Day 3. Against the wind
09.09. Nijak - Ruohtesvagge. Distance: 16.6 km
The morning was something we always hope to see in the mountains - snow-capped peaks and clear skies. While we were preparing breakfast, and running around with camera in hand, the first clouds appeared on the horizon. When we packed up the camp, the sky was completely overcast.
We started out in Ruohtesvagge Valley, going against the wind. It was blowing so strongly, that we felt like we were in an aerodynamic tube. There wasn’t anyplace to escape the wind while crossing the valley, so we were moving very slowly.
We had to cross a lot of swamps, but in most cases we were able to find a way to bypass them pretty easily.
Soon, we began to have problems with “false trails.” At one point, we did not notice the path splitting, and went far from the route we had planned. We were forced to go back again, against the wind and off road.
About half the way we had an opportunity to rest and escape the wind in a small hut that had been was very neglected. However, it was a welcome respite by allowing us some shelter from the storm and to stay for a while to drink a cup of tea.
The main obstacle for that day was crossing the Smajlajjahka River. It comes from the glacier, so the water temperature in the river is what you would expect - a little bit above zero. Snowmelt season was over, so we were hoping that the river would not be too deep. As it happened - we had to cross only a single duct.
The river water was a dull white color and so it was hard to determine what the depth was in any given spot.
But there was nothing to worry about - the water level just reached our knees. However, looking at the riverbed we can imagine that during the high water season crossing the Smajllajahka River could be a serious challenge.
The first check of neoprene socks we bought just before our trip proved that purchasing them had been really the right choice! We had an experience in Iceland when, after crossing even a small river only a few meters wide our feet were numb. But, in neoprene socks there was no such problem. Good thing! Very recommended.
Along the shore we saw some good places for an overnight stay. But we decided to walk a couple more kilometers in order to reduce the passage for the following day.