Since we were able to recover a little on the fourth day of our Kungsleden adventure and got to bed early, we are up earlier than the day before. Well rested we have breakfast already at 08:30 am. Again we sit on the perfectly suitable stone at the creek, where we can also fill up our water supplies. A glance at the hiking map shows us that today’s destination on Kungsleden, the Tsielekjåkkstuga, is about 14 km from here.
From the beginning of today’s hiking day, we already have a view to the impressive mountain Goabddábakte, over whose ridge the Kungsleden leads us today. It has a steep south face that drops several hundred metres and it almost seems as if it stands there all alone. Ahead of us there is a steep and exhausting ascent of about 300 metres. In between we stop several times and enjoy the incredibly wide view. Thereby, with every meter of altitude gain an enormous panorama opens up, until we finally stand on top and can only marvel.
From the plateau at the Goabddábakte you have a 270 degree panoramic view
We have a fantastic view in three directions, the fourth side is flanked by the face of the Goabddábakte. We enjoy this sight for almost an hour and our eyes keep finding new details in the landscape. The longer we look, the more points in the panorama that lies ahead of us begin to move. And indeed: we discover many different groups of reindeer that move from right to left through the magnificent landscape below our lookout. Lando can also see them and enjoys his very own reindeer-TV.
The attempt to capture this view on camera is not successful, as the distortion of the photo does not reveal the vastness as it actually lies ahead of us. Looking back, this view is definitely one of our absolute highlights of the tour!
On the plateau we are accompanied by reindeer
Even though we certainly can keep admiring the view for many more hours, at some point we get cold and it is time to move on. The Kungsleden crosses a wide plain on our way to the Tsielekjåkkstuga, which we hike through at a brisk pace. Lando has spotted some reindeer that move with us and therefore strains at the leash.
We have come to call this the “reindeer mode”. I thereby have the advantage that I can be pulled by him and save my own strengths. However, I always make sure that Lando doesn’t pull too long, because he also goes beyond his limits and is completely exhausted later on. Especially in situations where the terrain is difficult and requires a certain amount of surefootedness on my part, Lando pulling on the leash is obstructive. If he sees reindeer in those situations he has to walk consistently behind me. To pull through this is sometimes quite exhausting, but necessary to get me and Lando to the finish line safely.
In a narrow ravine the Kungsleden leads down to the Tsielekjåkkstuga
The plateau finally ends in a narrow ravine that opens the way down into the valley. At first it leads down quite steeply, being slippery in some places, then the valley widens and the descent becomes flatter. Above us thick rain clouds come up, hanging deep into the mountain tops. Then the Tsielekjåkkstuga suddenly appears behind a hill. Shortly before we reach our destination the rain starts slowly and we walk the last kilometer at a fast pace in order not to get too wet.
Today we are happy to have a solid roof above us
As we reach the Tsielekjåkkstuga which is directly situated at Kungsleden still before 2:00 pm, we are glad to find it empty. The increasing rain confirms our decision to spend the night here in the hut instead of going on. With our mats and sleeping bags we make ourselves comfortable. Due to the weather we almost don’t leave the hut that day and are glad not to have to eat outside.
The set-up of the Tsielekjåkkstuga at Kungsleden is simple, there are two wooden bunks with an estimated width of one meter each. A small stove provides the necessary heat in case of emergency and a satellite telephone the contact with civilisation. Furthermore, there is a notice with the information for the boat crossing to Kvikkjokk. A few meters from the cabin you will also find a toilet.
In the late afternoon yet another hiker shows up. It is a Czech who is hiking in the opposite direction. He is completely soaked and happy to be in the dry hut now. In search of fresh clothes and his dinner he empties his backpack. We are amazed at what he is carrying around out here: a whole carton of cigarettes. Once again a curiosity of the hiking backpack contents.