After a resting day in Gäddede I was both looking forward to and fearing the next section. Having followed Per and Matilda closely on their hike, I knew that it was a very wet and solitary section… But it was also beautiful and I felt so alive during this section. Alive, strong and happy.
Day 30│ July 17│ Gäddede – Väktarmon 24 km
There were a few options to start this section, depending on the ration of road/swamp you preferred… As it was a nice day and despite all the rain the day before, I decided for a middle way, and started with a few km roads to avoid some swamps, and to still get up on the mountain relatively fast. It turned out to be a wet hike, and the first of 4 days with wet hiking boots. When I arrived at the first marked bridge – there was no bridge… and there has probably also never been a bridge. By now it had also started to rain… Due to the heavy rain the day before, the water level was rather high so I decided that I would try the crossing in my hiking boots for maximum stability. After trying in a few places I finally found a way to cross. Just after the vading, the sun came out again I made my way to the next wind shelter for lunch and at least emptying my boots of water…
After lunch I continued and it was a beautiful hike over the mountain. Wet as the trail was more of a winter trail crossing the swamps, but the view was great, the weather was fine and my mood was also good!
A few km before Väktarmon the landscape changed and the trail was again visible as trail and noticably dryer, passing by a multitude of smaller lakes, a bridge with a few benches and a fire place and later a hut and reindeer fences. While looking around and not seeing anyone, but seeing trails and all the south sami names on the map, I had that strong feeling again, that this is someones land, someones home. This is not the wilderness. And the loneliness I had feared, didn’t feel appropriate anymore. I was not alone, I was a guest in someones home. And a beautiful such!
The weather forecast had promised the NW wind to make another visit, so I decided to put my tent in the birch forest once again, and it was a beautiful view towards the climb of the next day, approaching Baelkiesbåårhke, and with Aavaartoe watching over me. Soon after putting the tent, it started to rain, and I fell asleep with the light sound of the rain on my tent.
Day 31│ July 18│ Väktarmon – Rödtjärnstugan 20 km
The main feeling from this day was to be alive. The weather defined the whole day, while nature and landscape was breathtaking, climbing passes, endless views and passing another little paradise.
When I woke up, the clouds covered everything from the treeline and above. And Almost all of the day would be higher than 700m. I decided for yet another slow morning so that the rain could possibly pass and the clouds lift a bit, but nothing really happened. So I packed and left camp site. When I arrived at Väktarmon wind shelter, the rain increased and I decided to make a quick stop.
Luckily it was only a shower and I could soon continue the “climb of the day”, which was not a small one: starting at 500hm, up to almost 900km, down to 750km and up to almost 1000hm. But oh so rewarding. And I felt strong. It was great, I was happy and really had that “I can conquer the world” feeling. When I had climbed the first section, I immediately felt the promised NW wind. It was strong, it brought rain showers and sun, the wind was cold and I was thankful that there was another wind shelter at Balkesbourke, for which I aimed for lunch.
Sitting in that wind shelter, listening to the wind and watching the weather passing by was just beautiful. I took the chance to continue while the sun was shining, also to regain some heat, as I was feeling cold after the stop in the little hut. The trail was overlooking Sielken summer settlement from the decent and while rain and sun took turns, I just felt so alive. Like the wind and the weather made it even more intense!
After Sielken, the trail passed Rödfjället, “the red mountain”, and indeed, suddenly the mountain and the rocks were all red, it was easy to see where the name came from.
After a while I realized that it would be a challenge to find a tent spot though, it was a very hilly and stony area with little lakes and swamps scattered all around, and the still strong NW wind. But after a while I managed to squeeze in my tent between a little river, some birch trees and stones, and I slept very well that night.
Day 32│ July 19│ Rödtjärnstugan – Raukaselet 27 km
Another day in the swamps. Weather was rather grey with some moments of sun, I started walking towards Ankarede and decided to have a look at the village and the famous church. Unfortunately the café is still under renovation and otherwise the village was rather calm and silent. I can only imagine how it is during Midsummer here. The church was beautiful though and after a break and recharging of my phone in the service house on the parking i continued again in light rain… This day was rather unspectacular. Mostly swamps and birch forest, easy to walk, soft for my feat and rather fast. I had a long, late lunch around 4 pm at Tjärnbäcken and continued to Raukaselet where I put up my tent close by the bridge, I just didn’t find a suitable camp site earlier. Having covered 27 km that day, I realized that I would actually be able to reach Klimpfjäll the next day if everything worked out…
Day 33│ July 20│ Raukaselet – Klimpfjäll 27 km
I woke up early to a sunny day! Every sunny morning felt like a little miracle, they were rather rare… So I got up well before 6 am and was ready to go rather quickly. The first part along Raukasjö was on a gravel road, before the trail started to climb again. Happily I discovered that what looked like mostly swamps on the map was a lot dryer than I thought and soon I was back above the treeline again and decided to take a break in the light breeze, overlooking Jämtland before crossing over the border to Västerbotten. But against all odds (wind), there were a lot of mosquitoes chasing me. So in the end that break was quite short and I continued. The view was spectacular though, especially after after rounding Jalketjahke and overlooking Böörkeje/Norra Borgafjäll and Avtseje/Autjoklimpen.
Due to the mosquitoes, I decided to aim for lunch in Slipsikstugan at lake Sliptjehke. I passed by a beautiful sandy beach, and while the temperature and the sun were perfect for a bath, the mosquitoes were not.
When I arrived at the hut, there was a family having lunch inside, and they even offered me their left overs, much to despair of their dog Gyro, who looked rather confused, when they started to clean up and he had not gotten anything to eat. I actually felt a little guilty and gave him some of my reindeer meat instead. I think we became great friends after that 😉 It turned out that Gyro and Anna had been dreaming about hiking the green ribbon, so finding something to talk about was not at all difficult! 🙂
When I arrived at the hut, I had had some pain in my leg and was thinking of staying there and continue to Klimpfjäll the day after. After the long and pleasant break I decided to continue to get a full resting day the day after if needed. And it was such a beautiful, easy and sunny hike down to Klimpfjäll and the Italian restaurant where I not only had a great dinner but also stayed for the night, well taken care of by Eija and Franco. A great last day on this wonderful section!
Day 34│ July 21│ Resting day in Klimpfjäll
A sunny resting day! I picked up my resupply package, ate ice cream, went to watch the helicopters by the lake, sat in the sun and in the afternoon Anna, Göran, Gyro and their daughter arrived and invited me for dinner in their apartment. It was such a nice evening seeing them again, and just the fact that we had met the day before made me feel like I was seeing friends again! It was a lovely evening, and yet another time I felt so grateful for the opportunity to meet all these beautiful people!