depending on the weather. By the way, a river with the same name is found at the end of the Njatjosvagge. Today it was not difficult, but I could well imagine how it might look earlier in the summer or after a rainy period. After crossing the river, the trails to the Rapadalen and Pastavagge separate now.
From here we could still look down into the Rapa valley. The mountain in the background at the right side of the picture is the Laddepakte, while the left one is called Pielatjåkkå. In a right bend the Rapaätno flows around the Laddepakte. The trail to Aktse does not follow the Rapaätno here, but leads along the slope of the Pielatjåkkå and then climbs to the highland between the two mountains. For about 3-4 km you would hike at an elevation of 1000 m, before the path leads down to the Rapa valley again. We now tried to stay on the shortest way to the Pastavagge, while a different, higher trail to the left probably would lead to Suorva. For a short distance, we did not see the Pastavagge and just tried to stay on the same height.
It was 1 p.m., when could overlook the valley again. We were about one kilometer from the locked Pielastugan at the lake in the middle of the picture. The landscape called Pielaslätten was beautiful. The entrance to the Pastavagge was not far away, and we had a still a lot of time. So we chose a viewpoint and made a rest of almost one hour. Reindeers were distributed over the whole valley in small groups, sometimes they passed us in a short distance, they seemed to be curious. Two other hikers, that we had met before at the Tjågnårisjåakåtj, used the time to go up to the top of the Pielatjåkkå first, before they turned to the Pastavagge.
We reached the entrance of the Pastavagge and looked back. Would it would make sense to go deeper into the valley to save time at the next day ? So far, we had only hiked about 11 km, this would make approximately 16 for tomorrow. But the more pleasant campsites surely were here. We stayed and chose a campsite from which we could overlook the valley. The lake is called Pierikjaure, and along its opposite side a trail leads to Suorva (see "Vietas in the Kungsleden chapter). The evening was very relaxing. Would the weather change and the Pastavagge be in clouds tomorrow ?
No, in the morning it was good weather as usual. After 15 min we crossed the waters coming out of the Sabbevagge at the right side and entered the narrow part of the Pastavagge (left). The path along the Alep (western) Pastajakk was easier than expected.
Block passages, which can cost some time, were only short and changed with easier sections of the trail. The alpine character of the landscape was a contrast to the green valleys that we had passed before.
A smaller snowfield was good to walk, and finally we reached the Alep Pastajekna, the western glacier in the valley. Cool air fell down from the glacier, as if someone had opened the door of a refrigerator. Carola approached the glacier to take photos, which was difficult because now around noontime the sun was very bright on the glacier. I tried to find an easy place for wading, which took time for the same reason. The melting snow had caused the water level to rise.
It was perhaps not really difficult, but it was the worst crossing that we met on our tour. And the water was the coldest of all the rivers that we had passed. It took some minutes until we could feel our feet again.
Now we were at the highest point in the valley. Going downwards would be easier, it was warmer here than in front of the glacier, and crossing the eastern Pastajakk should be easier, too. We enjoyed a look back to the mountains of the Sarek group in the distance.
It did not take long now until we could see the exit of the valley. The path followed the river and in the lower part it climbed a little bit to about 20 to 30 m above the river. Today's hike took a longer time, not only because of the distance, but because of the impressive landscape. When we left the valley, it was still one hour to hike to Rinim. The sun was lower now, and in the shadow of the mountain it was colder. Mosquitos were hungry here. So we changed the short trousers and T-shirts to long ones.As so often, this last 4 km in easy grassland seemed to be the longest.
It was 5.30 pm, when we arrived in Rinim, where a Sami family living there provides boat transport. The boat was available. We waited about half an hour for more hikers to come at that evening, but we were the only people now to go to Rinim. During summer holidays it will be no problem to get a boat, because the whole Sami family lives in Rinim then, after main season it depends on the work to do with reindeer herding and can be more difficult. An additional possibility would be to ask Mr. Kallok (0971 220 28 or 0971 220 21) at the Sitojaure STF hut for transportation possibilities before going to Rinim. Finally, it is possible to use a seaplane of the Fiskflyg (see "Vietas" in the Index page).
The boat ride on the Sitojaure was beautiful for us, but it took all the experience of the boat driver, because the lake is less than half a meter deep in some parts with dangerous stones underneath the waterline. The evening was pleasant, and while we sat in the Sitojaure hut, we still were in the Sarek Park in our minds.
In Sitojaure we reached the Kungsleden. The next day we hiked to northbound to Saltoluokta. Another possibility would be to go south to Aktse and Kvikkjokk. From an information in Sitojaure we knew that they had a folk music and dance week in Saltoluokta. Accomodation prizes therefore were higher than normal. So this time we preferred to go to Stora Sjöfallet instead, because we felt more like sleeping a lot than dancing a lot.