This time we set off with skis and sled from Ritsem. The first day we skied over the lake and slept near Akka (mountain). The following morning was really windy and we decided to stay for a while and see if it got any better before breaking camp. Later on it was still strong winds on and off but we were ready to leave as a team and we did. We skied over the pass SV of Akka and pitched our tent halfway to Nijak (mountain) nearby Kisuriskåtan. The weather was much better during the evening and we could see more of the surrounding terrain while pitching our tent. When we woke up the following morning we preburned our multi-stove kitchen and the flame danced for us before opening the valves once more and it was time to melt snow for the day to come. I was sitting in the tent vestibule, suddenly I spotted a red fox walking by. The 20 seconds it took to walk the distance from right to left before disappearing again made my morning routine easier. Routesvagge (valley) was a struggle for me and it felt like a necessary distance for me only to be able to enjoy Rapadalen (valley). We had one of many breaks somewhere in Routesvagge, Gustav and I started to fight with our ski poles, we made lightsaber sounds… then we had a cookie followed by a sip of water and then we skied forward again… I like this “simple” life out here. Stay warm, dry and fed and you’re okey. We took some height before Skarja because of the ravine and then we probably took the worst hill down. Let’s say another cookie here would be super. One of us made it down with spaghetti legs, one of us unhooked the sled and skied after it down the hill, the last one of us did a front flip when he buried the ski tips and damaged the ski shaft. I thought it was a brutal end of the trip but duck tape and bamboo from the old wooden sled rescued us. Rapadalen was magical from beginning to end. I had the pleasure to have a key in my possession that gave us access to Axel Hamberg’s hut near Låddebakte. We had some coffee outside of the cabin and explored the hut before skiing further. Overall we had a great trip and when we finished our journey in Saltoluokta I felt that I had really experienced something special.
Notes from my field journal
“Lapland. With a population of 92.000 people and a density of 0,83/km2. If we look at the area we will ski in it’s a lot less. I guess we meet less than 15 people for the next 8 days. True wilderness or not, I would say we’re truly out there.“
“With the sun as only reference point we skied onwards at a steady pace. Everything was grey/white and the horizon almost invisible. We couldn’t see the ups and downs in the landscape ahead of us before skiing over them and it often put us off balance. Adventurous day!“
“Crossing over. After 20+ hours on public transportation it’s nice to stretch our legs before the next nightfall. This evening we skied over Akkajaure from Ritsem before pitching our tent. Akkajaure is one of the largest reservoirs in Sweden. Since it is used for power generation, the lake depth fluctuates by up to 30 m (98 ft).“