Camp near Kuoperjåkks emergency cabin
Wow, it was great to get out on the trail again! I woke up in the Kåta at my now usual time around 6:30 after another very restful night. I moved down to the cabin and got ready for the day, just to have a rain shower hit the cabin just about when I was going to start my hike. Another hour inside and another cup of coffee took care of that inconvenience and just after quarter past ten, I was on my way!
I choose Cuchavagge over Neastkevagge because the latter has a tendency to be pretty wet and swampy on any day and after the last few days with rain, I expected it to be just miserable. The trail was as nice as ever, easy to walk and as there are no real changes in elevation, this was a perfect soft start after the rest days in the cabin. After a little more than an hour I got hit by a rain shower containing quite a bit of hail and for a short time, I needed to put on my jacket. Staying true to my habit, I crossed the waterway upstream of the marked crossing, and as usual, did so without having to change.
Though there’s no real trail along the north shore of the waterway, the ground is soft and grassy, and it’s a wonderful stretch to hike! Cuchavagge presents, for the most part, amazingly soft ground that is very pleasant for the feet and joints. Some stretches are a little stony and on a couple of occasions, while going through the grasslands after passing the mid-valley point, the trail grows pretty faint.
Just keep at elevation and soon You’ll see one of the occasional stone markers again. It’s pretty much impossible to get lost when following a valley, the trail just makes the hike slightly easier than it already is anyway. After crossing the bridge where Cuchavagge merges into Tjäktjavagge, there are a few beautiful campsites just south of the trail and next to the river.
This was where I originally had planned to stop, yet it just seemed to early in the afternoon and moving on a few more km would give me so many more options for tomorrow. Continuing the trail until it merges with the ‘Kungsleden’ and then turning south on the king’s trail, I once more get reminded both of the beauty of this valley (which probably is the very understandable reason for leading the trail through here), and the very sad development of the trail itself becoming a wound through the landscape that would take generations to heal even if it’s use would be discontinued today.
Anyway, I aimed for the shelter at Kouperjåkka where I first met my good friend Helge back in 2006 to have dinner and check out what the weather was up to. During dinner, I had to move inside as the rain front hit the place rather hard and soon I had the company of a few gals working at Keb station going for a few days mountain run. Soon they continued towards Sälka and before I even finished my coffee another group turned up looking for a place to cook. Both them and I pitched our tents close to the shelter and all went back inside. Turned out that five out of the seven were physiotherapists, and soon we were engaged in collegial chatting and playing card games. All in all, I had a very pleasant evening, went to bed clearly later than usual and, for the very first time during this tour, actually experienced some trouble falling asleep…