Once again the weather is showing its good side. In complete silence we enjoy in a somewhat sentimental mood our last breakfast out here in the vastness of Lapland before we walk to Ritsem today. The mosquitoes are merciful and let us eat in peace this morning.
I feel a little feverish and sick this morning and struggle quite a bit on the first few meters of hiking. Also, the trail climbs about 100 meters in altitude at the very beginning. After about 1.5 kilometers we reach the last shelter Sievgok, which is located with a good view, and take a first small break there. After that, the climb is almost over.
The ringing of the cell phone tells us that we are getting closer to civilization
We continue parallel to the slope and I gradually feel a little better. Quite soon we start to descend gently and suddenly we see the power plant of Ritsem on the slope. A lot of ringing from Manuel’s pocket tells us that we also have network again and the news of the last two weeks arrive. I deliberately leave my cell phone in flight mode so that I can enjoy the hike in peace until the end.
Before Ritsem the trail descends a bit more steeply, reaching amazing widths before the fjäll spits us out through the wooden portal of Gränsleden. If you look closely, you will recognize the basic structure of the Sami lavvu in the portal! We land on an asphalted road and have to orientate first. While in the forest there were several signs pointing to the obvious path to the Fjällstation, we don’t find any sign here. Down to the right is the right way and after that you can’t miss the destination.
Unromantic end of a great tour: the mountain station in Ritsem
The mountain station in Ritsem turns out to be a rather lovelessly furnished container camp. I was looking forward to a good dinner, but unfortunately there is no restaurant in Ritsem, unlike in other mountain stations. We report to the reception about the dog south of Røysvatn and show the photos we have taken from the cabin book. The woman writes everything down conscientiously and we can hear a little later how she passes the data on the phone. It reassures us that from now on someone is looking into the matter. A little later the helicopter takes off and flies west over the Akkajaure. Will he follow up our information?
After moving into the room, we take a warm shower. We enjoy this for a long time and to the fullest! Afterwards we buy a ready-to-eat pizza in the store and let our tour end comfortably in the kitchen of the Fjällstation.
STF Mountain station Ritsem
The cabin in Ritsem is a container facility that does not spread any special charm. The bus to Gällivare stops right in front of the door.
Payment: Cash or with card
More information: There is no restaurant here unlike at other mountain stations. However, the kitchen is equipped with oven and microwave. There is wifi, electricity and showers! swedishtouristassociation.com
About 1.5 km before the shelter flows a small stream with fresh water and the flat terrain offers many opportunities to pitch a tent.
Day 14: Sievgok - Ritsem
It is not far to the shelter Sievgok and we take a short break to use the toilet. After that we finish the last ascent of this year’s tour which takes us up to 840m. From here on the trail continues steadily downhill to Ritsem. Many times we have the opportunity to enjoy the great view of the Akka massif, until our way takes us below the tree line. Shortly before Ritsem we pass a gate, which is modeled after the basic construction of the Sami lavvu, and hit an asphalt road: the first one since we started walking in Abisko two weeks ago! The road leads us directly to the mountain station.
The mountain station in Ritsem is simply equipped: There is a self-catering kitchen, a small store that also offers frozen products, showers and sanitary facilities as well as simple rooms. There is also a sauna, but we did not use it. Unlike many other mountain stations that have an excellent restaurant, Ritsem has no catering.