Along the Nordkalottruta: Reisadalen to Kautokeino

Nedrefosshytta to Ráisjávrihytta
Having finished lunch I sidled around the boulder fields with their sheer drop into the Reisadalen, as I climbed out of the valley the weather gradually improved.

I was taken by the stunted birch trees and the open forest, it reminded me in some ways of the type of forest found in the alpine regions in Australia. With the sun shining but mosquitos active I resorted to wearing my Rab Boreas as a single layer which I found to be successful in keeping me cool and keeping the mossies at bay.
P7062719

There were plenty of flowers to see.
P7062729
and the view towards the Reisadalen indicated the wide expanse of open ground that I was now crossing.
P7072732 Every so often the trail would dip into a small stream and it was one of these I discovered that there must have been a new convert to barefoot hiking on the trail, alternatively they had adopted the lightweight foot wear approach.

Old Boots
I set up camp beside a small lake and with the cool breeze there were very few mosquitos around. It was perhaps one of the coldest nights I experienced for the whole trip.

Camp beside Miehtajohka
The following morning sunshine was the order of the day as I headed towards the Ráisjávri, the variation in the trail was amazing from sandy rutted tracks to …

Sandy Trail
… wide river crossings …

Njárgajohka

…and finally after crossing a large marsh I arrived at Ráisjávri, the sun drenched lake was very appealing, I could have spent hours there.

Ráisjávri

Then it was past a small sami village sitting on the banks of Ráisjávri.

Village beside Ráisjávri

Before turning inland to what can be best described as the Čieknaljohka bogs, sadly the area had been heavily used by quad bikes which had cut a swathe through the marsh creating wide mud and mosquito infested nightmares. I was so focussed on covering the kilometre, or so, I did not even both to stop and take a photo. This section around to Ráisjávrihytta was perhaps the worst of the trip.

Ráisjávrihytta

Once at Ráisjávrihytta I took some time to sit and ponder, all the time swatting away the mosquitos, but the view across the lake was relaxing.

<Relaxing beside Ráisjávri

Ráisjávrihytta hytta to Kautokeino

I had recognised that this was my second last night on the trail and would be my last opportunity to camp high, here 500 metres is high, so with a location in mind I continued on my way to what appeared on the map to be an ideal site, well it was and it wasn’t. The mosquitos thought it was a great site, so after a quick meal it was into the tent to watch the sun almost set.

Sunset or sunrise near Rivkkoš>

The following morning after a short climb I was rewarded with a 360 degree panorama of the area, the view was wonderful and to be able to see to the horizon in every direction was very satisfying.

View from Rivkkoš

This scene was repeated a number of times as I walked across the raised plateau.

Jeageloaivi

Finally it was time to descend into the forests again and the accompanying sandy trails.

More sand

The remainder of the afternoon I followed the trail as it took me across the first bitumen road I had seen since leaving Kilpisjärvi and only the third that crosses the 800 km long trail.  I entered and soon left the small hamlet of Čunovuohppi before recrossing the same road and beginning the final 14 km’s of trail, some of which would wait till the morning.

As I approached the Čunojohka  I found a suitable place to camp, and set up the Notch for the last time on the trip.

P7082799

It was a pleasant spot apart from the locals, so a quick dinner then into the shelter to watch the mossies play on the outer. Have you ever noticed that once a mosquito gets into the inner it does its utmost to get out again?

P7082804

The cooler air in the morning meant less mossies and I was soon packed and after crossing the river I was climbing Goaskinvárri which would provide me with the last views of what had been a memorable walk.

I descended into the marshes  admiring the grass trees (not sure of their correct name).

Grass trees

whilst always looking for the trail in the mud, yes there is a trail there somewhere.

There is a trail here somewhere

After which I crossed some lovely looking grassy areas where the water was only ankle deep.

Grass and watch out for the water

Passing cotton fields.

Cotton fields

One final climb around the flanks of Beahcegaš and then a descent into Kautokeino and I was done, having completed approximately 200 km walk crossing fells, plateaus, rivers, snow and mud experiencing a range of climatic conditions, dealing with mosquitos and the practicalities of long walks.

It had been a wonderfully enjoyable and relaxing trip, and I spent the last couple of days of the trip wondering where to next? I really liked Finnmark and want to return.

Time will tell.

A shadow of myself

This entry was posted in Lapland, M.ZUIKO 9-18mm, Nordkalotten Trail, Norway, Olympus E-P2. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Along the Nordkalottruta: Reisadalen to Kautokeino

  1. Joe Newton says:

    Fabulous to see an area I've only previously seen under the blanket of winter laid bare in the summer.

  2. Greg says:

    I like the sense of space in this walk. Some relaxing looking camps as well! Now, what possibly could be the story behind the boots…?

  3. Peter Nylund says:

    A very nice writeup again with excellent photography. And the weather looked really nice.

  4. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Greg, the sense of space was something I really appreciated and perhaps that is why I like the high country so much. Certainly being able to see for miles, in sunny weather, was appreciated, however,in wet, cold, windy conditions the space would be less inviting. The boots story would be interesting as they seemed still to be in useable condition, I wonder if they fell of the back of a bike or some such, probably will never know.

  5. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Peter, yes I was fortunate with the weather it remained sunny and warm even after I had finished. At times it was almost too warm. As for photographs, I think I am getting better at using the controls of the camera, its only taken two years : ).

  6. nielsenbrown says:

    I guess in winter there is lots of white and then some more. In reasonable weather I can see the benefits of skiing in the area as Finnmark is relatively flat and ascents and descents would be gentle. I hope to revisit the area in the coming years, there is a plan is already forming.

  7. Congratz on finishing the Nordkalottleden, Roger – a great achievement! Beautiful photos, you have been very fortunate with the weather – not with the mosquitos, though. Did you stop at Madam Bongos for a snack?

  8. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Hendrik, it was great to be able to finish the Nordkalottleden, so now I am now thinking about my next long distance adventure. Definitely good weather, mosquitos well there a part of life up there in my view. As for Madam Bongos,it looked fascinating from the outside and I was tempted but I knew if I entered I would stay the night and I really wanted to have one more night in the outdoors.

  9. Madam Bongos? I will have to pay a visit now! Looks like a great trip, I wonder if many people do the whole 800km of the trail in one go? (am I thinking of the right trail?)

  10. nielsenbrown says:

    Hi James, yes Madam Bongos a fine looking establishment. As for how many thru hikers in one year, that is a good question. Over the past 3 years I have been on the trail I have met about 5 thru hikers heading south as I headed north. My guess is in total there would be about 10 maybe a little more.Others are doing the "Norge på langs" which is the end to end path in Norway and is about 2500 kilometres in length, if you need a challenge.Looking forward to your Kungsleden report(s)

  11. I am going to have to go back and read all your other reports on this trail and other trips in the far north Roger. Now that I have actually visited the area I have a sense of the place and it is easier to immerse myself in your reports, if that makes sense?I am longing for another trip north already!.

  12. nielsenbrown says:

    I understand, I had a plan for next year (in a different location), but after completing this walk I am very tempted to return to the north. The wilderness experience is very appealing.

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