Ingvar Loco Nordin & Anna Nygren
Lisa's Helmet Hike
(Mårma - Three Pass Trail 2011)

Up along Ballinjohka in The Ballinvággi Valley

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Chapter 3


Yellow line shows the distance covered in chapter 3, while yellow and red lines combined show the total hiking distance of the day.

1 August (continuation)

Looking back down toward Torne Träsk Lake at Abisko

We rested and ate at The Tent Camp, where after we chose one of the various paths heading further up into the wide inlet of The Ballinvággi Valley. Rising up the semi-rocky slope, the paths lost their distinction in the landscape, but this had no relevance, since the direction was obvious anyway, like almost everywhere in Lapland, through valleys between high mountains. We kept The Ballinjohka Rapids to our right up the ascent, as we reached the top of small rocky ridges, each time thinking we approached the watershed divide, while we actually were coming across a waveform of ridges up ahead, making us wet from sweat and tired, as most of this ascent was executed, in addition, along a slope towards the Ballinjohka stream at the bottom of the canyon to our right, straining our left feet at the ankle.

Trudging up along the incline along Ballinjohka, which runs down in a deep ravine

However, after straining hard (we had expected nothing less), we reached the watershed divide, and could look into a beautiful, green valley with numerous, small, shallow streams in a delta cutting through a lavishly green meadow-like terrain, unexpected and unusual in the mostly rocky and almost desert-like landscapes of high-altitude Lapland.

To our right we saw the mighty Tjåmuhas (Čoamohas) Mountain towering at 1743 meters, and at left stood Pallentjåkka (Ballinčohkka) at 1523 meters, with an even higher summit further ahead at 1737 meters. A certain inflation comes with the expression, but this area really constituted an unexpected Shangri-La in the barren wilderness.

Looking down the welcoming Ballinvággi Valley, facing south


We crossed a few of the winding shallow streams, to reach an especially green and meadow-like patch of grass in the midst of the valley, towards the south of its length. It could not be called fording, because the streams were so tiny, like the ones you find at Sälka. There we pitched our tents. We had decided to live in separate tents, to have more freedom of space, so I used my Hilleberg Nallo 2, and Anna brought her smaller Hilleberg Akto, both tents red, shining like alien signposts in the pristine wilderness.

Anna crossing over to a perfect tenting place in this Mongolian landscape

In the night I did feel some pain in one of my knees. That worried me for a while, but after consuming a painkiller I fell back asleep, and the pain subsided. I think my backpack weighed about 22 or 23 kilos, with the food to last me through all the days we would not pass a hut where provisions were held on stock, and with cooking utensils, sleeping bag and the tent. That is not especially heavy, even though my comfort weight lies below 18 kilos, and it is obvious that the same weight sometimes feels heavy and strains back and knees, while it’s hardly sensed at all on other days, depending on mental and physical alertness.

 

I look a bit chilly, but it was a nice, smooth evening. I had discovered a few mosquitoes

 


To chapter 4

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