12 March 2013

Sunday the third

Sunday the third: A long and hard day
Fjällstation - Tarfala pass - Signi 25 km

I woke up at two and at five o'clock.  At seven we got up. It  was good we had two sets of sleeping bags: The outer were wet. We brushed frost away from tent walls and started to dry the tent by burning the cooker. It worked quite well.

Sunday morning looked good
I made food for the dogs and checked how they are. They looked OK - it was not a very cold night, maybe minus ten degrees.
We could see the sun rising from behind the clouds.

We decided to wait and see if the weather will be better and pet ourselves with a breakfast in the mountain hotel. We had not taken any swedish money with us, but they did take euros in the hotel.

As we were eating, we could see that the day was really going to be sunny! So, after packing the tent and pulkas we headed to Tarfala. We struggled for three hours in the snow to find a way there, but we  didn't. We tried both sides of the canyon, but there was no tracks at all.
Not too easy

Finally we got so close to the Tarfala valley- pass that we could see it looked dangerous.
The hills on both sides were steep and there was  fresh snow hanging from upper hills. No wonder nobody went there today!

 I'm sure the guides at the hotel could have told us that. We felt a little bit stupid for not asking them, but at least we had a good adventure this morning...

We came back to the bridge at about one o'clock and started making lunch with cooker. I said:
- Let's ski to Signi instead. My husband agreed. But just then cooker stopped. There was something wrong with it. My husband had to put it to pieces twice before it started working again. The sun was shining, so I didn't mind. I put on warm coats to me and to dogs, gave them their lunch and enjoyed the rest.
Going to Signi

Finaly, at about three a clock we were ready to start our 15 km jurney to Signi. The sun was already going behind the mountains and it was getting colder, but it was all very very beautiful.

We skied and skied but we couldn't stop looking up to the mountaintops. You just cant believe how big they are - and how small you are.  It makes your worries seem small and even mankind seem little compared to these giant things nature is made of- And if you compare The Scandinavian Mountains with The Alps or Himalaja, they are only knee- high!
Been there, seen that!
 As we passed Duolbagorni, we could see the white South Top of Kebnekaise (2104 m) from behind it. I thought:
- Now I've done it!

What I should have been thinking was: There is a long way still to go...

At about six the wind started to blow hard. It felt freezing. We could hardly stop at all, we just had to keep moving. I wanted to pee but I couldn't take of my trousers, so I didn't! Later we found out it had been -27 degrees at this point.

As it got dark, we drank last of the warm water and tried to keep moving. My husband later told me I was moving so slow he was thinking about leaving my pulka behind and coming later back for it.

I didn't know how far it was to the cabin, and I started to think I can't make it there. We had to go uphill all the time and I felt I have no power left at all. Maybe we must sleep in the tent? In that  coldness, I didn't like the idea at all.

To be honest, I can't really remember the last few kilometers. It was dark and we had our lamps on. I had to walk a bit going downhill - I was afraid to ski in the darkness being so tired and not seeing how steep the hill was. 
Miilu and Mora in cabin Signi 

At about eight o'clock in the evening we reached the cabin. It felt like heaven.

 Even our dogs were allowed to sleep inside- and they truly deserved it!

The joy of being saved gave me new streght, so I brought all our stuff inside, put skies and pulkas tied under the cottage and minded the dogs while my husband went to get firewood and water.
Aurora Borealis

In the end there was more than -30 degrees that night. And there were some Northern Lights in the sky! My husband was able to catch some of them with his camera.

Things that worked well: 
- We got to the cabin for the extremely cold night
- excellent breakfast, lunch and snacks
- the dogs pulled and helped us all day, even late in the night
- Clothes, especially my Fjäll Räven Eko Tour -suit was amazingly warm!

Things to consider next time: 
- Talking to each other more when making decisions
- Sharing all the information available
- Planning the day so, that even option B is not over the limit
- What if, going to Signi, something had happened to my husband? What would I have done?

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