Since we did not use up our three buffer days on our hike on Kungsleden, we can now enjoy them in Saltoluokta. I find the Fjällstation here to be a wonderful place where you can slowly prepare yourself for civilisation again.
On our first day in Saltoluokta we rested a little and did only a small tour of five kilometers to explore the closer surroundings around the Fjällstation. However, we actually took more rest time than hiking and enjoyed the weather and life in general.
In best weather we leave for Lulep Kierkau
The weather on the second day in Saltoluokta is great, no clouds on the sky and pleasantly warm. We want to use this perfect day to climb a summit in the area. Short research brings us to Lulep Kierkau. Unfortunately it is located in Stora Sjöfallet National Park, where dogs are only allowed between 01.01. and 30.04. Since Lando still makes a rather tired impression anyway, we decide to leave him in our cabin. We tie him with his leash to the bedpost, so that he can’t go and greet new arriving hikers directly.
The path leads us back to the Kungsleden through a birch forest. After this forest has cleared the path splits and leads us up over a gently rising plateau. We already have the steep slope of the Lulep Kierkau down to the lake Akkajaure in view at this point and we can imagine what a view must await us up there! The path is easy to find and leads us over stamped out trails through the already slightly autumnal red colored typical mountain bushes. Although there are tons of blueberries along the way, picking them is not what we have in mind at the moment. A little bit behind us there is a small group of people, which we don’t want to be caught up by.
If you look closely, you will discover snow grouses on the Lulep Kierkau
As steeply as the Lulep Kierkau descends towards the lake, so gently can you climb over the ridge. At the transition between the plateau and the ridge of Lulep Kierkau, the ascent is very steep for a few minutes. We get really out of breath and enjoy the great view, which one has here, a little longer. Thereby we notice that something is moving between the stones. Or were we wrong? No, there it is again – grey snow grouses run around between the stones and quickly take cover from us. Here at the latest it was worthwhile to be ahead of the group, because I suspect that they haven’t seen the snow grouses anymore.
At the top you have a breathtaking view
Arriving on the back of the Lulep Kierkau the track is not so easy to find anymore. But that doesn’t matter, it is flat and you only have to keep an eye on the approximate destination to reach it. The group finishes their summit ascent in the middle of the mountain. The reason they don’t walk the last meters is not understandable to us. It is worthwhile to walk up to the very edge of the cliff. Only here you have the great view over the mountains of the Stora Sjöfallet National Park and far into the Sarek.
We look for a comfortable place to sit. Surprisingly, we find a quite windless spot and enjoy the great view for at least an hour. Then we start our way back, which leads us on the same path back to Saltoluokta. There Lando is waiting for us, who is happy to swim a few laps in the Akkajaure after the sleepy day.
At dinner a special surprise awaits us: Saltoluokta is 100 years old and celebrates this with a traditional meal. The whole dining room has been redecorated so that today we dine by candlelight on long tables. The staff is traditionally dressed and tells us in Swedish about the history of the mountain station. With our knowledge of Swedish and a little help of our Swedish neighbours at the table, we understand (almost) everything! The starter is moose blood dumplings, the main course reindeer stew and cheese ice cream with fermented cloudberry sauce as dessert. What a perfect end to this great day!
STF Saltoluokta Fjällstation
Saltoluokta - Lulep Gierkav
The ascent to the summit plateau takes about 2.5h and for us it was easy to walk. Although the way is not shown on all maps it is easy to find and well marked. A map is posted at the STF Saltoluokta Fjällstation.