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The Astonishing Arctic Circle Trail

Ab muscles idea of trekking a long waymarked trail in Greenland must conjure pictures of endless ice-fields, marauding polar bears, desperate struggles for survival and big 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 are there if you'd like them, such as the feature for the trail. Instead, focus on one of several 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 with the Arctic Circle for the entire length, meaning in midsummer there is absolutely no nightfall, and for the brief summer season ordinary trekkers can enjoy the wild and desolate tundra by simply following stone-built cairns. Taking into account there's absolutely nowhere you can get provisions on the route, for more than 100 miles (160km), the hard part shall be ruthless when packing food and all the kit you'll want 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 trail might be completed within a strict budget. Detailed maps and guidebooks can be found.

Some trekkers burden themselves with huge and packs, which require great effort to transport, which in turn means carrying lots of food to stoke 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, and bunks for between four and 24 trekkers. They are not staffed, can not be pre-booked, and give no facilities in addition to shelter. In the event you have a tent, you'll be able to pitch it anywhere you like, subject simply to the nature of the terrain along with the prevailing weather.

Normally, weather emanates from two directions - east and west. An easterly breeze, coming from the ice-cap, is cool and incredibly dry. A westerly breeze, coming off the sea, will take cloud and a way of measuring rain. It's not going to snow in the short summer season, mid-June to mid-September, and also for the remaining time, varying numbers of snow and ice will take care of the way, plus the centre of winter it'll be dark continuously and temperatures will plummet far, far below freezing for months at a stretch.

The air port at Kangerlussuaq enjoys around 300 clear-sky days each year, and so the weather must be good, and the trail starts using a simple tarmac and dirt road. Past the research station at Kellyville, the way is simply narrow path across empty tundra dotted with lakes. If you plan to steer from hut to hut, then your route is going to take maybe nine days, unless stages are doubled-up. Utilizing a tent offers greater flexibility, plus some trekkers complete the path in as little as a week. Huts are placed at Hundeso, Katiffik, The Canoe Centre, Ikkattook, Eqalugaarniarfik, Innajuattok, Nerumaq and Kangerluarsuk Tulleq. Youth hostels and hotels are placed with the terminal points of Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut.

You have the substitute for work with a free kayak to paddle throughout the day along the large lake of Amitsorsuaq, instead of walk along its shore. There are just a number of kayaks, if all of them are moored with the 'wrong' end from the lake, then walking will be the only option. The trail is usually low-lying, below 500ft (150m), but climbs occasionally over 1300ft (400m), notably around Ikkattook, Iluliumanersuup Portornga and Qerrortusuk Majoriaa. You can find a handful of river crossings whose difficulty depends upon melt-water and rainfall. They're difficult at the outset of the season, but much easier to ford later. The greatest river, Ole's Lakseelv, has a footbridge if needed.

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