Diary of an ACT thru-hiker. Day 2.

Kieran joined us in September 2023 on our inaugural Greenland Arctic Circle Trail trek from the ice-sheet to the sea. He kept a written and photographic journal of his adventure, which he has kindly allowed us to share with you. Check our main blog page for Days 0 & 1 and daily entries following this one!

Looking back towards the Russell Glacier, Greenland, from the ridge. Ribbon lakes and mountains. Photo by Kieran Boyce.
Looking back towards the Russell Glacier & ice-sheet after breaking camp.

9/9/23 Saturday. Day 2.

Russell Glacier campsite.

Up shortly after 7.  You could feel the cold coming off the glacier across from us. Had breakfast outside – the Breakfast Berries porridge was actually really good and filling.

The walking today was great, but long and a lot more climbing than we were expecting, over 700 meters in total.  Most of the day was on a ridge between a lake or series of lakes and the road we drove up yesterday.  That seems a long time ago.  The weather was really great, lots of sunshine and even some midges about.  Stopped for lunch about 12:30, we had been walking for over 3 hours by then and had only 5.5 km done. It was meant to only be a short stop but we ended up having to boil water from the nearby lake because there were small critters swimming in it. I put in a Chlorine Dioxide tablet but they were still swimming around 30 minutes later.

At one point, we saw an arctic hare in the distance – they’re snow white, their fur has already changed colour for the winter, so at the moment they stand out against the grasses.  It looked huge, nearly as big as a dog.  Unfortunately it was too far away to get a decent shot.

The plan was that we would come down onto the road for the last six kilometers, but as it was already getting towards 5pm with another two hours walking to go, Ronan rang ahead and got the bus that dropped us up yesterday to come and collect us.  We had a bit of difficulty coming down off the ridge to meet up with the bus – a steep drop at first then a lot of bog to cross.  We went straight to the restaurant at the airport, smelly and crusty as we were, then back to the hostel.