To escape the midday heat and still master the long way to Pauro, we set the alarm clock early. There is no trace of Kathrin, who announced that she also wanted to leave early. She sleeps in the big cabin and from the outside everything seems quiet. We therefore do not know whether she has possibly already started walking or is still in bed.
The early bird gets the worm
At four degrees and still cloudless sky, we set off shortly before seven o’clock. The path is easy to walk at the beginning and continues on the gravel road for the first 1.5 kilometers. Already after a quarter of an hour we reach the end of the lake. To our amazement, there are several construction trailers and a crane. What is being built here? A little later our question is answered: on the left side we see the fragmented remains of a power pole. Presumably this fell victim to a storm or an avalanche last winter.
We turn right onto our hiking trail, which winds steeply up the mountain. And steep today means really steep! My calves are already burning after a few meters and I have to stop again and again to give them a little rest. At the same time I enjoy the great view, which gets a little bit better with every break. In front of us lies a grassy plain, through which several rivers wind their way into the Sitojaure. The lake itself lies quietly below us. Behind it rise the majestic mountains, where the sun is just rising, recognizable by the light dawn. It does not yet manage to shine over the mountains, but it will not be long before the sun warms us again. The cabin where we spent the night is only a small spot on the shore.
Excavator and power line look strangely out of place in the otherwise pristine landscape
Then we move on. Halfway up, we find another excavator and a makeshift power pole next to which a new one is being built. The ground is quite churned up by the heavy machinery and we have to pay close attention not to lose our way. Finally, the power line leaves us and continues in another valley.
On the ground we suddenly see something glittering. Curious, we bend down and find that it is the stones lying around. We are geologically completely inexperienced, but since a lot of iron ore is mined in the area, partly close to the surface, we think that metals may also be enclosed in the stone here. In any case, it looks totally beautiful when the ground around you sparkles in the sun!
We continue to climb up the mountain. Slowly the vegetation becomes sparser and finally the last green has disappeared. Once more we walk over scree. We cross some steep snowfields that end directly in a lake. The idea of losing our balance here gives us the creeps. In that case, at the end of a slide, we would probably find ourselves in ice-cold water. The ice fields lie on the lakes like icebergs. I have never seen such a landscape before. One could think we have booked a Greenland vacation, if the sun would not burn rather like in Southern Europe.
Material wear number 1: backpack
Lando suddenly discovers a reindeer mother with a snow-white calf. Not far from us they cross our path. With an impatient bark he jumps off and pulls at the leash. An unpleasant tearing sound makes me realize something is wrong. A look at my waist belt, to which I have tied the leash, confirms this premonition: a seam has torn and the waist belt is only hanging by a thread. What a bummer! Anyone who has ever carried a heavy backpack knows that a hip belt is elementary to avoid having to carry the load on your shoulders. With a piece of cord we bridge the weak point and patch the backpack makeshift.
The view that opens onto Baugevatnet is unique
After the small incident the view of the valley on the other side of the climb suddenly opens up! And this is once again really spectacular. On none of my tours in Scandinavia have I had so many great views as in the last few days. We look over Baugevatnet, a lake that fills the whole valley. We are so overwhelmed that we decide to take a break and enjoy the view. But have a look at the 360 degree panorama yourself!
Gently, the path then leads us along the slope down to the lake. We make fast progress. After a short stretch along the lakeshore, we reach Baugebua, a small cabin with only two beds. After looking at the cute little cabin from the inside, we take a lunch break in the shade in front of the door for almost three hours. The first part of the route to Pauro felt easier than expected and we are optimistic for the second half.
DNT Cabin Baugebua
The Baugebua cabin is absolutely tiny but super cozy. It has everything you need and has only been built in 2016, as the old cabin was destroyed. Due to the size, I would not necessarily plan an overnight stay here, as it may be that the cabin is already occupied.
Payment: afterwards by Paypal or bank transfer
Key: DNT key
Further information: ut.no (Norwegian only)
On the trail you help each other where you can
While we are dozing off, a German who is coming in towards us arrives. He tells us about swarms of mosquitoes that have completely bitten him because he only has a German mosquito spray with him. If you don’t want that to happen to you, read our article on mosquito protection in the Fjäll. Several times he also got lost on the way between Røysvatn and Pauro, because he navigated with a paper map. Since he also does not carry a tent, he is dependent on sleeping in the cabins in the evening. After the long marches including detours, however, he was partly so exhausted that he could not eat.
Now he is lugging more food than he will be able to eat on the tour. We recommend him to share it with Kathrin from Denmark. We met her at Sitashytta the day before and her food supply was low. She must be walking somewhere behind us since he hasn’t met her yet. In the evening we meet her again and then we also learn from her that it worked out and that she now has enough food. Now she does not have to hurry so much!
Navigation in the Norwegian mountains
By the way, we have found that the maps up here are all to be taken with a grain of salt. In the Norwegian map, the cabin Baugebua is marked on the wrong side of the river. There was the old Baugebua, but the map has obviously not yet been updated. The Swedish and Norwegian maps often do not agree on the route, so it is best to check where the cairns lead. Partly this is again another way. To our surprise, the GPX track that we have previously created using Openstreetmaps is most often correct.
Lando routinely masters the swimming spot next to the bridge
Directly at the Baugebua hut there is a bridge. We bring our luggage to the other side as usual and look for a good place for Lando to swim. We find this about 300 meters downstream. Slowly a certain routine with this method sets in and also Lando seems to understand how to proceed. He definitely swims through the river without hesitation!
The second part of our way to Pauro drags. Or is that just our perception? There are only nine kilometers left and we also need only four hours from Baugebua to the cabin in Pauro. Therefore, we are not actually traveling slower than usual. The terrain, however, is rough and there are many large snowfields on our way. Some of them are so heavily undercut that we have to go around them. This means small detours again and again, which are especially mentally exhausting.
Change of plan necessary with a view to Pauro!
Finally, after the last climb, we stand on the saddle and look at Lake Pauro. A beautiful sight that fascinates us immensely. The valley with the lake lies before us in all its beauty. At the same time, however, the sight shocks us: snow is everywhere! The saddle on which we are standing seems to be a kind of weather divide.
A quick look at the map tells us that the route towards Sørfjord, which we want to take from Pauro, is still covered in snow to a large extent. It leads high over another mountain saddle. We quickly realise that we probably can’t go this way. And that at the end of July! This year there was a lot of snow and the snowmelt started late. Normally at this time it is already free of snow and we are accordingly equipped for a summer tour. We can already see our destination for today, the Pauro cabin, from up here. While we descend into the valley we decide not to go to Sørfjorden the next day but instead to go directly towards Røysvatn. We are glad that we had already considered this variant when planning this tour.
DNT Cabin Pauro
The surroundings around the Pauro cabin are absolutely gorgeous. The cabin is well suited for a rest day. We met a Sami family here who had taken up residence in the small cabin. This is not allowed, but not entirely uncommon. Apparently the DNT struggles with the Sámi using the cabins but not paying for them.
Beds: 12 in two cabins according to DNT homepage
Electricity: 12V in the small cabin, we could not try it out
Payment: afterwards by Paypal or bank transfer
Key: DNT key
More information: ut.no (Norwegian only)
The cabin book in Pauro is an important source of information
After about nine hours of hiking we reach the cabin and discover in the visitor’s book that nobody has walked to or from Sørfjorden without skis this year. This strengthens our decision to walk towards Røysvatn. Since it shortens our way by a few kilometers, we can still take our time. We therefore consider to take two days for the 28 kilometer long leg to Røysvatn.
Latest trail stories
A little after us, a Norwegian couple, whom we estimate to be in their mid-forties, also arrives at the Pauro cabin. We are once again fascinated by what hikers conjure up from their backpacks: Immediately after arrival, they throw themselves into fresh clothes and the next morning there is again a new outfit! In addition, the two have flat plates, deep plates and real cutlery with them. And that, although they make a hut tour according to their own statement and in the cabins such things are actually always available.
The consequence of all this is that the woman can no longer lift her backpack onto her back alone. Her companion has to help her. I wouldn’t want to change places with her! But they definitely get my respect for having made the tour from Røysvatn to Pauro in one day. In the absence of a tent they had no other choice though. They have already spent a restless night under the open sky and with a lot of mosquitoes. However, the mood is not so good with the two and they think about exiting at the Sitas hut.
At the end of a long day of hiking we sit in the cozy Pauro cabin
In the course of the evening, Kathrin also arrives at Pauro. Her heavy boots, which go halfway up her calves, are quite wet. It takes her ten minutes to finally get her feet out of them. We learn from her that she has met the German hiker and now has enough food to walk comfortably to Vaisaluokta. We are happy that the food exchange worked out. Additionally, we are reassured to know that Kathrin can now eat more than just two granola bars per day.
Since we were the first to arrive today at the Paurohytta, we had the free choice of bedrooms. We decide for the smallest room with two double bunk beds. Since the cabin is surprisingly full with the Norwegian hiker couple and Kathrin we are glad that there are so many sleeping places and we can have a little bit of privacy after the long hiking day. Lando has the largest bedroom to himself: he has to stay in the common room according to the rules that apply in Pauro.
Sitashytta is located at the northwestern end of Sitasjávri and right next to a gravel road. However, this is closed to traffic and therefore not traveled. As usual, the cabin consists of several buildings: a small toilet house and a material shed, as well as a large main cabin and a smaller cabin that stands a bit apart. The latter has only two beds. Just right for us!
Day 9: Sitashytta - Paurohytta
The ninth day: From Sitashytta to Paurohytta.
With more than 20km, this stage is also one of the longer sections of our tour. There are two steep ascents and two steep descents. After the first descent and with 12km hiked we reach the Baugebua at about half of the way. A small, cozy emergency hut. Here you can take a break. Who wants can divide the route into two halves by spending the night at/in the Baugebua. Before each of the two descents there is a magnificent panoramic view over the Baugevatnet and the Bovrojávri.
Baugebua is a small emergency hut with only two beds. It is super suitable for a break halfway between Paurohytta and Sitashytta.
Paurohytta is located at the northernmost tip of Bovrojávri. There is a large main cabin and another small cabin. The view over the lake is fantastic at any time of the day. Due to the space available and the magnificent scenery, Paurohytta is also excellent for a rest day in our eyes.