The Outstanding Arctic Circle Trail

Ab muscles notion of trekking a long waymarked trail in Greenland must conjure up pictures of endless ice-fields, marauding polar bears, desperate struggles for survival and big expense. Actually, the Arctic Circle Trail offers a pretty easy trek, provided it really is approached with careful thought and planning. Neglect the huge ice-cap and polar bears, that happen to be there if you would like them, such as the feature around the trail. Instead, give full attention to one of the largest ice-free areas of Greenland, between your airport terminal at Kangerlussuaq and also the western seaboard at Sisimiut.

The Arctic Circle Trail is genuinely north of the Arctic Circle because of its entire length, so that in midsummer there isn't any nightfall, but for the brief summertime ordinary trekkers can savor the wild and desolate tundra by just following stone-built cairns. Keeping in mind that there's absolutely nowhere you can acquire provisions along the way, for upwards of 100 miles (160km), the hard part is usually to be ruthless when packing food and all the kit you have to stay alive. Water is clean, fresh, plentiful and freely available. In the event you bring your entire food to Greenland and limit your spending, the path might be completed within a strict budget. Detailed maps and guidebooks can be obtained.

Some trekkers burden themselves with huge as well as packs, which require great effort to handle, which experts claim means carrying a lot of food to stoke on top of extra calories. Think light and pack light. There are a few basic wooden huts at intervals along the route, offering four walls, a roof, and bunks for between four and 24 trekkers. They may not be staffed, cannot be pre-booked, and gives no facilities aside from shelter. In the event you carry a tent, you are able to pitch it anywhere you prefer, subject just to the character in the terrain and the prevailing weather.

In general, the weather comes from two directions - east and west. An easterly breeze, coming off the ice-cap, is cool and also dry. A westerly breeze, coming over sea, will bring cloud as well as a way of rain. It certainly can't snow from the short summertime, mid-June to mid-September, but for the remaining portion of the time, varying quantities of snow and ice will take care of the path, along with the centre of winter it's going to be dark on a regular basis and temperatures will plummet far, far below freezing for months at a stretch.

The air-port at Kangerlussuaq enjoys around 300 clear-sky days per year, therefore the weather should be good, and also the trail starts following a straightforward tarmac and dirt road. Past the research station at Kellyville, the trail is simply a narrow path across empty tundra dotted with lakes. If you plan just to walk from hut to hut, then a route is going to take maybe nine days, unless stages are doubled-up. Using a tent offers greater flexibility, plus some trekkers complete the route inside every week. Huts are situated at Hundeso, Katiffik, The Canoe Centre, Ikkattook, Eqalugaarniarfik, Innajuattok, Nerumaq and Kangerluarsuk Tulleq. Youth hostels and hotels are located in the terminal points of Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut.

You will find the choice to use a free kayak to paddle all day long over the large lake of Amitsorsuaq, instead of walk along its shore. There are only a few kayaks, if all of them are moored in the 'wrong' end with the lake, then walking could be the only option. The way is often low-lying, below 500ft (150m), but climbs occasionally over 1300ft (400m), notably around Ikkattook, Iluliumanersuup Portornga and Qerrortusuk Majoriaa. There is a handful of river crossings whose difficulty is dependent upon melt-water and rainfall. These are generally difficult at the outset of the season, but much easier to ford later. The greatest river, Ole's Lakseelv, features a footbridge if need be.

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