03-Sep-2003 -- Late summer in northern Scandinavia is a beautiful time for hillwalking. I was curious to see the wilderness of the Junkerdalen - Balvatnet area north of the arctic circle in Norway, including a trip to confluence 67°N 16°E.
Unfortunately the weather wasn`t the best during these days. A mild southwestern air stream filled with humidity was captured in the Norwegian fjords, unloading its charge by heavy rain showers while drifting against the eastern range. All mountain tops were wrapped in dense fog.
I traveled by car from Fauske into the old mining region around the small town Sulitjelma. Here I took the road in direction to the settlement Jakobsbakken. Approx. 1 km before the village, I turned south onto a small forest track leading to the lake Balvatnet. This turned out to be about 6 km over crude gravel followed by another 11 km over chuckholes, linked by the description "road way".
On nearly 67°N I looked for a parking space for the car. I found one circa 1.3 km away from the confluence at an altitude of 600 m.
The shower activities were decreasing this afternoon and I started walking to the point at 17:30. The way led through boggy and rocky terrain, dry spots are covered with clear birch forest at first, later on with blue- and crowberries, heather and betula nana. After 45 minutes I located the confluence on 690 m altitude in a swampy vale amidst sphagnum, cotton grass and the native rhododendron lapponicum.
Some traces indicate that this area isn't normally visited by representatives of my species. But with a good pair of wellingtons and careful steps even bipeds like me can cope with these wetly circumstances.
Fortunately the cloudy sky lightened at that time which allowed me to take some photos of the surroundings. Fortunately as well the days before were fairly cold with first frosty nights, so not even one mosquito accompanied my visit in the swamp.
The unexpected weather improvement encouraged a little more walking, and directly southeast of the confluence the ridge of the "Juttar" (altitude 770 m) opens up terrific views on the surrounding mountains and the lake Balvatnet.
At 19:30 I arrived at my waiting car, just as shower activities restarted.