Kungsleden 2019

DATE: 2019-07-18

Waking up and looking out I found that rain was hanging in the air just above me, prompting a high-speed camp break and a cold-soak breakfast further down the trail. The 7 km from the ridge down to the great river crossing was itself not challenging, but in several places the trail completely disappear in the marshy, boggy terrain. A bit frustrating to have no option than to slosh trough water and mud with my trail runners. Around the corner from the bridge I found two Germans in a tent on the spot we wished we had found but did not when me, Xiaomi and Daniel passed by their last time. Crossing the bridge another 10 km of wet woods followed, not much rain but sooo much wet grass and underbrush. On the trail I met an old man from Turkey, and we chatted for a while using a mix of English, Swedish, Norwegian and sign language that was surprisingly effective. Approaching the ridge of the next climb, ominous rain clouds were gathered up against the mountain wall of the peak Goabddábakte waiting for hikers to pass by, just like last time. Standing next to the wall and looking back over the green hills there was a definite sense of achievement. I had plotted out today's hike as 21 km with the intended camping spot next to the bridge on the mountain, but I reached it already at 16:00 in the afternoon and there were no obviously suitable spots for a big tent. So I kept walking. Funny thing: after passing the bridge I was completely drenched by an aggressive spell of rain and when it tapered off I met a Korean man coming in the other direction who did not get a single drop. Local rain? After not too long the trail started descending the ridge and the Tsielekjåkk cabin was just another 5 km away (the first camp spot last time on this section), so I made that my new target for the day. Around halfway down I came upon a grand example of how little like a trail the trail sometime look with a good 20 m completely submerged in water. Well down at the bridge I had dinner at the cabin and when I was about finished a full day of rainy misery actually turned into something quite nice. With just 13 km more to go before reaching the section end in Kvikkjokk I decided to just go ahead and walk the rest today. Since the hour was rather late (19:00) the mosquitoes had begun to retreat for the night, so the hike through this woody stretch was very enjoyable. Just before going down into the pine forest I caught a glimpse of the pass I came through on the other side of a seemingly endless forest and two small lakes. This part was not even 4 km long but very rough; here I encountered the steepest decline of the section 140 m.a.s.l. in just 800 m. Not remembering quite what the lakeside cabin was like I dared not take the chance and thus left the last kilometer to the day after and instead pitched up next to the trail. Perhaps not the most kosher spot but it was already very late in the evening and the last boat in this direction was hours ago. Marking the end of this year's trip I stripped my feet of all the tape to give them some air, ending the day at 38 km, 63515 steps, 14h.