For Alkavare via Priest Path (8)

“… Small stone cairns on the heights”

It was just to start looking in slightly different directions. And right as it was I was faced with a rather large pile of rubble. There was no rösning – but it had once been.

It has been a rösning but now it was just a pile of rocks. The lake is visible far below, and with binoculars, I could see more of rösningarna the green grass plateau. We were on to something! This rubble is designated VS15-01-R. VS = Vássjáområdet.

Encouraged by this finding, we were looking on. It began to be tonight, but Diana was anxious that we would not camp out too quickly, without time to go a bit further. Tomorrow’s stage to the chapel would still be quite long. But it was not easy to rush at me now because I had picked up the scent of the trail. At a height some distance away, I saw a pile of rubble to. And it was not ruined.

Next old rösning, which proved to be the Ole Dahl Green and his son found 2013 VS15-02-R on my map.

But it did not end here. As soon as we arrived at a rösning we could check out another on a hill farther away. In retrospect, I have come to think of what I read in a travel story in the Swedish Tourist Association’s yearbook in 1892 (I have quoted this in a previous article on Divine Path). An anonymous traveler tells of his journey from Alkajaure on Prästvägen in 1871: “The road was subtitled, ie angifven through small stone cairns on the heights.” This was exactly what Diana and I saw now.And not only that: all of it was also consistent with that botanist Andersson wrote: “The third day was our hike at the beginning upföre Wassjakullarnas Nedra afsatser …”. An excellent description of how the road’s route is drawn on this stretch.

The map shows the line with newfound rösningar. Everybody is a little outside the present-day journey routes and has got to be alone.Therefore, it was not difficult to assess them as old, and they’ve got red color of the dots. An interesting detail is that the road between the plateau and the cairn PA14-06-R does not prevent altitude but it seems to rise about 60 meters of altitude more than it needed. (Now it is in reality not quite so because the lower path is much more up and down in smådalarna.) Those who did this must have judged that the terrain is so easy to walk and even to offset the work to take a little extra height.They could at that time! Moreover, well the people at that time quite fit and not afraid of physical exertion.

It is now a small picture cavalcade with newfound rösningar.

VS15-03-R, located on a hill that is plotted on the mountain map. Photo taken in the direction we should go. Sarvestjåhkkå and Tjåggnårisvárásj in the background on the right, behind the green slope. A curious detail is that this and the previous rösning is in the photo section Priest Tours‘ camp site number 2 (but very difficult to see because of the reduction of the photo). The silhouetted against the sky like little dots. Had I been checking carefully with binoculars when I took the photo I was able to see them!

Even VS15-04-R stands on a small hill plotted on the mountain map (but hidden on my map).

VS15-06-R is the smaller of two rösningar. In the background stands VS15-05-R is huvudröset and visible at a distance. In the background Padjelanta flat mountain scenery.

VS15-07-R, the only rösningen we found on the priest again, standing in a snow field. I suspect that they were careful to set up rösningarna so that they would not be buried by snow during the years that the summer was late.

VS15-07-R visible from our camp in just over a thousand meters of altitude.

Where we camped was also VS15-08-R at very close range. Previous rösning visible on snow field in the background.

Even VS15-09-R was visible from our camp. We thus had three fascinating rösningar the Priest path in close proximity to our tent! The distance to the reindeer fence is longer than what you might think, the photo was taken with a short telephoto lens. The mountain in the background at left is Tjåggnårisvárásj and behind it rises a few snowy peaks of Sarvestjåhkkå massif. Njoatsosvágge located in the hollow on this side of the mountains.

Rösningen VS15-09-R at close range. A big and burly thing where every stone slab weighing several kilo.Om from the north, from Padjelanta, seen it from afar.

The evening at our camp was nice, but the mosquitoes did what they could to disturb us. To have views of Padjelanta I think this is nice, but Diana always prefer Sarek dramatic peaks. Later in the evening and during the night there was rain and wind, which during most nights on this tour. The next day we continued towards the chapel, where we had about 12 kilometers. Despite eagerly scouting, we saw no more rösningar near our camp so we headed for a rösning we found last year, PA14-06-R (PA = Padjelanta).

This section has by now become so long that the last time stage gets a new section of the blog. It thus becomes part 4 of this small serial. Then there will be also an account of the events at Alkavare chapel and photos on a mountain bird with an unusual appearance.