Sarek in August; Part 5

Day 6

We made breakfast and broke camp with no hurry at all. Fredrik was faster than me this morning, and looked a bit restless while I packed. I had been having problems with headaches during the night, and therefore lay down for a long time in the morning until the pain meds kicked in.

We filled up our water bottles and started hiking north, towards Alep Válak. We had planned to pitch our tents with a view of the lake Sitojaure. It was only a short hike from our previous camp site, about two to three km.

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View from Alep Válak, with the stream Sijddoädno in the middle of the photo

It didn’t take long to go there. The ground was flat, albeit littered with boulders and pierced by melting water from snow and glaciers on Rådnik and Dágarlåbddå. On our way towards our new camp site we passed a locked hut that the Sámi use when they’re tending to their reindeer herds. We were hiking just along the eastern border of Sarek.

Around 12.00 we arrived and found a good place to set up the tents. The view was amazing with Sitojaure some 500 meters below us, but we were both aware that the location was anything but ideal when it came to wind. The valley with Sitojaure goes in a north-west to south-east direction, and in the north-western end of the lake there is another valley in the north-south direction. We had a lot of open areas and not much wind protection.

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Great view, and (in the beginning) nice weather
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I built a wind cover from the surrounding rocks

It blew really heavily, but our camp site was filled with large rocks, and we anchored the tents well, and also built wind guards around the perimeter to reduce the amount of wind that would enter under the fly, and also relieve some stress from the anchor points.

The weather had been great in the morning. Sunny and much warmer than the day before. Once we had set up the tents, dark clouds came towards us, and soon the whole sky was covered with gray rain clouds. A slight drizzle fell over us.

We had lunch in our tents, and then went out and looked more at the view. Fredrik had found a small stream a few hundred meters from the camp site. A  patch of snow, still unmelted, formed a little stream of water that we could fill our bottles from.

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Dinner with a view

It rained on and off during the day. Hard wind-driven rain. We laid in our tents and read, and this day was the first one that I cooked inside my tent. I have used the floor over the entire surface to reduce condensation earlier. But with the wind on this location, condensation was no problem, so I only put polycro under the sleeping mat.

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We had a rainbow between the rains

During the night, the wind blew even worse. I went to bed at around 20.30, prepared for another sleepless night, but actually slept pretty well. I used the down jacket as a pillow instead of the inflatable pillow, and it worked better and was much more comfortable. It was in a dry bag that was a bit open to be able shape it better.

I felt a little worried about the tent, and if it would hold up, but I decided to break those thoughts. If it was to happen then I would solve the situation then. And I’ve seen videos of Ultamids standing up in severe snowstorms in Alaska, and this was nothing compared to that. I slept relatively well all night.

I made a short video to show how the tents held up in the wind.

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2 thoughts on “Sarek in August; Part 5

  1. It’s very nice to follow your trip through your posts on this blog.

    The photo you have with your tent and in the background the rainbow is really wonderful. It’s great to see the white of the Ultramid, the grey of the clouds and the rainbow colors in the background.

    Also, very interesting to see, how well the tent performs with the wind. Can you estimate (+/-) how many km of wind you had? Also, i have noticed that you place 2 trekking poles (one upside down) in order to hold the tent. Is this because of the high winds?

    Ps. I always use my down jacket (Incredilite Endurance by Cumulus) as a pillow, in the exact same way …which is inside a dry bag with an open end.

    Like

    1. Unfortunately I have no clue about the wind speed. I’ve heard that it’s easy to overestimate the speed. I’ve thought about trying to find a cheap lightweight wind speed meter but I really haven’t put much effort into finding one yet.

      The reason I use two trekking poles is because of the height. The shelter is 160cm and my trekking poles are only 145cm. But having double poles in the middle do give the structure added strength, since the center pole takes up much of the wind force. Last year my friend used my Sil Hexpeak, a tipi, and the mid section of his aluminum hiking pole got bent from the wind force. And that wasn’t even on our windiest night.

      Like

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