Day 3 – July 26th, 2020

Camp at Unna Reitas cabin

Got my favorite camping spot here, actually, no one else is around, and the cabin is filled with construction material. No loss on my side, with the weather clearing up during the day and the sun shining warmly in the late afternoon, dinner outside was a no brainer!

This morning everything looked a little different, the weather was still very moody and I got away rather late. A group of four turned up at Kaskavagge last night and we had some coffee and conversation together in the morning.

They planned to head for Tarfala and just before 11, I left the company heading up Kaskasavagge. One look at the overflowing waterfall north of the river made me cross the bridge and hike the southern side westwards.

Caught a few drops yet no real rain and I took it really easy, not having a definitive plan for where to stop, and knowing that my body is still adjusting. After crossing several small streams, I reached the one larger river crossing on the stretch. It was a sketchy one… The stream originates from the lake up the valley and the glacier at Kaskasatjåkka adds to its flow. After the heavy rain for the last several days, the stream was rapid even at the wider parts, and I had to look around a little to find a possible site to cross. Frankly, I should probably have scouted the crossing without my pack first to make sure it was safe, the blueish/green color made it clear that the major part of the water came from the glacier. And it was ice cold, so I took my chance after picking a line where to cross. It went well, yet it was probably the toughest and most dangerous river crossing I ever performed up here.

Reaching the other side I could barely feel my feet, I had some fresh scratches I didn’t know when they happened, and it took some time before I was feeling ok again. Walking with numb feet in this area is a danger in and of itself so I just had to move on in a very focused manner until my feet warmed up and I regained full control of them. Continuing westward through the valley, I saw several really nice spots, stopped at the lake for some tea and snacks, and here the sun really came out and it got reasonably warm.

Now I started playing with the thought of reaching Unna Reitas, the clouds opened up and the weather was becoming even better. From the lake onwards I found a lot of awesome snowfields to use and got on pretty nicely.

Finally, the climb up the pass was naturally physically demanding and I could feel how my body still needs to get used to the effort, yet with the beautiful weather, it was a real pleasure.
At the start of the climb I observed how one of the snowfields had partly caved in, reminding me how important it is to actually make reasonably sure the ground i stable before passing. Anyone who thinks that any snowfield is good for passing, please think again, ok?

At the highest point, I could even see both peaks of Kebnekaise,  the southern one admittedly slightly obscured by clouds.

The final stretch down to the cabin was easy and pleasant, the snow still soft enough to allow for controlled descent, and more snowfields than usual even on a lower elevation.

Arriving at Unna Reitas cabin, I saw a lot of construction material both inside and outside the cabin, apparently, someone finally decided to do some dire needed repairs and replacements here!

After dinner in the sun, tea inside my tent, and, to my surprise, having a small rain shower hitting the tent, I’m very happy with the day and look forward to an early sleep. Still not 100% recovered from the head cold I caught the week before, I guess!

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