Camp above Sälka
Wow, I definitely paid for eating that gorgeous chocolate cake yesterday night, the gluten caused an upset stomach and all the sugar got my heart rate up to around 80 and kept it there until after midnight really impairing my sleep during the first hours of the night. When I finally woke up at 8:30, the weather wasn’t even close to what I had hoped for, and I quickly abandoned any plans of taking the summit of Nallu this morning. Also, my legs and feet were still weary wafted yesterday and I looked forward to a slow morning and a short, relaxed hike up to Unna Reitas. Anna came by my tent to say good morning on her way out for a day tour, at the same time pointing out that clouds were drifting up the valley from Vistas. Having everything dry I didn’t want to take a chance but packed up and moved into the cabin for another coffee and some reading. After some time Nial joined me and we had a nice conversation until I was ready to leave around noon. Right then we got company of two guys I already met in Alesjaure, Staffan, and Micke, stopping for lunch on their way to Sälka, and we had a brief catch up before I moved on at 12:30.
The hike up to Unna Reitas was just as relaxed as I planned, I was in no hurry, it’s just a short stretch, the trail up to the river crossing is so pleasant and I could cross without changing into my crocks. Entering Unna Reitas vagge and continuing up the valley, I was surprised and impressed by the stone markers. I’ve never seen the route this well-marked, someone really made an effort to make this valley easier accessible for anyone!
On the way, I saw a bunch of reindeers pretty close up which is always a nice experience. Coming over the last ridge before seeing the shelter, a cold and strong headwind hit me and I was grateful to soon be in the shelter! Soon enough I spotted the pass I wanted to climb tomorrow and saw that the snowfield had been melting away more than I could have imagined. A closer look confirmed that there was no way to get up there in a satisfactory safe way and I knew I needed to make a change of plans. Basically there were two choices: Unna Reitas vagge down to Vistasvagge and then back the same way I entered the mountains four weeks ago, or Back down to Stour Reaiddavaggi, going down to Sälka and follow Kungsleden towards Kebnekaise station and then Nikkaluokta. I decided to pick the second option, for the sole reason that I have not been much in that area this year. Also, it’s enough offseason for Kungsleden to be less crowded and it’s actually a beautiful piece of the mountains! So, after a break with tea and snacks inside the shelter, I started heading back, cutting the corner into Stour Reaiddavaggi a little and going diagonally downhill towards the trail.
Once on the trail, it was smooth and easy hiking, soon I met Staffan and Micke again at a river crossing and we followed along for a little while until I spotted a nice place to spend the night and decided to respect the incoming clouds and make camp. It turns out the rain wasn’t as imminent as I thought, still I’m very happy with my campsite overlooking the valley and Sälka cabin!