Diary of an ACT thru-hiker. Day 9.

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 0-8 and daily entries following this one!

Wintry start today

16/9/23 Saturday. Day 9.


Didn’t sleep great in the hut, partly because it was too warm and it’s just different to what I’ve become used to. 

Really cold morning. It snowed overnight and started again just before we were to leave, so we wussed out and waited for it to stop before we went.  Eamonn isn’t in great shape.  He’s in pain and he’s probably cracked a rib. He’s on painkillers now and we’ve taken some of his gear to, literally, lighten his load. Fair play to him – it can’t be easy for him to move and put on his pack.

There was a stream to cross within 50 metres of the hut. Loads of snow on the ground, and a biting wind off the lake.  Took off the walking trousers, into the crocs and waded across. Thankfully it was only about 20 metres. At the far side, dried my feet, put on some vaseline, got dressed again and started walking along the right-hand side of the lake.  Seriously cold into the wind. Kept my Goretex on with the hood up over my beanie and wore light gloves to get some shelter from the wind. The scenery was spectacular, as always, and extra dramatic with the snow – almost black and white.  

It brightened up in the afternoon as it often does, and we eventually reached the next hut. It was in the middle of a wide, steep-sided valley with unfortunately lots of rubbish strewn around. There are some barrels used as bins, but it looked like foxes got into them and scattered the food wrappers around.  Why do people leave things like that behind?  There was sleeping space for 7 in the hut, and American Hannah was already there when we arrived. Eamonn needed a bed inside, since he’s my tent buddy, I got a free pass. It looked like it was going to be a really cold night, so this was one time I was happy being inside.

Shortly after arriving at the hut, I went down to the river for water. I filled one Nalgene, then Eamonn’s which I threw up onto the bank behind me while I was filling my own bottle.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw Eamonn’s bottle roll down the bank into the water. Nothing for it but to wade in and get it.  Thankfully I did before it was washed away, but not before I was soaked from the knees down.  I changed into my spare pair of walking trousers, the only time I wore them, and the original trousers and socks were sufficiently dry to wear the next morning.