The idea of trekking a long waymarked trail in Greenland must conjure up images of endless ice-fields, marauding polar bears, desperate struggles for survival and big expense. In reality, the Arctic Circle Trail comes with a fairly simple trek, provided it really is approached with careful thought and planning. Ignore the huge ice-cap and polar bears, that are there if you want them, try not to feature on the trail. Instead, concentrate on one of many largest ice-free parts of Greenland, involving the airport terminal at Kangerlussuaq as well as the western seaboard at Sisimiut.
The Arctic Circle Trail is genuinely north of the Arctic Circle because of its entire length, meaning that in midsummer there is no nightfall, and also for the brief summer months ordinary trekkers can enjoy the wild and desolate tundra merely by following stone-built cairns. Bearing in mind that there’s absolutely nowhere you can aquire provisions along the way, for upwards of 100 miles (160km), the tough part is to be ruthless when packing food and all the kit you’ll want to stay alive. Water is clean, fresh, plentiful and freely available. If you bring your food to Greenland and limit your spending, the path could be completed on a tight budget. Detailed maps and guidebooks are available.
Some trekkers burden themselves with huge and packs, which require great effort to handle, which means carrying plenty of food to stoke track of extra calories. Think light and pack light. There are many basic wooden huts at intervals en route, offering four walls, a roof, and bunks for between four and 24 trekkers. They’re not staffed, can not be pre-booked, and offer no facilities aside from shelter. If you possess a tent, it is possible to pitch it anywhere you prefer, subject only to the nature with the terrain and the prevailing weather.
Normally, the elements comes from two directions – east and west. An easterly breeze, coming from the ice-cap, is cool and extremely dry. A westerly breeze, coming over sea, will bring cloud and a way of rain. It will not snow inside the short summer time, mid-June to mid-September, as well as the remaining time, varying quantities of ice and snow will handle the path, plus the middle of winter it will likely be dark continuously and temperatures will plummet far, far below freezing for months at a time.
The air port at Kangerlussuaq enjoys around 300 clear-sky days each year, so the weather ought to be good, and the trail starts by using a straightforward 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 are planning simply to walk from hut to hut, then this route will need maybe nine days, unless stages are doubled-up. Employing a tent offers greater flexibility, and several trekkers complete the road after as little as every week. Huts are placed at Hundeso, Katiffik, The Canoe Centre, Ikkattook, Eqalugaarniarfik, Innajuattok, Nerumaq and Kangerluarsuk Tulleq. Youth hostels and hotels are located with the terminal points of Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut.
There is a substitute for utilize a free kayak to paddle for hours on end along the large lake of Amitsorsuaq, as opposed to walk along its shore. There are just a few kayaks, if they are all moored with the ‘wrong’ end with the lake, then walking is the only option. The trail is often low-lying, below 500ft (150m), but climbs sometimes over 1300ft (400m), notably around Ikkattook, Iluliumanersuup Portornga and Qerrortusuk Majoriaa. There are a couple of river crossings whose difficulty is dependent upon melt-water and rainfall. These are generally difficult at the start of the growing season, but much easier to ford later. The largest river, Ole’s Lakseelv, includes a footbridge if needed.
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