It is nice to get visitors, and even better if the weather is good so we can show off the beautiful country we live in. And this summer the weather has been excellent, a nice change after the very wet and cold summer in 2010. At the end of July we joined our visitors for a 3.5 day walk from the Finnish border near Kilpisjärvi to Rostadalen, staying in the Troms Turlag huts Goldahytte, Gappohytte and Rostahytte along the way. It wasn't particularly busy and at both Golda and Rosta we had one of the huts for ourselves. During the day we didn't see anyone else. It was easy walking in nice warm and sunny weather, sometimes even hot!, and the mosquitos were only really annoying around Goldahytte. I can't believe how many lemmings we have seen, they were everywhere, dead or alive, it really is a lemming year! But there was also quite some birdlife in the mountains: above the tree line mostly water and wading birds, golden plovers, ringed plovers, arctic skuas, ruffs, but also golden eagles; lots of small birds in the forests, of which the bluethroat was one of the less common ones.
We have mostly been in these areas in winter as summers are often occupied with fieldwork in the coastal areas. In the winter it is magic here, a quiet snow covered landscape and cosy huts. But it is also stunningly beautiful in summer and this trip was a good reminder that we really should spend more time exploring these areas in summer too.
Start of the trail from the road near Kilpisjärvi.
an old (dog)sled
the first day's highest point
Mining relics of old copper mines.
Lots of golden plovers on the mountains.
Goldahytte is very close (3 km) from the triple country point where Finland, Sweden and Norway meet and we had never been there. So at the end of day one, after having our dinner in the hut, Tony and I made a little side trip and walked along the lake to the triplepoint and visited both Sweden and Finland.
The triplepoint: we are standing in Sweden, Finland is straight ahead, and Norway to the left.
A stoat was living in the wood shed at Goldahytte.
The second day, walking to Gappohytte.
Major river valleys cutting through the side of the mountain.
Gappohytte is right next to the border with Sweden. Note the red crosses marking the winter route in Sweden, it is impossible to get lost there. Fortunately there are no such markings in Norway.
The Gappo huts, the old hut to the left, new hut in the middle, and woodshed/toilet to the right.