The Incredible Arctic Circle Trail

Abdominal muscles concept of trekking the longest waymarked trail in Greenland must envision images of endless ice-fields, marauding polar bears, desperate struggles for survival and big expense. In fact, the Arctic Circle Trail comes with a fairly simple trek, provided it can be approached with careful thought and planning. Neglect the huge ice-cap and polar bears, which are there if you would like them, such as the feature around the trail. Instead, concentrate on among the largest ice-free areas of Greenland, between the international airport at Kangerlussuaq along with the western seaboard at Sisimiut.

The Arctic Circle Trail is genuinely north in the Arctic Circle due to the entire length, meaning in midsummer there is absolutely no nightfall, but for the brief summer months ordinary trekkers can enjoy the wild and desolate tundra by simply following stone-built cairns. Taking into account that there’s absolutely nowhere you can aquire provisions on the way, for over 100 miles (160km), the tough part shall be ruthless when packing food as well as the kit you’ll want to stay alive. Water is clean, fresh, plentiful and freely available. In the event you bring all of your food to Greenland and limit your spending, the trail can be completed within a strict budget. Detailed maps and guidebooks can be found.

Some trekkers burden themselves with huge as well as packs, which require great effort to hold, which experts claim means carrying a great deal of food to stoke up with extra calories. Think light and pack light. There are a few basic wooden huts at intervals en route, offering four walls, a roof, and bunks for between four and 24 trekkers. They may not be staffed, cannot be pre-booked, and offer no facilities apart from shelter. In the event you use a tent, you are able to pitch it anywhere you like, subject simply to the nature in the terrain as well as the prevailing weather.

Generally speaking, the elements originates from two directions – east and west. An easterly breeze, coming off the ice-cap, is cool and extremely dry. A westerly breeze, coming over sea, provides cloud as well as a measure of rain. It will not snow in the short summer months, mid-June to mid-September, but also for the remaining time, varying amounts of ice and snow covers the trail, along with the middle of winter it will likely be dark constantly and temperatures will plummet far, far below freezing for months on end.

The airport terminal at Kangerlussuaq enjoys around 300 clear-sky days per year, therefore the weather needs to be good, and also the trail starts by using a simple tarmac and dirt road. At night research station at Kellyville, the path is simply a narrow path across empty tundra dotted with lakes. If you plan just to walk from hut to hut, then your route will require maybe nine days, unless stages are doubled-up. Using a tent offers greater flexibility, and some trekkers complete the route within per week. Huts can be found 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 the choice to use a free kayak to paddle all day down the large lake of Amitsorsuaq, instead of walk along its shore. There are just a few kayaks, of course, if all are moored at the ‘wrong’ end in the lake, then walking will be the only option. The path is usually low-lying, below 500ft (150m), but climbs sometimes over 1300ft (400m), notably around Ikkattook, Iluliumanersuup Portornga and Qerrortusuk Majoriaa. You can find a couple of river crossings whose difficulty is determined by melt-water and rainfall. They’re difficult early in the season, but better to ford later. The most important river, Ole’s Lakseelv, carries a footbridge if need be.

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