Yesterday we had mobile phone reception for a short time and were able to check the weather forecast: It’s supposed to rain for several hours starting at noon today. Therefore, we actually want to get up early today and run a little ahead of the announced rain. On our today’s section of the Kungsleden there is a shelter halfway to Aktse, where we could rest while it is raining.
The weather forecast is not always reliable
Our alarm clock is set to five o’clock in the morning. Around three o’clock, however, it first starts to rain slightly, then increasingly stronger. Our plans are no longer working. We take it easy and stay in our tents until half past ten. The weather reports up here are often only a rough guide anyway. At least the rain stops as announced after a few hours and we can continue hiking in dry conditions.
A little taste of San Francisco on Kungsleden
Shortly before our campsite, the Kungsleden crosses the river Gállaktjåhkå. It is spanned by a suspension bridge, which in its dark red reminds us of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Manuel and I visited together in 2014.Within sight of the red bridge we fill up our water supplies for the day and set off on the Kungsleden to Aktse.
This summer’s drought has also reached Kungsleden
The clouds are hanging low across the sky today, hiding the peaks of the Sarek to our left. In spite of the rain we notice the lack of water up here today. A river bed lies completely dry and even some small ponds can only be recognised by the lack of vegetation and remaining hollows. We walk over a plateau from which one would surely have a great view if it were not for the clouds. Instead we hike through a tangle of fog until the Kungsleden leads downhill again and towards the Laitaure lake, on whose other shore the STF Aktse Fjällstugan is situated. Here the first longer rowing passage of this section is waiting for us.
The everlasting discussion: Rowing or not rowing?
While Manuel feels that we definitely have to order the motorboat, I would like to row. When I was here in 2012, I crossed all the lakes on my own. We postpone the decision until we arrive at the lake. There we check the rowing boats and find that we have two on our side: That means we won’t have to row three times. While I’m still trying to convince Manuel that he can’t avoid rowing, a motorboat appears in the distance and moves towards us.
Boat passage Laitaure
The rowing passage over the Laitaure lake is about 4 km long. There is the option of crossing it by motorboat. The latter is operated by the hut keeper and runs at fixed times. You can also call it from the southern side of the lake by raising a flag at the pier.
Adults (from 16 years): 200 SEK
Children (5 – 15 years): 100 SEK
Children (0 – 4 years): free
Cash or card payment at the hut
Timetable (21. June to 23. September):
Aktse – Laitaure: 9:00 and 17:00
Laitaure – Aktse: 9:15 and 17:15
More information at: swedischtouristassociation.com
Now that the boat has come to us unrequested, I also cannot resist and we get in. There’s still one rowing passage left. By the way, the boat is operated by the hut manager. Although we want to stay overnight in Aktse, we have to pay for it in advance.
Just before Aktse, there is a real system of wooden plank paths
I admit, the crossing by motorboat is quite comfortable and after the long day definitely tempting. However, the feeling of untouched wilderness makes it a little bit uncomfortable. Having arrived on the other side, we walk the last kilometer over well constructed planks up to the hut. There we spend the night on the hut’s tent meadow to be able to enjoy the sauna!
STF Fjällstuga Aktse
The hut in Aktse is the starting point for hikes into the Sarek or welcome overnight accommodation on the Kungsleden. In good weather, a day trip on the Skierffe with its almost 700 meter high steep face is an absolute must! From here you have an incomparable view into the Rapadalen valley with the delta of the Rapaälv.
The cabin is in the STF category of 26 to 50 beds and is therefore a medium sized cabin. There is also a sauna, a shop and a kitchen for day guests. Pets are allowed. There is a special dog room.
Cash or credit card
More information at: swedishtouristassociation.com
Camping at the cabins has some benefits
In 2012 I have already hiked this part of Kungsleden, but without spending the night at the huts. Today I like to stop at the huts to use their infrastructure like toilets, garbage cans, sauna or the shop. For this I willingly pay the overnight fee and thus support the local tourism a little bit. Even if you camp, you can use the kitchen, the common room and especially the sauna. Additionally, there is always the opportunity to get to know people that one often meets on another section of the trail. In Aktse, for example, we meet a Swedish couple of our age, who we meet several times during the next days.