The hike to Halti was one of my first longer hiking tours I hade done. We went up by car from southern Finland to Muonio, where we spent a few nights in a scout cabin. The hut acted as our base camp. There we packed our last things and drove off towards Kilpisjärvi. We exchanged for safety’s sake some money to Norwegian kroner, because our destination was on the Norwegian side. The goal was to summit Halti, 1324 meters, or actually the highest point of Finland, because the summit of Halti, 1365 meters, is located on the Norwegian side of the border.
22.8 (12 km)
We left the car at Kilpisjärvi Nature Center and started walking along the Kalottireitti towards Halti. We left Saana (1029 m) in the background and took a short swing into Norway, to be back in Finland in no time. We also met the first reindeer fences on the road. We had planned to put up the tent at Saarijärvi hut, but the rain got us to take us indoors and sleep in the hut.
23.8 (19 km)
The following day the weather had cleared. We wandered through Guonjarvággi and had lunch break at the Kuonjarjoki cottage. We crossed many streams and saw in the distance Saivaara. After a few bridges we began to approach Meekonjärvi. We decided to put up the tent and cook dinner of reindeer stew and mashed potatoes.
24.8 (22 km)
We had again luck with the weather and the sun was shining in the morning. The otherwise rugged landscape had a little variety when we in Meekon valley went through a small forest. We saw also some reindeers. Then we followed Vuomakasjoki up towards the waterfall Pihtsusköngäs, which is the largest waterfall in Finland with a height of 17 meters. At Pihtsusjärvi cottage we held a lunch break and argued about whether we would continue the day or to set up camp. Some who had been and climbed Halti then returned, and told that there is a long way to Halti hut, so we decided to continue the day. In the evening, we arrived at the cottage at the Halti.
25.8 (12 km)
When we awoke in the morning and looked out the window we noticed that it was snowing. We took a leisurely morning and when we wandered off with the direction Halti peak was already half finished. Always occasionally came a cloud with snow, but otherwise the weather was brilliant. On top of Halti, we wrote the names in the book, took a short lunch break and took direction to Guolasjärvi. We camped at the lake and made us a quick dinner.
26.8 (25 km)
We woke up by a grunt in the morning and found that we had reindeers outside the tent. From Guolasjärvi we followed a tractor path towards the road that goes down to Birtavarre. For the most part, it was trending down. The reindeer had now been changed to the lambs as there was plenty of. We also saw many lemmings on the way, but most were dead. The road down to Birtavarre was a serpentine road. Arriving in Birtavarre we searched up the camp where we pitched our last camp.
In the morning we took the bus from Birtavarre to Skibotn where we switched to a bus that took us back to Kilpisjärvi. We drove back the car to our base camp in Muonio. We had the whole trip carrying around for gin and tonic ingredients that we were planning to drink up there at the summit. It was still so cold that it had to be, so we drank our GTs when we got back to our base camp in Muonio.