|Time of year:||Early September 2024 [2023 Invitational Expedition FULL]|
|Duration:||12 days guided trekking (travel time extra)|
|Grade:||Strenuous – Demanding|
|Max group size:||10|
|Additional costs:||Flights (schedule opens 1/10/23) + personal travel insurance|
Hike Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail with us through remote wilderness and witness first-hand, the rapidly melting ice-sheet.
Greenland. Home to the world’s second largest ice-sheet. Home also to the Inuit people who have hunted here for over 4,200 years. It’s pretty much as remote as it gets. Pristine wilderness that we are privileged to share with you as responsibly as we possibly can.
Following the principles of Leave No Trace, we will hike Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail from the ice-sheet itself to Sisimiut, a pilgrimage of sorts. Bearing witness to the rapidly melting ice-cap should serve to remind us of our impact on this planet and just how much leaving no trace really matters.
On arrival into Kangerlussuaq, we spend our first night in hostel style accommodation, have our briefing and pack for the trail. The next morning, we send on a parcel with a change of clothes each to await us in Sisimiut and get our transfer to the ice-sheet at Pt. 660, to start our journey on foot.
This visit to the ice-sheet is followed by our first afternoon of hiking and our first night of camping near the phenomenal Russell Glacier which extends out from the ice-pack. The next day, we walk on (back) to Kangerlussuaq where we spend a second night in our hostel accommodation, packing the rest of our food and make any necessary adjustments to our kit. These first two days are not actually on the ACT itself, but the ice-sheet is simply unmissable and many people who hike Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail start here for that very reason.
The following morning we begin the actual Arctic Circle Trail. Roughly following the Arctic Circle itself, the trail traverses the rolling hills of the arctic tundra for over 160km, show-casing its autumnal colours, many lakes and perhaps even some snow-capped mountains. Snow is not unusual at this time of year and nights can be cold, but our specialist kit will keep you comfortable in camp.
We walk up to 20km per day, carrying our own packs (start weight can be 20kg) and are utterly self-sufficient in this remote wilderness. As such, you do need to be an experienced hiker with good strength, fitness, mobility and mental resilience.
With luck, we should see reindeer, musk oxen, arctic fox and hare, along with several bird species, some of which are quite rare. We aim to cover enough ground to arrive in Sisimiut after 9 or 10 days of hiking.
Celebratory dinner at our hotel on our final evening together is also included. But before that… the well-deserved hot tub!
Warning: This type of experience induces cravings for more.
All photos on this page are currently used under licence from Visit Greenland. Individual photographers are credited in the captions.
So, you want to hike Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail. Is it for you? Do you hike regularly on our trails and mountains here? Do you have any multi-day or through-hiking experience? You have plenty of time to train for it if you need to. Naturally the 11 or 12 days on trail, carrying a heavy pack is physically demanding attracting a grade of ‘strenuous – demading’. There are no mules or porters, it’s all down to you. And because of that, the rewards are immense.
September 2024 [Exact dates tbc]: 12 days of daily hiking incorporating 1 buffer day.
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An information evening will be scheduled for mid October 2023 and announced on our social media.
A 2 day plus 1 night training weekend in Wicklow is included for all participants, along with ongoing training support and assistance.
This training weekend (June) will cover kit, foot-care, packing, camp-craft, river crossings etc., in addition to undertaking an overnight camp plus a long hike carrying a heavy pack to simulate a day on the Arctic Circle Trail.
Based in hostel style accommodation sharing a room in Kangerlussuaq for nights 1 and 3. Nights 2 and 4 – 11/12 will be spent in tents near the Russell Glacier and on the Arctic Circle Trail itself. Our final night together, night 13 is spent in comfortable hotel accommodation in Sisimiut. (2 people sharing. Single rooms may be possible subject to supplement and availability).
A welcome shower, the hot tub and a celebratory dinner awaits.
Some people like to end their trekking holiday by staying on a few days to undertake additional tours in the area – either in Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq (all return flights are via Kangerlussuq) or both. You are probably only going to visit here once in a lifetime, so make the most of it. We encourage and recommend this as it supports the local economy.
We’ll provide you with a full kit list and will go through this with you during an online briefing. All participants receive a 20% discount on purchases in our store in advance of departure.
Either 11 or 12 days. One of those days, from Pt. 660 is a half day. One day is reserved as a buffer day in case we are slower than expected due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.
Participants need to have prior hiking experience for this trip. Preferably you will have hiked multiple days back-to-back and have experience camping off the beaten track. Whilst it is guided and we’ll support you, you will be carrying your own pack, setting up your own tent and cooking your own food. It is remote. It is challenging. This is definitely in the type 2 fun category. But the rewards are immense.
We won’t be going to altitude, but you won’t have porters or mules to carry your kit either. Not going to altitude means we won’t have rest days. Once we start, we keep walking. The fitness required is similar, just add a heavy pack to your training regime.
We’ll provide a full kit list in advance. If you hill-walk in Ireland, you’ll likely have most, if not all of it already. We provide the specialist equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc.
Up to 10 participants led by a UIMLA certified International Mountain Leader and an assistant.
Yes and no. If you are a club or charity group – the answer is yes for activities, kit hire, meals and accomodation, but no for travel/transfers (but you can ask the airline about a group discount!). We offer this in recognition of the amount of work undertaken by the lead person in a group. Depending on how much is involved at your end, some organisers use this discount to lower everyone’s costs, some use it for themselves – that bit is up to you! T&Cs & minimum numbers apply. Be aware that if your group numbers fall, below the minimum, you will be required to pay in full.
> Group training weekend in Wicklow with ongoing advice & support
> Hostel accommodation in Kangerlussuaq, breakfast & dinner ingredients to cook as a team
> B&B shared hotel accommodation in Sisimiut
> Trail breakfast & dinner, plus 1 celebratory dinner in Sisimiut
> Expert guiding and tuition by UIMLA certified International Mountain Leader
> Any specialist equipment required (tents, sleeping bags, mats, stoves etc.)
> Transfer to Pt. 660 starting point
> Transfer from Hotel in Sisimiut to Sisimiut Airport if departing with main group
Flights are not included. For a few reasons, not all our clients are based in Ireland. And it also gives you the freedom to tailor your trip and explore more after your trek! Some people like to head up to Disko Bay to see the icebergs and travel home from there for example. You can book Icelandair through our travel partner. These flights are quite expensive, but you may prefer this option for peace of mind because they are bonded. Air Greenland offer more reasonably priced flights from Copenhagen, however you should still budget around €1200 for your flights to & from this remote region. Copenhagen is accessible by a number of airlines, some bonded, some not. Air Greenland are not bonded by travel agents. As such, we recommend you check the small print on all airline websites, consider your travel insurance package and decide what suits your circumstances best.
> Flights (as mentioned above)
> Lunches, snacks and beverages – we’ll advise on lightweight, calorie dense options
> Personal travel insurance to include guided trekking, remote rescue & repatriation
> Meals and beverages off trail other than those explicitly included [i.e. celebratory dinner]
> We post a change of clothing per person to the hotel at the finish subject to weight limits. You are liable for postal costs over this weight.
> Additional tours you might like to do
> Anything not expressly stated as included
We advise that you are up to date with any vaccines you have for life in Ireland/EU. According to the Tropical Medicines Bureau, for Greenland, you should have an up to date tetanus (booster shot) and flu jab. They additionally advise consideration be given to Hep A & B which many travellers and health-care workers may already have. Using the link provided, check what’s involved and decide for yourself.
One vaccine we would advise to get is for rabies. There have been sightings reported of aggressive foxes on the ACT. Whilst the likelihood of being bitten by a rabid fox is extremely low, given the remoteness of the location and the length of time it takes for a rescue, it is advisable to take precautionary measures.
Daytime temperatures in this part of Greenland in September is not unlike an Irish winter. Average temperatures are in around 5-10 degrees during the day and around -2 at night, though colder and milder are both possible. It’s generally a drier month than August, but do expect rain and potentially snow. The main advantage to this time of year is that the dreaded mosquitoes will be gone!
We aim to pack the most nutritious calorie dense yet lightweight food possible. We use a mix of dehydrated meals and real food and you “cook” yourself. A typical day would begin with porridge fortified with extras such as dried fruit/seeds and a hot drink. For lunch, you might decide to take wraps with salami or other lightweight filling. Dinner will involve a dehydrated trail dinner such as REAL field meals by Drytech or real food that heats by soaking in boiled water such as TentMeals. Other additional snacks you provide yourself.
It is essential and a condition of the booking contract, that all participants take out additional travel insurance for the trip. In addition to cancellation, missed connections, lost baggage etc., this should include cover for remote rescue and repatriation to your home country. Your insurance must list Greenland as a destination and have guided trekking as an activity. Let us know if you need details on insurance companies. We also advise that you apply for your EHIC (formerly E11): Irish residents. UK residents.
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