Day 5 – July 28th, 2020

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!

Day 4 – July 27th, 2020

Camp at Vassaloamijavri

Pretty much slept through the entire night and woke up just before 6:45, feeling well-rested and pretty recovered from yesterday. The morning was super sweet, the sun was shining, light clouds blew across the sky by a mild wind. I enjoyed myself thoroughly in the stillness and serenity of the place and the moment, and was in no hurry to leave! Finally, after about three hours or so, I had my stuff packed and ready, leaving Unna Reitas behind once again.

My first stop was to be Nallo, and the hike down there was smooth and easy. Lots of snowfields mid-valley and wonderful weather.

Had to change for the river crossing when reaching the main trail between Nallo and Sälka, yet it was uncomplicated and due to the weather only pleasant!

Arriving in Nallo after about three hours, I stopped for some snacks and found some 100% cocoa powder in the leftovers department. Mixed with some of my cream powder and hot water, it served as a nice variation to my usual coffee or tea! The next stretch down to Vistas was so much more wet and muddy than usual, and the crossing almost had me change shoes, though I did make it across without getting wet!

Vistas is one of my favorite cabins, and I played with the thought to just raise the tent nearby and spend the night, yet I was really looking forward to camp at Vassaloamijavri again. And so, I just had a coffee with cabin host Tove, whom I met at the same cabin in 2017, and then move on.

The stretch up the mountainside is strenuous, and closing in on 25km this day didn’t make it any easier. I took my time, still had everything set up and ready before 7 pm, the cold wind and staggering amount of flying insects keeping me from taking a bath in the lake as I originally planned. It just has to be warmer than slightly above 10C for me to go swimming in a lake considerably colder than that!