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

Vistas hostess and Anna

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Chapter 12


Yellow line shows the distance covered in chapter 12, while yellow and red lines combined show the total hiking distance of the day.

5 August 2011

Our plan had originally been to hike up to The Unna Räita Cabin and The Pyramid Pass via the eastern part of The Unna Reaiddávággi Valley, but Anna’s back was hurting badly, from carrying too heavy a load the day before (my tent), and my toes could use a break, so we decided to go for a rest day and just hike the easy 9 kilometers up to The Nallo Hut and stay the night, to approach The Pyramid Pass the following day, rested and full of energy.

However, I needed some time to get the messy contents of my backpack in order. I had in fact simply emptied my pack and shoved the stuff under my bunk the night before. Anna was always extremely quick to get in order, but I sensed I didn’t have time to think, so I applied for a hold-up of action until about noon, which the lady graciously granted!

We purchased a lot of needed provisions at The Vistas Hut, since we were low on almost everything. I gave up my ambition not to drink coffee during this hike, which was an offspring of the desire to keep weight low, and bought a glass jar of instant coffee, which I emptied into two super thin plastic bags; one within the other.

After I’d gotten my utensils, clothing and the whole lot of equipment together in the backpack and hoisted it out of the hut, and we’d eaten our breakfast and cleaned up after ourselves, we were just about ready to leave. I shot some pictures of Anna and the hostess on the steps in the sun. The hostess happened to live not all that far from Anna, up in Northbothnia, in a place called Lappträsk.

The young hiker who got lost out of Kaskasavagge and found the soldier's helmet, thus unintentionally naming this story, posing with Anna at The Vistas hut

Right about then five young people came up to the open space in front of the hut. Four of them hiked together, but one young man ventured the wilderness alone, and had a story to tell, to explain his possession of an old, rusted helmet from the war, which he carried in his backpack, in spite of the added weight, and which he displayed for us. It certainly had the wings of history flap over these lands.
He explained that he’d come charging down The Kaskasavagge (Gaskkasvággi) Valley, into The Visttasvággi Valley, heading for The Vistas Hut. As he rambled under Mount Njunni he discovered that he’d lost his map. This can be fatal in these areas, or at least make things harder and more insecure. He went looking for the map, and somehow, in the process, lost track of the trail, but the logical thing would be that the trail through Visttasvággi would be coming at a 90 degree angle at him if he just kept on hiking straight down in Visttasvággi. The Kaskasavagge Trail that he’d followed had turned left (west) when he went straight down (north) to connect to The Visttasvággi Trail. The problem, though, was that the terrain in his direction turned quite ugly, with dense osier and wet marshlands, and the trail he was looking to reach ran along the other side of the river Visttasjohka, which can’t be forded, being too wide and wild.
As he fought his way through these circumstances he discovered that he’d come to a small hut called Lisa’s Cabin. It lies right on the river, and has its own story. Somewhere in the surrounding marsh he found that soldier’s helmet that he, in spite of his dire situation, put into his pack! What better way can it be for me to hail that beautiful madness than naming this story after this helmet! Thus the story got its title; Lisa’s Helmet Hike!

I photographed the young man wearing the helmet, giving me a soldier’s greeting, with Anna equally alert beside him!

Cogwheel Ridge / Siethagas up close

Unna Visttasčohkka

Unna Visttasčohkka with more surroundings!

It was a quarter past noon, and Anna and I moved out across the red hanging bridge, in the direction of Nallo. I felt strong and jolly, eagerly conversing and singing, while it was Anna’s turn to feel tired and pained. We both appreciated the fact that the hike for the day was short and well known to us since earlier hikes, and the wonderful weather kept on being sunny and clear, with an irregular distribution of white, puffy clouds to render some shade now and then.

Your host about to tread a trail that works extra as a stream!

(photo: anna nygren)

 

Treading the trail to Nallo!

(photo: anna nygren)

The scenery on a sunny, clear day from Vistas to Nallo is magnificent, magic, as if taken out of The Lord of The Ring, with chunks of rock and shapes of mountains unimaginable. The Cogwheel Ridge (Kugghjulskammen) seen from the south from down in The Stuor Reaiddávággi Valley throws your imagination into turmoil, awakening all the scary and wonderful fairytales of your childhood.

 

 

Yes, three pictures above from a seriously fairytailish part of Lapland!

 

We had a first short break in the heat at 2 PM, with the Nallo needle towering in the distance. Nallo indeed spells “needle” in the Sami language.

Anna at our first break between Vistas and Nallo

The first fording place, which most of the time constitutes nothing but easily engaged streams or trickles, was somewhat stronger this day, and demanded some extra care in the balancing, but nothing major occurred.

At about 4 PM we had a second break. Anna was feeling pretty bad, but trudged along anyway, showing the kind of determination and fighting spirit that I like so much in her.

 


To chapter 13

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