the Degree Confluence Project


12.4 km (7.7 miles) SW of Laisvallsby, Norrbotten, Sweden
Approx. altitude: 565 m (1853 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 66°S 163°W

Accuracy: 4 m (13 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View east #3: View south #4: View west #5: Overview from 18 m east. Confluence is just beyond the right edge of the fallen birch trunk. #6: GPS #7: Midnight view from end point at Laisvallsby

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  66°N 17°E (visit #2) (secondary) 

#1: View north

(visited by Henrik Sunden)

01-Aug-2004 -- This narrative actually describes two attempts, because I tried first to go on July 3rd, encountered rainy weather and a big Laisälven river. I went over by kayak just south of the confluence of Laisälven and Dellikälven, about 11 km southeast of the goal. I walked in spruce forest, a grass meadow (earlier used for getting cattle food), up a 4-wheel motorcycle track to about 600 m elevation. There I aimed towards the goal, but the terrain was sloping downwards to the right and the vegetation was rather thick. Many places the juniper bushes forced me to make deviations. At about 7 p.m. I reached a steep downhill slope towards Skorrombäcken creek. It was raining and the creek was much to wild to be waded. I was 3.26 km from the goal, with no chance to get closer. I walked all the way back, saw one moose, and one hawk owl that was sitting in the top of a spruce and called. I reached the kayak at midnight after a 25 km walk in tough terrain. Then it stopped raining and on the way home the sun was rolling along the horizon. The view over the absolutely calm lake Aisjaure at Båtsjaur village was very beautiful. A few days later it was reported from Vindeln and Umeå, where the water in the confluence area is passing, that Vindelälven and Umeälven rivers were flooding, but the damage was not very large.

Next attempt was made on July 31st to August 1st, with successful result. This time I started from the little village Laisvallsby 13 km northeast of the confluence point, paddled across lake Laisan (still with high water level) to the settlement Västra Laisvall south of Kramaviken. From there it is about 12 km southwest as the crow flies, but since I couldn't count on wading the Dellikälven river, I walked to the bridge across it 14 km almost due west of Västra Laisvall. I started at about 2 p.m. and followed a partly marked footpath, then a 4-wheel motorcycle track. The footpath had a sign Ammarnäs 51 km at the start near the living house at the settlement. The first kilometer or so was through spruce forest, then it was laid wooden boards across bogs and in birch forest with heavy undergrowth. A hen-capercaillie flew up just beside the wooden track. After 2 km it was real steep uphill. Then followed the 4-wheel motorcycle track up through birch forest to the tree line. I passed the little mountain Jållek and here the footpath and motorcycle track separated at the tree line on the west side of the mountain. I took the footpath. It was not very much used, and difficult to find at places, but there were old orange painted marks on birch trunks at a few places. Then the track and the trail joined again and passed over bogs and trough birch forest, then a poorly maintained wooden bridge across Grabbajåkkå creek. Then it was bogs and birch forests again, the a sandy plain that looked like New Mexico, then steep downhill through birch forest to the rusty suspension bridges across Dellikälven. Then it was a steep ascent from 540 m elevation to the tree line at 720 m elevation. Just after the tree line I left the trail and walked through willow. A willow grouse flew up just beside me. I put up the tent on a small hill near the little mountain Airok. I had then walked about 16 km and was still 10.4 km from the confluence. The time was 9.15 p.m.

It was rather hard ground on the hill, and I didn't sleep well. Willow grouses and golden plovers were calling most of the night. Well, the light level is much higher than dusk when it is as darkest.

I got up at 5 a.m., got a blueberry soup breakfast and started walking without the rucksack at 6.13 a.m. A wheatear behaved unnaturally, and I looked around and saw a merlin. It flew several turns around me, probably trying to find the little wheatear.

I walked on the Vittnak ridge at about 840 - 900 m elevation. It was mostly grassland and blueberry patches, and occasional low juniper bushes. Golden plovers, a whimbrel, meadow pipits, and wheatears were observed. The last 2 km were downhill through thick birch and juniper forest, with very heavy undergrowth at some places. The confluence point was reached at 9.15 a.m. and the elevation there was recorded to be 578 m. The vegetation type is mountain birch forest with juniper and a few spruces. It is a moderate slope towards Dellikälven in the northeast.

I started the walk back at 9.45. Saw a rough-legged buzzard fly only 10 meters from me. It took 3 hours 10 minutes to walk back. It was hot and the black flies started to be very aggressive. Back at the tent I had some more blueberry soup and a 20 minutes rest, but it was too hot in the tent to stay there longer and too many black flies outside. This was probably the hottest day of the year in this area. At 3.30 p.m. I started going back to the footpath. A willow grouse (probably the same as last day) flew up on exactly the same spot in the willow area, and flew in the same bow downslope, calling. At a reindeer herders cabin about halfway back I cooked some oat porridge. I saw many bluethroats (the females have a white throat) and heard a few nutcrackers. After consulting a sound track at home, I find the call was most probably a nutcracker's call, but the place seemed quite odd, in the birch forest rather far from the spruces and hazel they should like. I even saw one flying, displaying its black and white tail lit through by the sun. I have seen one in Jämtland, also at a rather high elevation. The nutcrackers in Sweden are of two different races, the normal one usually living in south Sweden, depending on hazel, and the Siberian nutcracker, which eats Arolla pine (Pinus cembra) nuts and which invades Sweden when the Arolla pines in Russia do not produce any cones. A low number of the Siberian nutcracker breed in the cities of Umeå and Skellefteå and are totally dependent on garden Arolla pine trees. I had three of those pines in the garden at home when I grew up in Umeå, and studied the Siberian nutcrackers when they first settled there permanently (around 1970). It was fun to see them open up the pine cones and swallow the nuts. The inside of the cones was extremely sticky, and if I took one pine cone and opened it, the fingers stuck together. But the nutcrackers didn't have any problems with the sticky material.

I reached Västra Laisvall and the kayak at 11 p.m. and paddled across Laisan to Laisvallsby. At midnight it was still rather bright. It was no problem reading the map. I came home Monday morning at 3.30 a.m. Had an accident with a young hen-capercaillie, which was killed. I didn't see it in time near Missenträsk because there were several rubber marks (from young people using the road as a drag strip), so it was almost camouflaged.

Got some shoulder and back pain on Monday evening. I almost couldn't get down in the bed. No wonder after having walked 53 km during two days.

 All pictures
#1: View north
#2: View east
#3: View south
#4: View west
#5: Overview from 18 m east. Confluence is just beyond the right edge of the fallen birch trunk.
#6: GPS
#7: Midnight view from end point at Laisvallsby
ALL: All pictures on one page