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

Reindeer on the slopes of Vássanjunnji

(photo: anna nygren)

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Chapter 11


Yellow line shows the distance covered in chapter 11, while yellow and red lines combined show the total hiking distance of the day.

4 August 2011 (continuation)

A large band of reindeer came charging down right on the contour of Vássanjunji in a long, graphically perfect line on the snow, not far away, as we rounded the mountain. These sceneries with reindeer against steep snowy slopes, or along lofty ridges, reminded me of the pictorial art of late Sami artist Nils-Aslak Valkepaää, as they’re shown in his book Vidderna inom mig (The Expanses Within)

A band of reindeer streaming down across the snow field of Vássanjunnji

 

Anna looking down The Vistasvaggi Valley, towards Nikkaluokta far away, carrying my tent to help me relieve my wounded toes

As we came around the bend, so to say, we started receiving the thrilling view westward into Visttasvággi Valley, with the mountains Reaiddáčohkka, Siehtagas, Cogwheel Ridge (Kugghjulskammen) and Påssustjåkka (Bossosčohkka), and the lake Vássaloamijávri reflecting the sky closer, down below us.

Coming around Vássanjunnji, new views opened their dizzying perspectives

The water body is Vássaloamijávri, and the valley sensed on the other side is the eastern outlet of Unna Reaiddávággi Valley into Visttasvággi Valley

 

Anna descending down to Lake Vássaloamijávri

Our best bet was to descend down to the lake and then follow a supposed trail west by it and further on all the way to The Vistas Hut. It was a long, patience-trying descent on grassy slopes. The length of it tried our ankles and calves to the utmost but down we came.
Anna had volunteered to carry my tent again after the passage of The Mårma Pass, and it helped my wounded toes greatly, but unfortunately she suffered from it the day after.

Nallo in backlighting, and The Cogwheel Ridge closer, at right, in Stuor Reaiddávággi Valley

We finally had descended all the way down to Lake Vássaloamijávri at circa 5:30 PM, and began looking for the trail that guide books talked about without making it out in the flat, grassy landscape. It didn’t matter, since the direction was evident, so we strolled westward along the north side of the lake, and on an elevation at the end of it, we found a cairn, and shortly there after the trail, running nicely westward as the view into Visttasvággi and Stuor Reaiddávággi with our so meaningful Nallo Mountain opened majestically in the backlight. Anna and I had first met at The Nallo Hut in the summer of 2009, and talked some about The Šielmmavággi shortcut between Nallo and Tjäktja, but then we parted without further do, and met again, incredibly, in 2010, also at Nallo, without having had any contact in between. Then we hiked together to The Unna Räita Cabin. I stayed the night there, and Anna went back to Nallo to continue the next day up in Šielmmavággi, but she wrote me an email, and we began corresponding, finding so many corresponding views of life and specific interests and convictions – and a strong, common attraction to each other! - that we finally became a couple. Here we were now in 2011, getting that old Nallo peak in sight. It felt magic.

At the western tip of Lake Vássaloamijávri, looking east

Continuing in a westerly direction along the path

We were getting seriously tired and worn out at this point, because we had already done a monster of a hike since morn, concerning the ascent up The Mårma Pass, the descent from it, the crossing of the rock field, a couple of other ascents and then the really significant descent into The Vássaloamijávri Valley, and now we were about to descend on The Vistas Hut, which we could see far below from a small, flat plateau by the path.

Seriously tired in a beautiful landscape

 

Stuor Reaiddávággi opening up on the other side of Visttasvággi Valley

 

I'm contemplating the last few hours of the day's hike, above The Vistas Hut

(photo: anna nygren)

After the open, grassy part from Vássaloamijávri Lake, we now had to push our way through a dense mountain birch forest clinging to the slope like a green, fluffy mattress. This was where Anna began hurting from her back, and I attached my tent to my backpack again. My toes seemed to make it through well, against the odds, but we were both wasted at this stage, hardly making it down the steep, winding, narrow path going straight down through the mess of crooked, small mountain birches grabbing at our backpacks.

The Vistas Hut below, at the intersection of Vistasvággi and Stuor Reaiddávággi

On a level part on the slope we met an older lady with a nice, friendly face and a smile, out to pick cloudberries (hjortron). She was the Vistas hostess, and I recognized her, from having met her when she was the hostess of The Kaitumjaure Hut, some years ago. She greeted us friendly and told us already up in the forest which part of the hut to use, so we made it on down there with some more mental energy.

The Vistas Hut and the bridge across Visttasjohka

The path from Mårma takes you half a kilometer past The Vistas Hut, connecting to the trail from Alesjaure 500 meters west of the hut, so when we got to the intersection, we knew we were almost home free.

The hostess was already back when we arrived, having taken a steep shortcut, and she told us to take it easy and get in order and regain our strength, so we got into the left (south) part of the hut, where just one Irish tenter was making his food. Indeed we were also tenters, but had decided to stay inside the huts we eventually would pass, to get some really good rest and relaxation, and after the day’s extra long and strenuous hike we sure could use some comfort and rest; our bodies were screaming for it.

The hostess came and talked with us, telling us she appreciated that people that came from Mårma were “tough hikers”, making comparisons to folks she met during her King’s Trail days, and she furthermore branded us “toughies from Mårma
It felt good that someone actually would understand the strain it had taken to get us through the day, and somehow this hostess represented the best possible characteristics of someone in her position, encouraging us, making us feel comfortable and proud, and not getting in our face, never interfering, just making us feel good, even serving us glasses of cold juice on arrival!

I went over to the stream behind the bushes to wash up, and we didn’t stay up long. Sleep came like a wonderful liberator.


To chapter 12

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