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  1. #1
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    Default Arctic Circle Trail

    During Corona lockdown, the idea was born to hike the lonliest trail in the world, what the ACT was supposed to be.
    We (my stepdaughter Hanna and me) finally did it just recently. It was a really great trip, possiblly the most impressive I've done so far.

    We estimated 10 days of hiking (which turned out to be exactly right), gave it two days margin if something went bad during the hike, and added another 2 days at the end for some extra guided trip to the Icecap.
    The ACT runs on the west coast of Greenland from Kangerlussuaq (near the icecap) to Sisimiut at the western shore. There is zero signal and no vehicle access along the trail, in case of emergencies.

    What we found the trip to be:
    - 10 days without any connection to civilisation (OK, there were some very simple huts for emergency use, and a hunters camp right in the middle of the trip. And last not least one pit toilet in the middle of nowhere).
    - 171km of wilderness with almost tame wildlife and a fascinating, really great nature.
    - Lakes, ponds, streams and bogs in great numbers. Actually water was everywhere and there were only few stretches of dry land.
    - Great campspots we found whenever we needed a place to stay.
    - Moskitos and Blackflies were present, but in numbers we could handle quite easily.
    - We met about 25 people, approx. half from Eastern countries (Czech Republic, Lithunia,...), two US couples (Texas, Oregon) and a few Europeans.
    So it was not exactly the lonliest trail in the world, but the number of people was within the limit that we took the time to communicate with everybody and to form some friendship.

    Some impressions:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Amazing!! I bet that was really nice place to be, especially with your daughter. Thanks for sharing some photos, too! I’ll have to look this trail up, I’ve never heard of it!!

  3. #3

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    Did you carry 10 days of food?

  4. #4
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    10 days. Nice. Never heard of this trail, thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    Did you carry 10 days of food?
    Yes, we actually carried 12 days worth of food, plus two dried dinner extra each, just to be on the safe side. About 6 kilos of food each.
    Add in the winter setup and yes, the packs were on the heavy side, about 20 kilos the first day.
    On the positive side, water was available everywhwere so we had just our small drinking bottles during the day, plus a spare bottle we filled for making dinner only.

  6. #6

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    So good! A real memory maker I am sure!!

  7. #7
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    As a side note: Hanna developed terrible blisters, so she switched to my spare barefoot socks (Skinners 2.0) and basically hiked well over 150km in socks.
    Take a look at her fb site:
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php/?id...23719078870167

  8. #8
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    Looks beautiful! Not a trail for hammockers it appears. What type wildlife did you encounter?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fudgefoot View Post
    Looks beautiful! Not a trail for hammockers it appears. What type wildlife did you encounter?
    There are very few trees in the Arcitc Circle area of Greenland, and its strictly forbidden to cut or burn wood for campfires. Its basically the only restriction regarding camping I remember to have heard of.
    Near Kangelussuaq somebody started a research project about 45yrs ago by planting a thousand trees of various kind, some of them survived and grew to a height of about 2 meters.

    2023_0828_00224300.jpg

  10. #10

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    Any polar bear concerns?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Any polar bear concerns?
    This was a big topic during the preparations for the hike.
    It's said that polar bears would live more in the East and North, but it could happen that a single bear would drift south with a piece of ice and walk on shore anywhere.
    There seems to be no help if you encounter a hungry polar bear.
    That led me to my favorite comment if anybody asked about polar bear, "Thats the reason why I, old skinny guy, will hike with a crispy young girl. Polar bears are not stupid".
    My wife didn't like this words at all.

    In fact the last encounter with a polar bear in that region was said to have happened about 40yrs ago, when an US soldier saw a young polar bear approaching their outlook post and hit said bear with an iron bar on the head so hard that the bear had to be killed later.

    So no, we didn't see a polar bear.

    There was a lot of wildlife we could watch:
    Musc Ox (several, but in the distance)
    Rendeer (many - curious funny guys)
    Snow Bunnies (all white, not fearsome at all)
    Polar Fox (small guy, very dark brown)
    Ptarmigan (flocks of, completely tame)
    Waterfowl like Canada Geese, Loon, etc.
    Various birds

    It would have been worth the effort to carry good goggles or a long telelense.

  12. #12

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    Sounds so fun. Hard work, but fun!

  13. #13

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    Have never heard of this trail, thanks for posting!

  14. #14
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    This photo is just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing it with us.
    2023_0826_00300400.jpg

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the kind words!
    Nature IS gorgeous, definitely.

    There is a small story behind this foto:
    It was our last day of hiking, and the only day where the weather was kind of poor. Windy, cold, and rainy.
    As it always is our habit, we've started off right after braking camp, to find a nice spot for breakfast later.
    This day it didn't work, there was no nice place, everything wet, windy and cold.
    So we put on all our downjacket&raingear and just huddled in a shallow groove, grumpy and miserable, to get something to eat.
    Miraculously it worked to get the Esbit stove burning, so we could expect some hot Cappucino at least.
    Well fed and slurping the cappucino, the world didn't look that bad after all.
    It was then that we noticed that we were sitting right in the middle of this great Moss-Wonderland you can see in the foto above.
    We didn't forget to say a huge Thank You to nature for this!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Thanks for the kind words!
    Nature IS gorgeous, definitely.

    There is a small story behind this foto:
    It was our last day of hiking, and the only day where the weather was kind of poor. Windy, cold, and rainy.
    As it always is our habit, we've started off right after braking camp, to find a nice spot for breakfast later.
    This day it didn't work, there was no nice place, everything wet, windy and cold.
    So we put on all our downjacket&raingear and just huddled in a shallow groove, grumpy and miserable, to get something to eat.
    Miraculously it worked to get the Esbit stove burning, so we could expect some hot Cappucino at least.
    Well fed and slurping the cappucino, the world didn't look that bad after all.
    It was then that we noticed that we were sitting right in the middle of this great Moss-Wonderland you can see in the foto above.
    We didn't forget to say a huge Thank You to nature for this!
    If you don't mind, I'd like to share your photo to a Facebook group, the Moss Appreciation Society. They will love it!

  17. #17
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    Just go ahead!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Just go ahead!
    I did. And there's HUNDREDS of likes/loves already! It truly is a lovely picture.

  19. #19
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    So nice.
    As a bonus, over there seem to be several biologists who can name some of the stuff.

  20. #20
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    Default

    Sweet! ..bucket list trek! Looks like you had the Lightwave Ultrahike 60 backpack, how did that workout for you?

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