Camp at Vierrojohka, about 1km down valley from Mårma cabin
What a strange day… I woke up in the clouds and the rain showers chased each other all through the day.
I wiped off the tent four or five times before I finally managed to take it down reasonably dry and get going at 3:45 pm.
Looking at the weather I should probably just have stayed put or descended to Vistas, yet sometimes I’m just a little stubborn. So I headed for Mårma pass, and initially, the weather seems to get better, clouds rose and I actually had some visibility during the first ascent.
Now, that said, I had to admit that I was far from recovered and still felt the efforts of the last few days. In short, the climb was way harder than I expected it to be, yet I forwent the opportunity of making camp at Vassajavri, as the weather improved some more and I really wanted to get to the other side of the pass. On my way up to the river crossing some clouds drove in and just before I reached the streams, it started raining again.
As I approached the start of the last ascent, the rain was pretty hard and driven by a cold wind. It was uncomfortable, and I pondered going back to the nearest possible campsite, getting on with the pass tomorrow. Yet again my stubbornness kicked in and I moved on… It was rough, and I felt everything but strong during the climb, frankly I had to stop and catch my breath more often than I care to admit, and I just motored on knowing that every step took me closer to the top of the pass, even as I barely could see the next stone marker in the clouds.
Descending on the other side turned out to be even harder, the clouds were thickening and I had real difficulty finding the markers for the trail. Thankfully, I’ve hiked here enough to have a general idea of the stretch, and that experience saved me from getting into any real trouble. Finally reaching the valley, it was delightful to hike a halfway decent trail again, and I started looking forward to having my well-deserved dinner inside the cabin and get out of the wind.
Once there it turned out that a party of four had made themselves comfortable inside and obviously didn’t want to share the space. I asked politely if they really intended to turn a hiker away in this weather, yet when they started blaming COVID 19 and contamination risk out here in the middle of nowhere, I had it. I told them, they were behaving way too hostile and unfriendly for me to want to deal with them and continued down the valley, knowing that the next good campsite would be a while. Luckily, or rather looking intently for a spot, I found a decent site way closer than I remembered and got my camp set reasonably dry. The rain hit hard again during dinner and continues as I write this. We’ll see what happens during the night and morning!