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The Amazing Arctic Circle Trail

The concept of trekking the longest waymarked trail in Greenland must conjure pictures of endless ice-fields, marauding polar bears, desperate struggles for survival and large expense. In fact, the Arctic Circle Trail provides a fairly simple trek, provided it is approached with careful thought and planning. Neglect the huge ice-cap and polar bears, which can be there if you want them, try not to feature on the trail. Instead, focus on among the largest ice-free elements of Greenland, between the air port at Kangerlussuaq and the western seaboard at Sisimiut.

The Arctic Circle Trail is genuinely north from the Arctic Circle due to the entire length, so that in midsummer there's no nightfall, and also for the brief summer season ordinary trekkers can enjoy the wild and desolate tundra by simply following stone-built cairns. Considering that there's absolutely nowhere you can get provisions on the way, more than 100 miles (160km), hard part is usually to be ruthless when packing food and all sorts of kit you have to stay alive. Water is clean, fresh, plentiful and freely available. If you bring all your food to Greenland and limit your spending, the way can be completed on a tight 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 track of extra calories. Think light and pack light. There are many basic wooden huts at intervals en route, offering four walls, a roof covering, and bunks for between four and 24 trekkers. They aren't staffed, is not pre-booked, and provide no facilities apart from shelter. Should you possess a tent, you'll be able to pitch it anywhere that suits you, subject simply to the in the terrain and the prevailing weather.

Generally speaking, the next thunderstorm comes from two directions - east and west. An easterly breeze, coming over ice-cap, is cool and incredibly dry. A westerly breeze, coming from the sea, brings cloud as well as a way of rain. It won't snow within the short summer season, mid-June to mid-September, but also for the rest of the time, varying numbers of snow and ice covers the way, plus the midst of winter it's going to be dark constantly and temperatures will plummet far, far below freezing for months at a time.

The air-port at Kangerlussuaq enjoys around 300 clear-sky days a year, and so the weather needs to be good, and the trail starts following an easy tarmac and dirt road. After dark research station at Kellyville, the trail is simply a narrow path across empty tundra dotted with lakes. If you intend to walk from hut to hut, then a route will need maybe nine days, unless stages are doubled-up. Utilizing a tent offers greater flexibility, and a few trekkers complete the route after as little as per week. Huts are situated at Hundeso, Katiffik, The Canoe Centre, Ikkattook, Eqalugaarniarfik, Innajuattok, Nerumaq and Kangerluarsuk Tulleq. Youth hostels and hotels can be found with the terminal points of Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut.

You have the option to make use of a free kayak to paddle all day along the large lake of Amitsorsuaq, as an alternative to walk along its shore. There are just a handful of kayaks, and if they all are moored on the 'wrong' end in the lake, then walking is the only option. The path can often be low-lying, below 500ft (150m), but climbs sometimes over 1300ft (400m), notably around Ikkattook, Iluliumanersuup Portornga and Qerrortusuk Majoriaa. There is a couple of river crossings whose difficulty depends upon melt-water and rainfall. They're difficult at the outset of the season, but quicker to ford later. The biggest river, Ole's Lakseelv, carries a footbridge if needed.

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