Day 87. Teusajaure to Singi

Posted by: James on March 28, 2009

Distance 23km | Time 5.5hrs | Ascent 500m | Descent 270m

Day 87. Looking down to Teusajaure cabin and lake from the steep climbI got up at 0700 to do the blog after a solid sleep. It had been a cold night down to minus 22, but the day looked like it would be good again.

I had quite a leisurely writing session interspersed with breakfast and a quick chat to the warden, Marianne. I also lit the fire again as it was somewhat chilly. I was physically still a bit tired and I suppose me dithering a bit was an unconscious way of preventing me going to Salka. I was eventually finished at 1100. I then tidied up and was ready to go at 1200 after fetching more wood.

Just as I was leaving a group of Swiss arrived. I recognised the guide who I had met up here last year. His group had just come from Kaitumjaure cabin which was a days journey. They had randonee equipment. Wide short skis, huge uncompromising double boots and binding on a hinge which could be locked down. For all but the downhill section they used full length ski skins.

I have seen loads of Germans, Swiss and Austrians on this equipment here. It is very suitable for the steeper Alps but far too cumbersome and heavy to use here. There must be magazine articles in these countries which propagate the myth it is sensible to go along the valley floors in Kebnekaise with randonee equipment.

I eventually left at 1230. The weather was still glorious. Initially I had a short steep hill to climb. As the snow was frozen hard I walked it. It only took half an hour and then I was up to the tree line and the terrain eased off enough for me to put my skis on again.

Day 87. Looking down to Kaitumjaure from the ridge between it and TeusajaureThere was now a gentle climb up to the top of the saddle between two mountains before I could start my descent again. At the top I met the hut warden returning from a picnic in the sun. She must have been nearly 60 but was gliding quickly and easily in her Nordic skis. Her Teutonic counterparts were comparing blisters after their 9 km day when I left them in Teusajaure cabin.

Day 87. Kaitumjaure lake is squeezed between steep mountainsThere was a lot of snow on the mountains here and all the imperfections were smoothed of under large drifts. Kaitumjaure valley and cabin soon came into view as I crested the ridge. It was a short run down to this valley. The cabins were located in the birch woods well above the end of the lake.

Day 87. The two cabins at Kaitumjaure are typical STF cabinsThere was no one staying here and the warden was cutting wood. She had a small shop so I bought some food for this evening of her, and some snacks for immediate consumption. As I ate we chatted. She was a keen paddler and was interested to hear about my trip. She had been at the cabin since it opened in mid February. It was nearly minus 40 then. She had heard a lynx just two days ago.

After spending an hour here I continued to Singi. It was just a two and a half hour blast up the valley for 14 km. I should be there around 1800. The route took me across two large frozen marshes which lay on the valley floor trapped by steep crags on each side. There was now ski tracks to follow rather than scooter tracks so it was faster still.

Day 87. Looking north up the Tjaktjavagge valley to the foothills of KebnekaiseAs I approached Singi I entered Tjaktjavagge valley. This huge valley cut through the middle of the whole Kebnekaise area. To the east of this valley were the highest and most alpine of the mountains. I could not see their summits from here but could see the bases of the ridges extending down from them. Singi cabin was at the base of one of the first.

The cabin here was surprisingly busy with about 15 people. I knew 4 were German speaking because of the wide randonee skis at the door. The rest it transpired were Swedes. I chatted with them while preparing and eating my dehydrated dinner.

The warden came to get payment in the early evening. We recognized each other from previous visits I made here. She even remembered my name. In the evening everybody suddenly went to bed at 2000. This was great as I could then write the blog undisturbed for an hour. I eventually crashed out at 2200.

It had been a nice easy day. Almost a rest day with just a few hours skiing The weather was again perfect. Every day the cabin wardens said the weather forecast indicated it would end that day and every day they were luckily wrong.

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