Mountains with names ending in buovvda are rounded and smooth. A wreath of forest decorates their base. This is true for the mountain Gáldesbuovdda, or Galtispouda, which is the most widely used spelling today. (Bouvdda is also the name for a bald man)
According to Sámi mythology it was the wind god Biegga Galles who polished them into their rounded shapes. According to the Nordic family dictionary, Biegga Galles is believed to “with his shovel (koivo) throw out wind and storm to torment the Sámi on the mountains”. The god of winds is depicted on the Sámi drum with a shovel in his right hand and a club in his left.
Gáldesbuovdda is a low mountain, 800 metres above the sea. It’s located some kilometres south of the Arctic Circle and you can see the midnight sun from the top between the 12th and 30th of June. The view of Arjeplog is magnificent and you can gaze out over forests, villages and cultivated areas; on a clear day you can see all the way to neighbouring Norway.
The inland archipelago, teeming with prehistoric remains up to seven thousand years old, is at your feet. “This was a rich landscape for Stone Age hunters, with an abundance of fish and game. There are many traces of settlements on the sandy ridges”, writes the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, referring to the nature reserve decided upon in 1971.
Gáldesbuovdda must be one of the most impressive viewing points in the country - Janrik Bromé wrote in 1920, hes an old Swedish author.
The author Janrik Bromé visited Arjeplog several times: 1912, 1918 and 1920. He writes that “if possible do not fail to climb” the mountain Gáldesbuovdda. “If the water is ice-free you row across lower Hornavan to the foot of the mountain, then you can walk up to the top in less than an hour. The path from the lake is easy to hike, at that”. Bromé describes how villagers gather on top of the mountain during midsummer nights to see the sun. He makes it to the peak himself and sees “the red, glowing orb of the midnight sun” and says it must be one of the most impressive viewing points in the country.
These days a tarmac road takes you all the way to the top. On the south side of the mountain there’s a ski resort: Galtis, and a hotel: Silver Lodge. Looking at Gáldesbuovdda you can see the bedrock. The mountain range begins thirty km to the west, beyond Jäckvick, and is much younger. In other words the wind god Biegga Galles polished something really, really old.