Day 8 – August 4th 2017

07:30 STF Fjällstation Ritsem

Woke up early enough to make the 07:45 boat and still decided against it. No wind tonight led to a lot of moisture in the tent and I want to let it air out decently. At the same time it’s good to have extra time to reorganize the gear, I need to get some food out from the bottom of the pack. It feels encouraging to observe my consumption, though the backpack is still too heavy for my taste.

Grateful how the body adjusts to the load and handles it better day by day.

 I feel a little taxed by the long hike yesterday, especially the more monotonous 10km on the gravel road. Also I actually woke up hungry for the first time in a while, guess I used up more energy than I noticed yesterday.
Found some egg powder in the left-over-box here in the kitchen and I’m making an omelette with that and some cream powder from my pack.
Hopefully I can get everything except the tent and the Crocs to fit into the backpack now, which makes it easier to distribute the load and carry it more comfortable.
Looking to take the boat to Änonjalme and start walking the Padjelanta trail southbound. No real plan where to stop for camp, just want to get out of the birch forest and away from the higher concentration of mosquitoes!
20:45 Camp at bridge over Tsiekkimjågåsj
I spent a nice and slow morning at the fjällstation, got everything dried out and packed and chatted with several nice people. Partly the Norwegians that I shared trail with for some days now, and partly a party of five I first met last night and who just came out from a two week tour through Sarek. Especially one guy, who’s been in Sarek a lot, gave me some very useful tips for my tour through there. Still not sure I’m doing that, though, it all depends on the knee. Which today worked really well, by the way!

Just before 11:00 i left for the boat and got on board early. At the dock was a family of three with a dog who were visiting relatives in Änonjalmme and had a lot of luggage and boxes. I helped them get their stuff on board and we had a nice chat for the duration of the boat trip. After helping them get their stuff on shore in Änonjalmme, I started my hike at 12:15 aiming for Gisuris to start with.
The 15km hike went fast and easy with moderate intensity, I’d almost forgotten how much I love the soft and friendly trails of the Padjelanta national park. Only stopping for a 20min water break, at which I also got some writing done, I arrived at 16:00 and spent almost 30min chatting to the cabin host. He was about to bring his family back down to Änonjalmme for them to go home and still took thag time to meet with a stranger. I really appreciate this attitude up here!
As I experienced some technical issues getting the Ketonix connected with my iPhone I spent some time restarting both devices and didn’t have my PF coffee until almost an hour after I stopped.
I ended up spending a full two hours there and left filled with renewed energy.
Already back at Gisuris the mosquitoes were rather active and on the hike from there it got worse and worse as the sun started to go down and the wind disappeared. Once I found the camp site I immediately started getting the tent set up and connected the extra abside at once. Without it I would not have been able to cook for having all of those insects in my face… I really look forward moving to higher ground again tomorrow, hopefully there are a few less of them there!
On the other hand the heat just reached the area very recently and the mosquitoes hatched after that so actually this is their high season this year. Nothing to do but accept the fact and be grateful that they don’t bother me mentally as they used to do years ago. I seem to just ignore them most of the time nowadays and the good news are that their stings don’t really itch on me neither.

Anyway, it’s already past 21:00 and I didn’t get as much sleep as I’d liked last night so I aim for a swift close up of the evening. Just need to prepare tomorrow’s dinner and get myself ready for the sleeping bag!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 7 – August 3rd 2017

07:50 Hukejaure cabin

Woke up before 07:00 which gives me just short of nine hours sleep again, I really feel rested waking up here in the mountains. Even if I don’t sleep through entirely but wake up several times during the night, this seems to fit my personal rhythm rather well!

Yesterday I noticed my left knee being slightly swollen and thick, this improved during the night yet still I’m grateful for a few rather easy hiking days in front of me.
I have no idea what happened yesterday to cause the swelling, at some point I must have twisted or over bent it.
Anyway, so far this is nothing that keeps me from hiking and hopefully it remains that way and gets better day by day. I just have to watch my steps a little better!

Today is a 20km moderate hike down to Sitasjaure cabin and from there I can hopefully catch a ride to Ritsem. Really would appreciate not having to walk a gravel road for another 20km…
We’ll see!

20:00 STF Fjällstation Ritsem

After a small breakfast and packing up everything dry again (had to hang the tent inside for a short while) I started today’s hike at 10:15.
First part is still Norwegishly wild and rocky with two new bridges at the first larger river crossing. It would have been doable without them, yet it’s so nice to use a bridge for a change!
After a short uphill slope of a few km the scenery opens up to a beautiful high plateau stretching for quite a while. Really easy to hike the soft trail and with no changes in elevation for quite some km that part is also rather fast.
Around halfway towards Sitasjaure there’s another short uphill climb followed by a downhill slope and then another huge plateau. Here the Sami have a village and they are doing some work with the reindeer herds this time of the year so the tracks from their 4×4’s and cross motorcycles are present everywhere.
They have been considerate, though, leaving the hiking trail widely intact. Part of the trails overlap, though, and I’m quite happy they aren’t out driving today!
At one water crossing I actually use the 4×4 trail as the stream is easier to get through dry there than at the hiking trail where it’s narrow and much deeper.

Arriving at Sitasjaure cabin after just over five hours (I stopped briefly to eat some Mac nuts about 2/3 into the hike, else I only stopped to drink some water) the host tells me he doesn’t know about any transport to Ritsem and so i start walking. In two hours not a car passed by in my direction, then I stopped for a short water break and three cars drive by just after each other. Two of the just pass without even slowing down, the third on graciously stopped and the man gives me a lift to my destination.
Unfortunately I missed the boat transport I was aiming for and got to spend the night here in Ritsem.
Upside of that is a warm shower and all the devices I need for keeping track of ketons are fully charged again.
Talking about ketosis I just need to mention that I hiked 30km total in just over 7 hours on a breakfast consisting of coffee, 30g FhatFibre, 4 Brazil nuts, a little jerky and 2 spoons of ghee. Followed by a snack of 50g Mac nuts.

Fully energized all the time, never feeling hungry or fatigued – I find this super cool!
Yet needless to say I enjoyed my well deserved dinner once I was out of the shower!

Looking back at a rather tough and super rewarding hiking day full of beautiful scenery once again I expect to sleep well tonight!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 6 – August 2nd 2017

06:00 Camp just south of the bridge northwest corner of Vuolip Coarvejavri

Early rice after a good night’s sleep, woke up about 30 min ago and just lay there for a while to see if I’d go back to sleep, yet it seems 7.5h was what my body needed this time.
Being in no hurry this still gives me a head start towards Hukejaure and maybe it’s good to get there early and have the entire afternoon to rest, take care of equipment and spend quite some time it the sauna.

I have to admit the cold water in the creaks and lakes up here doesn’t invite to wash oneself more than absolutely necessary and I’m looking forward to feel clean again!

No rain tonight, just some moisture on the outside of the tent to wipe off before packing. The air is rather chilly and there’s no wind yet, very pleasant weather for hiking.
I’ll just have my fat coffee in the morning and then get packed up and leave!

21:15 Camp at Hukejaure cabin

Fantastic relaxed and pleasant day today, I started hiking just before 8:00 and did the approx 13km moderate trail in 3.5h without basically breaking a sweat.
Really nice hiking weather, no rain, sun fought itself through the clouds a few minutes at a time and perfectly comfortable temperature.
Just before crossing the border to Sweden (from Norway) I saw a majestic appearance in form of a female Sea Eagle flying by just some 50m in front of me. I knew they were around here and this was the first time I spotted one. Really a special feeling to see one at so close range in the wild!

Funny how I always notice being back on Swedish trails, they are so ridiculously well marked that my concentration level drops dramatically. And I can let my thoughts rest on things not even closely connected with the hike, today I created the outline for a workshop I’m doing later this year!

Just before I reached the cabin I met some people who came up the way I’m heading and got news from the trail. Always so useful to get updates on river crossings, train status, etc.
Arriving at Hukejaure I met the cabin host, Bosse and his wife Mari, raised my tent, had a fat coffee with some nuts and, after that break, started chopping wood, fetch water, taking care of equipment. And once everything was done – spent quite some time in the small sauna, getting decently cleaned up for the first time in almost a week! Wonderful feeling to be clean again!

Sun came out in the early evening and I got my iPhone charged back up to 100% again, I’m really impressed with this solar charger I got for the trip!

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the cabin, having an early dinner, chatting with other guests and just enjoying the warmth. Now back in the tent for the night and I long to be back on the trail tomorrow, the stay here has been perfect and all my stuff is dry and good to go – time to get out in solitude again!
As much as I love the opportunity to dry out my stuff, get cleaned up and socialize with people – after one evening I want back into nature and I so much appreciate to retire to the privacy of my tent!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 5 – August 1st 2017

07:00 Camp near the peak of Smallerienpass
Turned out the weather forecast was right, which only makes me even more grateful for the fabulous evening I enjoyed in this place. Shorty after I slipped into my sleeping bag I heard drops starting to fall on the tent, continuing on and off all night I slept rather irregularly due to the rain and wind. Also I’ve start to dream – a lot – though I don’t remember any details, I wake up with the feeling of good dreams. My impression is that my subconscious works through issues my conscious mind doesn’t need to be involved in any more.
Anyway I got 9 hours in the sleeping bag, and though interrupted it should be sufficient for today’s adventures!
Yesterday I did PhatFibre in my coffe first, then measured ketones, followed with coconut oil and another measurement. Today I switch and see if there is any difference in how my keton production is affected. I naturally expect the PF to drive ketones up faster.
I’m confident that there will be a pause in the rain allowing me to get the tent down relatively dry after packing up all the other stuff!
20:30 Camp just south of the bridge northwest corner of Vuolip Coarvejavri
Thankfully the rain did stop shortly after 09:00 and after wiping it of I went back in and packed up everything else. In the meantime the wind had finished the work and both inner and outer tent was pretty much dry – always good to pack up dry equipment!
The first part down to the saddle was really easy, I used a large snowfield to get down with minimum effort. Walking on snow, especially downhill, is so much easier on the joints than rocks and blocks of stone.

I originally aimed for the southern side of the lake going into Dolbotvaggi, crossing the river was not doable, though and I turned back north and followed the northern shore.

Here were also lots of snowfields to  utilize and, as the hike was level most of
the time it didn’t take much to get to the other side of the lake (it has no name on the map, only marked with its elevation above sea level: 1091) which is still covered in snow and ice for the most part.

The rest of Dolbotvaggi was more challenging with lots of blocks and shifts in elevation yet still lots of snow to walk on, just a little more treacherous. Weather was unstable and I got several showers breaking up the steady, very light rain.
Almost at the southeast end of the valley I got a glimpse of Gautelifjellet before the clouds lowered down and covered the valley leaving almost no visiblility and, at the same time, the rain picked up heavily.

The decent was largely on instinct coupled with the sound of the river on the right, not until halfway down I could see the far northern part of Gautelisvatnet and, once again, once again had something to aim for.
Soon I came down in the trail leading from the dam to Gautelishytta, just far more west than I originally planned for. One just can’t beat the weather conditions, the only thing to do is adjust an motor on.

The just under 6km to the cabin took a while and I’ve made a mental note never to hike there again when it rains or has recently rained heavily. There are seven major creeks or rivers to cross and last time I went this way none of them presented even a slight problem. Today all of them were tricky and four out of seven would actually have required a change to wading shoes. I trusted my balance and the high shafts of my boots (which I love even more after today) and got over everyone without any incident, yet finding a possible place to cross and planning the move took a lot of time. I got really cold from standing still a lot and move slowly through the rivers and finally smelling smoke from a wood fire when I was about a km from the Gautelishytta was incredible welcome!
Ove there I met four friendly guys from Norway and Switzerland hiking together. They just arrived half an hour earlier yet already had the fire going and welcomed me in to warm up and dry some stuff as good as possible.
I also had a small snack, which was actually my first real meal for the day, in the morning I only had fat coffee and the weather conditions didn’t invite to any kind of longer break. 14km in slightly over 6h through rough terrain and in all but pleasant weather conditions with only a few spoons of fat in the morning for fuel. I guess the ketohiker has become reality and I want to give a great shout out in support of the PhatFibre from NourishBalanceThrive. That stuff really kicks my keton production into high gear according to the Ketonix.

Anyway, after two hours in the cabin, meeting Traude and Eckhard as well as my visitors from last night again and really enjoying the warmth, I decided to move on to my chosen camp. Tomorrow I reach Hukejaure early in the day and plan to camp near the cabin to take care of equipment, wash up some stuff, get into the sauna and clean myself up etc, and I just couldn’t stand the thought of spending two nights in a row outside a cabin.
Besides, I’ve camped here before and it’s just a beautiful place!

Taking it easy the 4km took me about 90min, including finally having to take of my shoes for the last river crossing, just 50m from my intended campsite. I just walk the last part in my crocs, continuing straight into the lake for a quick wash after leaving my gear at camp.

Soon the tent was up and dinner prepared, a good thing with this way of food planning and preparing is that it literally takes just minutes to have a meal cooked and ready. Pretty neat when dinner gets rather late like this day!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 4 – July 31st 2017

07:40 Camp near Cunojaure cabin

Spent a really peaceful night here at the lake, naturally waking up several times during my more than nine hours in the sleeping bag and dreaming a lot, though nothing that sticks.
Right now I’m enjoying a cup of coffee with two spoons of PhatFibre to see what happens with my ketone production as a direct result of providing the liver with C8 fatty acid.

 

Most everything I brought into the tent or gear shed to dry is now good to go and the inside of the tent is also dry. Still have to check on my boots and socks, there’s kind of a rule of curtesy not to enter a cabin before 9AM if you don’t stay inside.
So, I’m just gonna finish my coffee, do another Ketonix measurement and pack up my stuff in the meantime. The hike today is not very long and I’m in no hurry to leave here!

19:45 Camp near the peak of Smallerienpass

Sitting outside at almost 1300m (3900ft) elevation, enjoying the evening sun with a cup of tea, is a rare pleasure to be had up here. Just after setting up camp the weather changed, clouds dissolved and I’m now looking at a beautiful summer sky with small white clouds playfully moving through the air. Sun still shines strong enough to charge my iPhone while I’m writing!

And the best part is that I didn’t even plan to make it this far today…

After packing my stuff in the tent this morning I left the tent standing in the wind to air out as much as possible. The abside got hung on a pole outside the cabin to dry, which didn’t work very well.
Thankfully the tent dried out perfectly and after greasing my boots I got everything together and was ready to start around 10:45. Prior to that I had another conversation with the Dutch, resulting in them following my advice and hike out through Unna Alakas, Valfojåkkå and Stoutkärpel towards Katterjåkk. From there they catch the afternoon bus to Narvik. I’m convinced that they’ll have a lot more fun this way than hiking along gravel and paved roads in Norway. And it’s good to point people to one of my favorite stretches of trail up here!

The first 10km of today were really easy, part of the trail was wet and muddy from all the rain, yet nothing even close to yesterday’s swamp experience. Several rivers to cross and like usual it could be done without a change of shoes, though a few of them demanded some extra thoughtfulness due to the high water and strong current.
I met just a few people, among them a Norwegian couple telling me that the forecast promised rain for the evening, night and the day tomorrow. After which it’s supposed to clear up!
After completing the 2km gravel road I got onto the trail again and after another km the only serious crossing of today. And that one was rather difficult…
Much higher water than previous years I’ve been through here, and much stronger current. It took me almost 30m of trying different spots and my feet were freezing from the icy glacier water before I finally got to the other side safely.

It can’t be repeated enough how important it is to take the time to keep safety first, I could probably have gotten through faster, yet with much higher risk.
Finally on the other side I dried my feet and put my boots back on, planning to have some snacks to warm up and energize for the last few km’s up the valley. Fortunately a light rain made the place less cozy and I continued up the trail.
One might ask ‘what’s fortunate about that?’ and the answer is simply that when I reached the intended camping spot it was only 15:00 and I wasn’t really tired. So I decided to continue after finally having my snack!

I’m not gonna kid you here – the hike up here was hard… From where I had my snacks to the place I made camp it’s only 4km, yet it covers around 500m of elevation climbing up the valley and to the peak of the pass.
Hiking uphill is always strenuous, especially with a rather heavy backpack and one has to give oneself time. Sometimes a lot of time…

Today it took me 2.5 hours to hike those 4km and I’m totally ok with that, backpack is still way to heavy to be carried comfortably. Every pack is different and I found with this one that with over 26kg it just doesn’t carry well. Adjusting the straps over and over, changing how it lies on the hips and shoulders and generally fidgeting around takes time. And I also decided to put it down frequently to avoid sore spots from the straps while climbing.

Anyway, needless to say, it was totally worth the effort to reach this beautiful spot on earth. And, frankly, I used every occasion along the route to stop, admire the view, make a photo or two and rest my legs for a minute!

Now l everything is dry except the boots, and they are only moist, not soaked, even the abside dried nicely in the wind up here. I had an early and well deserved dinner and am pretty much ready for some reading and then my beloved sleeping bag!

After the sun set behind the mountain temperatures fell rapidly and I expect a rather chilly night.
Which reminds me that the only thing I forgot to pack was my little thermometer that I bought for this tour. Never had one before so that’s probably why I didn’t remember it… Next time!!!

Funny enough I suddenly hear voices outside the tent and first think that I make it up, yet then there’s another pair sounding and I look out just to see to women and two teenagers passing by on the trail at this last hour. Turns out they spent a lot of time crossing the river, going up and down the stream to find a possible spot. They were on their way to Cainavagge and then on to Gautelishytta and Hukejaure so I expect to see them again.

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 3 – July 30th 2017

The rain started around 20:30 last night and has continued so far with few breaks in between long showers. It’s rather soothing to listen to the drops falling on the tent and my body definitely didn’t mind the extra rest it meant to sleep in today.
Not that fond of starting the day packing up a wet tent I intend to give it some time and see if it clears up a little.

I woke up around 6:30, giving me a good 9 hours of sleep tonight, and after that just drifted between sleep and meditation. I thoroughly enjoy not having any fixed plans and being able to adjust according to conditions.

It will take an hour or more to get ready and have breakfast, after that I’ll just see what the weather looks like and get moving.

 

Finally in my tent after a long and wet day, having had a good dinner and waiting for my tea to get ready.

Actually I never wanted to camp near a cabin this early on the tour, yet the hike today literally soaked my boots and they would take days to dry in a tent. Two guys staying here were kind enough to let me hang them inside the cabin to dry, and I spent some time chatting with the before making camp.
So nice how people help each other out here in the wilderness, I don’t think we find the same friendliness and connection between almost everybody and anybody back in civilization.

An elderly German couple, Traude and Eckhard, whom I met several times in the trail, even invited me for a cup of hot tea after I’d been out in the rain raising my tent.

Well, let me go back to this morning – I packed everything inside the tent and then went out to take it down. There was just no way to get it packed dry, the outer tarp was soaked and I just shakes of as much water as possible. Worse was that it was still raining so the inner tent got moist as well and I had no opportunity to dry it on the way as it continued to rain more or less the entire day.
While I was packing up there was a group of four from the Netherlands passing, whom I later passed and met again at the first break.

First part, down to the security cabin at one of the larger lakes in Oallavaggi, was easy and at the first water crossing there was no doubt about changing shoes. Funny how less enjoyable getting the feet wet suddenly gets when it’s raining and there’s a rather cold wind!
This was also the first time I met the German couple and, though they seemed to know what they were doing, I kept an eye on them during wading. They did amazingly well!

Once arrived at the small cabin I put a kettle with enough water for me and everyone following to boil. As I knew the hike would be mostly level and down hill, I saved my PhatFibre supply and did coffee with coconut oil and some snacks.
The Germans came and left again rather quickly, the Dutch arrived when the Germans left and stayed for a while.
I enjoyed being in the warm cabin and was in no hurry to leave, so we chatted a little. This gave me the opportunity to help them avoid some unpleasant surprises and possibly some bad experiences. They planned to hike Lossi-Hunddalen on their way back and, hearing my description of the conditions, decided to change plans.
This is why talking to others about your plans can sometimes be crusial or even the difference between a successful, enjoyable adventure and a dangerous disaster.

Moving on after the break the trail was really nice at first and I was able to cross the streams without changing, though they carried considerably more water than last year. Passing the highest point of the valley and starting the decent towards Cunojaure it became obvious just how ridiculously wet the area had become. Last year it was difficult to get through parts of the trail without getting the feet wet, this year those parts resembled small swamps, acting as obstacles on the way down.

Crossing one river dry, and almost slipping, led to wading at the next larger one. Knee deep at the deepest part and with a really strong current I was grateful that it wasn’t wider and I got through it without getting my feet too cold.
Reaching lower and closer to the lake, the trail grow increasingly muddy, still at last water crossing I had to wade through, my boots was ok. Well, they were wet, but not soaked…

Once in to the cabin at Cunojaure, I checked again and, as stated above, there was no way to have them dry in the abside of my tent and I decided to stay.

Right now it only rains very lightly and I’ve gotten rid of most moisture inside the tent, enough, anyway, to take in my gear and get ready for the night. Hopefully waking up to a drier day tomorrow, I’m still amazed and grateful for my high spirits during this day today. No matter the rain, the wet trail, soaked tent or cold feet – I’ve spent a very happy day in the mountains.
Also I start to adapt to the load and am definitely getting full blown fat adapted again, probably even burning a solid amount of ketones. After the most difficult hike I went downstream to help check the south part of the wade for Traude and Eckhard, who choose another spot for crossing, and returning to my backpack I actually ran up the hill without thinking about it until afterwards.
Looking forward to another awesome day tomorrow!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 2 – July 29th 2017

Woke up early, first time at quarter to 5 and managed to doze off some more, when the sun rises over the mountains it gets really bright in the tent and my Buff over the eyes doesn’t keep it from waking me. Need to retire earlier in the evenings to get enough sleep. Shouldn’t be any issue, though, as I from now on start a lot earlier in the day!

First night in the tent was very comfortable, the spot nice and soft and temperatures rather accommodating, I never had to close the sleeping bag at all.
Tried a spoon of PhatFibre in my morning coffee and I really like it, gonna have another one to load up MCT’s and help the body get into ketosis faster.
Yesterday was a little out of bounds food wise with the hamburger patties at the airport and then just a very small snack on the train with jerky, ghee and some pecans. From now on I control food entirely and eat to satiety whenever feeling the need to refuel!

Foods ready and cooling of enough for me to eat, feels amazing to have an early dinner. I’m aiming for a good night’s sleep and as the spot here will catch some sun in the morning that means getting into the sleeping bag timely.

Today’s hike started at 8:40, always takes a few days to get back into my mountain routine and everything takes longer than it will in a few days.

First part of the trail is neatly marked and easy to follow, just before reaching the first lake on the right hand side, there’s a path continuing straight on and the trail turns slightly to the west (right). Look for a sign that says ‘Lossi’ and for markers on the meadow just next to the lake.
The other path is also nicely marked with bright red pain on rocks, yet it will lead you astray far to the south leading to a private cabin next to Sealggajavri!

The trail towards Lossi is well marked until the western end of the meadow, after that it grows faint and markers are old and far apart with the red paint bleached by the sun, wind and snow. The valley is really hiking friendly, though, and as long as you keep on in the general direction, you will run into a marker every now and then. Just stay clear of the wet areas down at the lakes and you’ll be good!

I took it slow and easy, didn’t really care about the trail and explored the southern path some before turning back towards the trail. Aiming for lunch break at Leirvatnet I reached the river crossing just before the lake and that was it…

I had crossed one river earlier using my Crocs and here I once more changed shoes and went into the water only to have to turn around after about a third of the distance. Water is ice cold direct from the glaciers, the current was considerably stronger than normal and as it came up towards the knees and over, the murkiness due to sediment made it impossible to see where to step next.
Leaving the backpack and boots on the shore I tried to cross at a few other places and couldn’t find a safe way to get to the other side.
Water crossings are sometimes treacherous up here and the rule is always ‘safety first’, had there been two or more of us I might have stripped and found a way over.
Also, the amount of snow in the valley and me sliding down a steep snowfield when crossing and having to find another route across already made it rather far fetched that doing the pass would have been possible anyway.
Otherwise I would have camped at the crossing and gone over in the early morning hours when water levels are usually the lowest.
As for this time I took a break for snacks (jerky, coconut oil and some Mac nuts) and tea, totally enjoying the sun and a mild breeze.
I couldn’t down as much fat as I think I’d actually needed, after a few spoonfuls I started to get slightly nauseous and felt sluggish on my way back down the valley.
Sun was shining and I tested the new solar charger for the first time, worked satisfactory charging my iPhone back to 100% and giving the Ketonix some love after that. As long as I get a few hours of sun every now and then, there will be no power issues!!!

Just before the last climb I stopped for a short break and had a coffee with two spoonfuls of coconut oil and this really did the trick, very good energy on the way up the hill and only positive thoughts during the quick wash up in the icy creak.

I’m almost amazed about the total lack of disappointment due to these forced changes of plans. I’m so happy and grateful that I can just accept the change of plan, make the most out of it, and, finding my way back to this spot, once again enjoy the gorgeous view of Hunddalen!

And another thing – before I started the hike today I’d heard about the amount of

snow and water. Now I’ve seen for myself and this might save me some real trouble later on during this tour.I definitely need to check my planned route on the map again and, if safety calls for that, make adjustments.

There are so many beautiful trails and cool places here that, in the end, it really doesn’t matter that much!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Hike of 2016 – Day 13 & 14

August 31st, Day 13, turned out to be another rest day. My friend, Helge, never showed up and I had a lazy day at the cabin, read a lot, did some writing and topped it up with a sauna in the evening.
Decision was made to give Helge until late AM the day after and then leave for Mårman if the weather allows!

I woke up early on September 1st, managed to get the tent dry between showers in the morning and had everything packed and ready. Spent some time in the cabin chatting with other hikers and sorting my stuff for the next few days of the hike.
Finally at 11:15 I left Vistas and defined the weather as good enough to give Mårman a try 😉

From that side it´s a pretty tough hike (I´d actually forgotten how hard…), lots of elevation and the stones and blocks were damp and slippery. The gradient is partly rather steep and standing on the peak of the pass I felt the total of about 1100m (3300ft) elevation in my legs – awesome feeling to get up there, though, and totally worth the effort!

Hope You could get the sound on that video, wind was pretty hard up there…

Anyway, first part of the decent to Mårman Cabin was a slippery mess of wet stones, gravel and some clay. Good thing there was no hurry and I made it down without any incidents, having reached the valley it´s a comfortable hike to the cabin and I was grateful to get out of the icy wind when finally reaching it.

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Hike of 2016 – Day 10

Woke up early and observed that the rain must have stopped sometime during the night, my tent had dried nicely in the wind and for a change I got out right away and got everything down and inside while it was dry. Perfect timing, carrying the last load down to the cabin I could feel the first drops of the day falling.
Keeping really silent due to the early morning hours I enjoyed a few mugs of coffee while reading and writing in the kitchen of the cabin. Not long after I finished my first cup othimg_4578er guests started showing up to eat breakfast and get started towards the next cabin.
I was in no hurry, clouds were still heavy in Unna Vistasvagge, the valley I plan to follow, and I was prepared to wait until mid day before changing my plans.
This also rewarded me the video for part 3 of the cabin host series as things started to slow down and they had time for me.
With an almost perfect timing the clouds started lifting just before noon and I went for it, not the best view yet I did have some space between me and the lowest clouds. Unna Vistasvagge was as peaceful and beautiful as ever and I’m grateful to be off the beaten path more, as comfortable life around the cabins can be, I missed the silence and solitude. Being virtually alone in the valley quickly got me reconnected to nature and myself, hiking at a moderate pace and checking some camp sites for next year was relaxing and easy going. Weather actually cleared up and I could even see the sun a few times looking back towards Kungsleden, though, after passing the highest point and looking towards the opening into Vistasvagge, I knew that sooner or later I’d get wet again.
It looked murky already from a distance.
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Good thing I could pass the really stony parts leading past Unna Vistasjaure before it got any more rain, wet rocks are frankly more challenging than fun.
Moving rather swiftly downhill towards where Unna Vistasvagge opens up into Vistasvagge the weimg_4586ather got rougher again, an icy cold wind came down the valley and hit me in the back intermittent bringing rain mixed with some snow. Knowing there are no places to camp for quite a while once out in the larger valley I kept my eyes open and found a really nice spot with a magnificent view on the glacier.

Utilizing a short interval between showers I got everything set and lay down in the tent for a while before cooking dinner in the vestibule facing away from the wind.
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Even this early in the evening I was already sure about two things, first that my sleeping bag had to prove itself and that the tent once more would be thoroughly storm tested.
Turned out I was right, the wind was magnificent and I was grateful to have the warmer sleeping bag despite its higher volume and weight.
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Though my sleep got vastly disturbed by the wind, I was never even close to feeling cold and managed the night in short sleep periods frequently waking
up, yet always got back to sleep again almost immediately just focusing on the sound from the stream next to the tent!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Greetings from the hills outside Basel

Spent the weekend visiting my younger brother and his family in Riehen, just out of Basel, Switzerland, and naturally took the chance to go on a short AM hike in the hills:

Keep on hiking and please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

By leaving Your name and email in the box below You get notification of futures posts and news!

Peace // Claes