On the last day of our hiking trips I am always a bit sentimental. What seemed so far away two weeks ago is now suddenly so tangible. On the other hand, I am also looking forward to coming back to Saltoluokta once again after six years. I liked this place very much and have positive memories, even though I had to quit my tour on the Kungsleden in Saltoluokta for health reasons back then. This year, however, Manuel is not quite fit and so it is a good thing that we arrive in Saltoluokta today.
The colours of the autumnal fjäll are really intense
Today at least the weather is a bit better again. It is windy and the clouds still hang low in the mountains. But it is not raining and the fog has cleared up a little bit. Nevertheless, we cannot see particularly far, as we hike through a plateau which is limited by mountains covered by clouds. The landscape here is barren and we can see that autumn is slowly coming. Here and there the fjäll already shines in the most beautiful red tones. I would like to be a fly on the wall here two weeks later and see what it looks like then. But for this adventure I would have to buy a warmer sleeping bag, as it can get quite chilly then. But this is a different project…
Avtsusjvágge offers us welcome weather protection
For some time we walk across the barren and in its own way magical plateau. Slowly clouds are gathering and Manuel, who was ahead in the beginning, is falling further and further behind. He really does not seem to be well. With the first raindrops we arrive at the Avtsusjvágge shelter. Inside it is equipped with a small stove, a limited supply of wood and beds for an emergency overnight stay. There is even a toilet behind the hut. It is a perfect place for a break and protects us from the upcoming rain shower.
After about half an hour, an elderly Swedish couple joins us. Both are soaking wet and are also looking for shelter from the weather. Unfortunately they do not seem to understand the notice on the stove. It asks to use the small wood supply only in an emergency. Now, at the end of the season there are only a few pieces of wood left. It is really not cold in the hut and to my disbelief the Swede immediately starts to light a fire. Thereby he is annoyed about the fact that the chimney is torn and the smoke is drawn into the hut. But this does not stop him from continuing his efforts to get the fire going.
Saltoluokta is a great ending point for a trekking tour on the Kungsleden
We leave the hut, which is now becoming increasingly uncomfortable due to the smoke, and set off again. The short break has given us enough rest and the rain is almost over. Strengthened and with anticipation we continue walking over the plateau towards Saltoluokta.
Finally, the landscape opens up and the various reservoirs that extend east and west of Saltoluokta become visible. A great panorama, also with the mountain Lulep Kierkau, which rises high above the dammed Luleälv. We can guess where we might have walked on the other side of the lakes last year, coming from the north. The last descent of Kungsleden just before Saltoluokta is quite a long one. Finally we enter a beautiful mixed forest with many old pine-trees. Then we already see the first houses of the mountain station!
Sentimentality is now accompanied by the joy and satisfaction of having hiked the trail. Six years after my first attempt on the Kungsleden, I was much better prepared this time and therefore able to enjoy the trip very much. But what always remains the same in the end is the longing for a good hot shower!
STF Fjällstation Saltoluokta
The mountain station in Saltoluokta is a good starting or ending point for hikes in the mountains. Due to the easy accessibility, however, regular tourists also use the infrastructure of Saltoluokta for (guided) day trips around the mountain station. Saltoluokta offers the opportunity for accommodation ranging from staying in your own tent to hotel-like rooms. If you have a special room request, you should book in advance.
The Saltoluokta Fjällstation is only accessible on foot from the mountains or by the boat MS Langas via the identically named lake Langas. Kebnats – the stop on the opposite side of the lake – is easily accessible by car and also by public transport. Information, timetables and maps are available at www.ltnbd.se and www.sj.se. The boat schedule is coordinated with the bus schedule. Boat tickets can be bought on board with cash or credit card.
Saltoluokta is a well equipped mountain station. It is in the STF category with 76-100 beds. There are showers with hot running water, a restaurant, shop, sauna, free wifi, guest kitchen and much more. At the reception there is a lot of information about different daytrips and also guided hikes throughout the mountains.
Cash or with credit card. We were even able to split our bill. We paid a part with our remaining Swedish kronor and the rest by credit card. So we didn’t have to take any foreign currency home.
More information at: www.swedishtouristassociation.com