Camp at Gautelis Hytta
What an awesome hiking day! I woke up early just before 6 am and immediately celebrated my decision to sleep indoors, the clouds were very low and I know I would have had a soaked tent again if I’d camped outside.
The weather was slowly improving and when I left the cabin just before 9, the clouds had lifted and it looked like it’d be a nice day. The first part of the day was very relaxed, the trail is easy to find and easy to follow, and leads through the wide valley without any real changes in elevation.
The only challenges were the wet bushes and the stream that I normally always get through with dry feet, yet today it was swollen from the rain and I had to change.
Shortly after the river crossing I stopped once more and changes into rain trousers against the wet vegetation. My hiking pants got strapped to the backpack to dry in the wind. After crossing the bridge towards Cainavagge the trail grows faint until reaching the main trail around the mountain.
Just make sure to climb the hillside until You find the main trail as fighting the vegetation without having help from the trail is unnecessary punishment on any given day. There’s a rather short stretch that is muddy, rocky and leads through tight vegetation, then the trail reaches elevation high enough to get out of the bushes and the view is totally worth the bushwhacking. From now on it’s a beautiful hike along the mountainside all the way to Cainavagge hytta.
Today I had a pretty hard headwind all that stretch and it was good to have a midday snack inside. Thankfully the Cainavagge cabin was open and occupied by a young girl from France, hiking the Nordkalotten trail northbound by herself. She’d spent two nights in the cabin to dry out her stuff and was about ready to leave towards Cunojaure and Unna Allakas. So, in exchange for her hospitality, I was able to give her some information on the trail ahead of her. After a good hour break, I continued on the trail towards Gautelis and met a few people right away who were heading for the cabin. The first river crossing was easy and I was then positively surprised that the trail had been corrected.
On most maps, it still shows a crossing of the river somewhat in the middle of the two Cainajavrrit lakes. Now the trail leads on the west side of the river all the way up to the upper lake where the crossing is so much easier. Just follow the stone markers and You be good, ok? By now the ground has already become very rocky and this is the theme for the next couple of hours.
The pass is almost exclusively rocks of different shapes and sizes, most are rigid but be aware that some could move under the feet. Personally I think the stretch is a lot of fun, still, I have to admit that it’s mentally demanding and pretty tiring to keep the concentration tuned up for the time it takes to get back onto solid ground way passed the pass. The wind kept blowing and got stronger after lunch and so really became a challenge, not only mentally but actually affecting the balance and precision when walking on the rocks.
Anyway, all went well, the Norwegians have done a great job marking the trail through the pass and the view is as usual stunning and well worth the climb! From now on the trail leads through a beautiful wild landscape that is so different from what You mostly find in these mountains.
By then I had made the decision to head for the Gautelis cabin and treat myself to a sauna, provided someone was there to let me in. A few km before reaching the cabin I could see the rain showers coming in over the lake and sped up a little to try to make it to the cabin before the rain.
I almost made it yet with about 1km left I got hit by heavy rain and had to get the rain gear out. Reaching the cabin I found the doors unlocked, someone was down at the lake fishing and I immediately started a fire in the sauna before getting sorted inside the cabin. Later I could set up camp between showers and after spending a few hours in the cabin listening to the rain outside and chatting with Annelie, who stayed inside the cabin, I got into my tent reasonably dry and it got time to call it a day! The guys I met in Cunojaure said the forecast promised better weather over the next week or so, I hope to see proof of that in the morning!