The Incredible Arctic Circle Trail

Ab muscles thought of trekking a long waymarked trail in Greenland must conjure images of endless ice-fields, marauding polar bears, desperate struggles for survival and huge expense. In reality, the Arctic Circle Trail offers a fairly simple trek, provided it's approached with careful thought and planning. Overlook the huge ice-cap and polar bears, that happen to be there if you need them, try not to feature on the trail. Instead, pay attention to one of the largest ice-free aspects of Greenland, relating to the air-port at Kangerlussuaq as well as the western seaboard at Sisimiut.

The Arctic Circle Trail is genuinely north with the Arctic Circle for the entire length, meaning in midsummer there is no nightfall, and also for the brief summer months ordinary trekkers can savor the wild and desolate tundra merely by following stone-built cairns. Taking into account that there are absolutely nowhere you can acquire provisions on the route, more than 100 miles (160km), the tough part will be ruthless when packing food as well as the kit you have to stay alive. Water is clean, fresh, plentiful and freely available. In case you bring all your food to Greenland and limit your spending, the path might be completed on a budget. Detailed maps and guidebooks can be purchased.

Some trekkers burden themselves with huge and packs, which require great effort to handle, which means carrying lots of food to stoke up with extra calories. Think light and pack light. There are a few basic wooden huts at intervals along the way, offering four walls, a roof covering, and bunks for between four and 24 trekkers. They are not staffed, is not pre-booked, and gives no facilities besides shelter. In case you have a tent, you'll be able to pitch it anywhere you prefer, subject just to the type from the terrain as well as the prevailing weather.

Generally speaking, the elements comes from two directions - east and west. An easterly breeze, coming over ice-cap, is cool and also dry. A westerly breeze, coming off of the sea, brings cloud and a measure of rain. It won't snow from the short summer time, mid-June to mid-September, but for the remaining portion of the time, varying numbers of snow and ice will cover the trail, along with the midst of winter it will likely be dark on a regular basis and temperatures will plummet far, far below freezing for months on end.

The airport terminal at Kangerlussuaq enjoys around 300 clear-sky days each year, so the weather should be good, as well as the trail starts using a simple tarmac and dirt road. Past the research station at Kellyville, the way is simply a narrow path across empty tundra dotted with lakes. If you intend just to walk from hut to hut, then this route will require maybe nine days, unless stages are doubled-up. Using a tent offers greater flexibility, and a few trekkers complete the path inside per week. Huts are located at Hundeso, Katiffik, The Canoe Centre, Ikkattook, Eqalugaarniarfik, Innajuattok, Nerumaq and Kangerluarsuk Tulleq. Youth hostels and hotels are placed at the terminal points of Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut.

There is the choice to use a free kayak to paddle for hours on end across the large lake of Amitsorsuaq, as an alternative to walk along its shore. There are just a number of kayaks, if they all are moored at the 'wrong' end from the lake, then walking is the only option. The way is often low-lying, below 500ft (150m), but climbs sometimes over 1300ft (400m), notably around Ikkattook, Iluliumanersuup Portornga and Qerrortusuk Majoriaa. There's a handful of river crossings whose difficulty is determined by melt-water and rainfall. These are generally difficult early in the season, but better to ford later. The biggest river, Ole's Lakseelv, has a footbridge if required.

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