A Trip to Didnojiehkki

Photos by Aarne Ranta

July 22-28, 2003.

The trip was a hike from the Finnish-Norwegian border north of Kilpisjärvi to the Arctic Sea at the Lyngen Fjord. On the map, it only makes 40 km, but the terrain is demanding, and we made two ascents on the way, one of the Rieppegaisi (1450m, easy), and the other of Didnojiehkki (1560m, more demanding). The photos below are from the epic traverse of Didnojiehkki-Sommarfjellet, started at noon on Saturday and finished at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The fascination of the region lies in the fact that it is very unknown. There are neithero huts nor paths (except an old military (?) road that we crossed), and we found no route descriptions to the mountain. The map was thus essential, but it did not completely save us from surprises. To see a map, click here and zoom in. We did not even see any people, except at our first night's camp site 5 km from the highway. So it was just the three of us: Hannu Immonen, Pertti Mustajoki, and I.

To compare with the Alps, you can add around 2000m to the altitudes to get the corresponding climate and vegetation zones. This implies that you can get to an essentially high-alpine terrain without vertically long approaches (although you may have to walk quite a bit from the road and definitely carry everything with you!), and also that you don't need to worry about acclimatization. Another bonus is the midnight sun, permitting activity at any time of the day; the weather and snow conditions do not change remarkably during the day, either.

You can click on the pictures to make them bigger. The jpg file size is around 1M. The dull parts (e.g. links and thumbnails) of this Html file were created by a Haskell script.

Picture 1: At the first campsite close to Treriksröset.

Picture 2: Juomvatcahkka.

Picture 3: Norddalen down to Kitdalen.

Picture 4: Reindeer close to campsite in Elsnesdalen.

Picture 5: Clouds have disappeared from Didnojiehkki.

Picture 6: A part of the mighty east face of Didno.

Picture 7: Going up the southern flank of Didno.

Picture 8: Ranunculus glacialis at 1200m.

Picture 9: Below the summit wall.

Picture 10: Looking down the ascent-finishing couloir.

Picture 11: The summit snow cap.

Picture 12: Dark clouds approaching from South.

Picture 13: The summit cap left behind.

Picture 14: The summit plateau with the cap.

Picture 15: The south-east ridge seen over the summit plateau.

Picture 16: View on the Lyngen peninsula.

Picture 17: View on the Lyngen fjord 1300m below.

Picture 18: The descent was more work than expected.

Picture 19: Camping place at Horsnes.

See also: photos from Mont Blanc.