Day 78. Ammarnas to Baverholm

Posted by: James on March 19, 2009

Distance 50km | Time 11hrs | Ascent 910m | Descent 800m

Day 78. A very quaint cabin and stabbur just north of AmmarnasI managed to get up at 0530. It was already light and there was a strong glow in the south east heralding the arrival of the sun. I had bought a lot of bread and spreads in the shop yesterday for breakfast. By 0630 I was ready and set off.

The scooter tracks seemed to go along the river near the shop so I skied down to it and followed it downstream for a short distance. When the river and scooter tracks reached a more residential area they detoured through the fields to the south. These fields had many hay barns scattered around them.

After the detour the scooter routes reached a signposted junction and split up. I took the one to Adolfstrom which was 55 km. The route headed across fields and onto the Vindelalven river. I followed it for a good km up to a bridge. The scooter path now left the river and followed the uncleared track beside the river for 8 km

It was a very nice ski up beside the river. No scooters passed me and the sun was out. It remained cold at about minus 15. I passed many more old hay barns and a very quaint restored homestead.

Day 78. The traditional north Scandinavian stabbur or larderThis homestead had a very traditional north Scandinavian stabbur which was Lapp in origin as it stood on one pole.

Soon after this homestead the road left the valley and headed up the east side of the valley for 4 km to a mass of corals and fences. This was an area where the reindeer where killed and butchered. All this happened in the open. Reindeer meat is therefore about as organic as you get as the animals are not transported to a slaughterhouse.

Day 78. The white expanse of Bjorkfjallet broken by a reindeer herders cabinThe route now climbed up through the remainder of the birch woods and onto the bare mountain side. The white rolling hills were covered in snow so hardly a rock showed. I passed two small lakes and a reindeer herders cabin where Lapps would spend part of the summer, especially during the marking and ear clipping in July.

The sun had started to started to disappear now behind a veil of mist and the wind began to pick up. By the time I was up on Bjorkfjallet it was strong enough to create spindrift. I had hoped it would disappear as I descended the north side but it got worse.

Day 78. Dellikalven is one of the many remote rivers draining the Vindelfjell mountainsWhen I reached a steep mountain called Laddiebakte it was a gale. This was perhaps a bit of a wind tunnel caused by the steep sided mountain. The snow cover here was very thin compared to just 5 km further south. Thankfully when I left this area the gale dropped back to a wind.

Before long I reached a small cabin which was open at Sjnultjie. It replaced a proper cabin which burnt down a few years ago. This replacement cabin was just an emergency shelter really. It would make a nice alternative to camping. As I was leaving the cabin 3 families with infants arrived on scooters. They had been fishing. The infants were very well wrapped. We chatted a bit before I went.

The last 15 km to Baverholm was pretty easy. Initially there was 4 km across the very top of the treeline until the tracks crossed a frozen river. Then they climbed over a spur to the bare mountainside again. The wind was back for this stretch, wiping up spindrift.

Finally I began a wonderful descent. First down the bare mountain and then into the birch forest. It was not too steep so I could enjoy it in my tired state. Below me was the lake I was heading for called Iraft. Like many mountain lakes in northern Sweden it contained a delta where silt was deposited by the river flowing in. Eventually this delta will consume the lake.

Day 78. The final descent to Baverholm with a silt delta beyond in Iraft lakeAs I descended the weather became more benign. Soon the first pine trees appeared. There is something very comforting about returning to the pine forest after a day being buffeted in the bare mountains. After a lovely couple of km in the pine forest I reached Baverholm.

Baverholm was a homestead which had been turned into a café come restaurant and had a few rooms to rent. It was rustic, cheap, friendly and had a nice vibe. I had not expected such a nice place in this remote hamlet. I took a cheap room and then went to the café. It was not even 1800.

The café was covered in taxidermied animals and birds. Moose antlers lined the old wood panelled walls. Pictures of fisherman with prize trout were posted everywhere. There was just me and 2 Norwegian ice fisherman staying. I had reindeer for supper and then tried to write the blog. It was very difficult to concentrate and keep my eyes open. At last I finished at 2100 and crashed out at once thereafter.

It had been a tremendous day. Apart from the wind it was faultless. The skiing was very good and the snow conditions near perfect. The descent was perhaps the best of the trip so far and the pine forest was as enchanting as ever. Baverholm was very nice and I had notched up another 50km day, the easiest of them all so far.

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