Day 1: Saltoluokta – Sitosjaure: 20km +500m/-300m
6AM, alarm clock, even earlier than a usual working day, we’re not here to rest. Quick look by the window, it’s gray, won’t be the best day, but I can be worse… Anyway! Breakfast quickly swallowed, it’s time to hit the road
Bags on the back, skis below the feet, ready to go. Geee, it slips a lot, and does not hang at all the snow when going up. We came a couple of cropper, heavy bag pack… We have to eat that ****ing food soon! It took us a big part of the first day to get used to the balance with the bags (someone is whispering me that it took much more time than one day… Whatever!). The trail is starting straight up for 300m for the first 5 km. Hopefully, a snow scooter made a nice track before us, that will help us to finally win over this hill, thinking that it’s the worst one of the trip (of course, it wasn’t…).
From there, we have a nice view on the lakes below us (Suorvasjaure, the one we crossed yesterday), and looking ahead, it begins slowly to flatten, and we can see more and more red crosses ahead. First downhill slopes, new falls, yet left to find the balance. The
ice snow has been blown up by the wind, and it would not be an easy work going downhill off-tack. Fortunately, it’s quite a common track for snow scooters that paved us the way. It might be the only time I will thanks them. Both the landscape and the sky begin to open up, blue’s coming in, we get a nice overview of the coming day: a long and quite flat valley, surrounded by some nice cliffs on both side. Short stop at a small cabin (Autsutjvagge) for a stomatch re-fill. We won’t stop for long however due to the cold. We will meet the first people since we left the cottages this morning, two Swedish guys that will make the same trip than us for the first days, and they were not better than us going downhill, the honor is satisfied!
A couple of hours later, we are passed by 6 dog sledges heading full speed towards Sitosjaure cottages. We will also have their company the following two days. Incredible smart and pet dogs, sleeping outside by -30°C at night, and sooo adorable!
The rest of the day trip is mainly downhill, just enough to ease the move, but not too steep (A couple of falls were on the agenda anyway, but we’ll silent the names!). Arrival at Sitosjaurestugorna around 3PM. Now, the sky is clearly blue, and it will stay like that for the whole trip. Magical views over the lakes. We can see half of tomorrow’s trip also. Amazing!
However, no time to rest, we have to chop wood for the night and get some water from the lake nearby. Always funny to go back to roots for a couple of days (I wouldn’t do that everyday, though!).
6PM, pasta/soup. 6.30, dishes done, bed time ? really ? No! Small talks with the others groups, listening to the sledges guide, scary stories about lakes and snow. We got a try for northern lights out (approx. 2.30 minutes), nothing tonight… 8PM, bed time ? Yes! Tomorrow will be a tough day!