lördag 7 november 2009

Sarek on the run in a week - Route planning

In a previous post I outlined an idea for hiking fast and light in order to see the Rapa valley in Sarek national park in under a week. It is still very much an open question if I will find the time for such a trip the nearest years, but planning for it is a pleasure in itself. If I can inspire anyone to do a reconnaissance trip before me that would also be great. One of the most important aspects of the trip is the route planning. For this purpose I have put up a google map and will now discuss some of the choices.

Start point
There are basically two starting points for getting into Sarek and the Rapa valley by public transport: Saltoloukta and Kvikkjokk. I'm leaning towards Saltoloukta as the trail from Saltoloukta to Sitojaure is mostly flat and the scenery is nice, whereas the trail from Kvikkjokk to the Pårte-hut is mostly in the forest.

The midpoint goal
My goal is to see "Rapaselet" (A "Sel" is a stretch of calm water between streams.) and the Rapa-delta. These places are reputed to be among the most beautiful places in Sweden (Even in the world, many would argue.).

The Rapa-delta near Aktse (Source: Creative Commons, M, kluber fotografie)

The Rapa-sel (Source: Creative Commons, photographer unknown.)

The best point for views of the delta is most probably the Skierffe-cliff. From where to view the Rapa-sel is a more difficult question, it depends a bit on how far one can go, but a first stop could be Hill 1112. If one has a bit more time the best place to camp according to the mountain-god, Claes Grundsten, is above the "reindeer-herder hut" on Vassjalåpptå.

Walking plan
If one wants to use a really ultralight shelter, which I want, campsite selection becomes more important. It should not be too exposed to the wind. A site among in the birch-forest is preferable if the weather is windy. This can be difficult to arrange for this trip though.

Day 1: Saltoloukta - Sitojaure. Good camping can be found next to the hut. 20km from Saltoloukta is probably far enough for the first evening, even when runnning. Most probably it will be too late to get across Sitojaure this day.

Day 2: Sitojaure -(By boat) -  Svine - Skierffe - Vassjalåpptå. This will be one hell of a day. The distance will probably be around 24km and this mostly bushwacking in unknown terrain. From my personal experience I often do not tend to walk faster than 2km/h in such circumstances. This translates into 12 hours of walking. Running will most likely be difficult on this stretch. During summer it doesn't really get that dark though, so you can walk well into the night.

Day 3: Vassjalåpptå - Skierffe. 12km. A cool day for taking in the sights.

Day 4: Skierffe - Svine - Saltoloukta. A 31km day, but this time on well-beaten paths.

Day 5. Reserved for unexpected (mis)happenings.

Day 6 Travel home.

An alternative on day 2 is to arrange for the boat to drop you off approximately 3km east of Rinim, instead of Svine (Thanks again to Claes Grundsten for this personal tip). This will reduce the distance to around 12km, but the climb up from Sitojaure to Vassjavagge will be steep. At it's steepest it will be about 500m in a km. It would be nice to hear if anyone has any more experience of this area. This choice will also allow for taking a different route on the way back to Svine.

Calle enjoying the fantastic scenery during the boat-trip back from Rinim to the Sitojaure hut. In the background you see Namadis which is hiding the entrance to Basstavagge where we came from.

1 kommentar:

  1. Hey

    I have read your articles concerning going UL into Sarek. I just have visited Sarek in July (it was part of a longer hike: Abisko-Tarfala-Sarek-Padjelanta-Rago). In my opinion a week is a plenty of time to get in and out of Sarek ;) I wasn't going pure UL, rather F&L, entering Sarek I had probably around 18 kgs.

    I began in Saltoluokta and walked to Autsutjvagge (well on that day I just got there from trail between Teusajaure and Vakkotavare). This was my rest day. Next day I hiked and rowed to Skierffe, reaching a nice camping place just under Ridok, round 700 AMSL (there are no paths its pure bushwacking). So when starting in Saltoluokta it probably wouldn't be too hard to find nice camping places near the river north of Spadnek hills.

    Second day was quite short and I just walked near Snavvavagge, 9hrs, going higher wouldn't be smart because of fog/clouds passing through the valley.

    On the third day I reached Alkavare chapel. This stretch was extremly nice.

    Fourth day: Alkavare-Sarjasjaurestugan (it's ~44 km, in good day its certainly possible to reach Sorjoshytta or even Sulitjelma if running).

    When going with something like UL (or maybe even XUL) gear and food for 7 days it wouldn't be too much of a problem to run on the legs from Skarja to Alkavare and further to Sorjoshytta. From Sulitjelma there is a bus going to Fauske (5th day for returning home, 2 reserve days).

    Regards :)