Day 113. Gaisavuolesjohka camp to Gaisavuolesjohka cabin

Posted by: James on April 23, 2009

Distance 2km | Time 0.5hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 50m

The wind did indeed get up a bit in the night and I heard it slicing through the tops of the trees I was camped amongst. There was also a fair amount of snow. I was well camped however and felt warm and secure. As usual after a big day I was troubled by cramps in my inner forward thigh muscles. If I moved in the night the cramp would set in and certainly wake me up.

I woke at 0600 and had a look at the map again after sleeping on a new plan. I would now ski north for about 4 km to a gravel road. Then I would nearly follow this gravel road some 30 km until I came to the main road. I could then follow the asphalt for 5 km to Ifjord. I did not want to walk across open moorland and stones for fear of breaking a metal rod at the front of the ski boot which is essential to attach it to the ski.

Despite knowing I had 40 km to do to the cabin at Ifjord Camping I could just not bring myself to get up. I had already arranged a cabin at Ifjord and for tomorrow night, but the owner said he would leave it open in case I arrived today. As it was now getting dark well after 2200 I could still leave at 1000 and make it.

With the sound of snow on the tent getting heavier and the wind remaining blustery I remained in my bag lying snug in the snow. 0800 came and went 0900 came and went and eventually just after 1000 I managed to emerge.

It was not a great day. Wet snow was falling, being driven by a northerly breeze. It would be coming directly into my face. With reluctance and a bit of procrastinating I at last had every thing in the rucksack and set of at 1130.

As I skied through the forest, which was firm under ski, I flushed a herd of some 20 reindeer sheltering in the woods. There was also a few ptarmigan here. I had to thread a path through the trees to avoid the odd bare patch but by and large there was plently of good snow.

I had barely skied two km when I crossed the main river in this valley called the Gaisavuolesjohka and then came face to face with a totally unexpected cabin. I went up to investigate. It was open, it was tidy and cleanish, it had a stove but no wood, there was sufficient wood around to collect with saw and axe, the weather was still miserable and I had 40 odd km to go and it was midday. It did not take me long to decide to stay.

Within an hour I had collected and prepared enough wood until tomorrow morning. It was a small cabin and it heated up quite quickly. Luckily the saw was not too blunt. Soon I had snow melting in the big pots on the stove and I was ensconced. It was still snowing heavily outside and all afternoon I never once regretted stopping.

The cabin was probably owned by the state as a hunting cabin. People could buy a hunting license for small game in the local council and then use this cabin as a base. There are many such cabins in Norway. Like many this one was not marked on the map.

In the warmth of the stove I wrote the blog as the snow continued to fall outside. By 1900 I was up to date and could look forward to an evening of relaxation and an early night. With this cabin as a platform I could launch an early bid to get to Ifjord and the campsite café before it closed at 2000 tomorrow.

It was a very easy day and fitting that my shortest record distance should follow a day after my longest record distance. I probably only have the day to Ifjord and the 4 days up the Nordkinn peninsula to the village of Mehamn. Merhamn would be my base to launch my final day to Kinnarodden, the most northerly piece of mainland in Europe. Whether I will have skis or walking boots on remains to be seen.

3 Responses to “Day 113. Gaisavuolesjohka camp to Gaisavuolesjohka cabin”

  1. Donald Engström Says:

    Hej!

    Ser du börjar närma dig målet.
    Här kom våren i onsdags och +16 denna dag i Piteå.

    Donald

  2. Jo Ryan Says:

    Uncle James, you have to finish for my birthday.
    Love Jenni

  3. Jonas Hållén Says:

    Keep up the good work, James! I’m going to follow your blog to hear more about your journey.
    Jonas Hallen
    Stockholm
    (who stayed in Alesjaure when you were there)