The Inuit Trail - GRL82

Tour type: Backpacking tour with camping and staying in a hostel

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 302.000

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What's included: Guide, food for 12 days, transportation, boat transfer, tents, cooking gear and 3 nights in hostel

Departures: On group request only

Duration: 12 days

Accommodation: Tents and Hostels

Group size: 5 to 14 participants

Language: English and French

Walking per day: 6-8 hours

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Backpacking by the Icefjord
    • Greenland Ice cap view
    • Remote Inuit Village

    Profound back country backpacking in Greenland

    Take the ultimate East Greenland backpacking trip. This tour truly offers every challenge of good backpacking with trails crossing narrow valleys and fjords, high granite peaks that seemingly rise straight from the sea to the sky, as well as fantastic views from beautiful camps. The tour takes place in the mountains just East of the Sermilik ice fjord, a place only accessible by foot. at this point we will be able to uncover fragile flora and the bird life of the Arctic. We also explore the ever so popular enormous amounts of icebergs and drift ice of the Sermilik, also known as the Ice fjord! Our walk takes us past beautiful lakes and rivers, along the coast of ice filled fjords where the mountains are reflected in the still water of the Arctic summer. We continue on to visit the hunter´s villages of TiniteqilaqKulusuk village, and the regional capital Tasiilaq(1800 inhabitants). During the backpacking, we carry provisions for 3 to 4 days at a time, assuring a reasonable limit to the weight of our backpacks.

    Note: During the backpacking, we carry provisions for 3 to 4 days at a time, assuring a reasonable limit to the weight of our backpacks.

    Tour Type: Backpacking in tents
    Total Walking Distance: 100 kilometers (62 miles)
    Altitude: 0 - 700 meters (0 -2295 feet)
    Maximum Ascent: 700 meters (2295 feet)

    Included: Guide for 12 days, breakfast (11), lunch (10), dinner (11), boat transfers, tents (8 nights), cooking gear, 2 nights in a hostel in Tasiilaq and 1 night in a hostel in Kulusuk.

    Not included: Flights to/from Kulusuk (can be added on the first and last day of the trip). The price for flight is from 770 Euros and is subject to availability.

    Available Upon Request: Four-star accommodation in Reykjavík - please contact us for more information.

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Reykjavik - Kulusuk - Ammassalik Fjord - Fjord Qingertivaq
    The tour starts at the domestic airport in Reykjavik where we take the flight to Kulusuk. To get to our destination, the Ammassalik fjord, a deep fjord that is over 50 km long, we transfer by boat that takes us between the mountainous islands of the East coast. A short stop will be made at the Inuit village of Kuumiiut located at the end of a peninsula before continuing into the fjord of Qingertivaq. Now we find ourselves in a narrow fjord, (just one kilometer wide for nearly 20 km) on mirror calm seas, dominated by immense granite mountain walls reaching 1500 m! Arriving at the bottom of the fjord, we disembark and set up the camp on the shore by the foot of a glacier tongue that plunges towards us from the plateau above.

    Day 2: Qingertivaq - Sermilik fjord
    Today we head up the valley, treading among high mountains and along the lake that bears the name Qinngertuup Imia (Lake of Trout). This is a place where the Inuit come during spring and fall to catch the arctic char. Around us we have impressive view of granitic peaks and glaciers that fall straight down between them. Continuing up over a large pass we have to wade a river of respectable size before we can begin our slight descent into the next valley towards the Sermilik fjord. We will set up camp for the night near the sea.
    Walking: 6-7 hours    Ascent/descent: 100 m

    Day 3: Sermilik fjord– Ikerasaalaq
    A great day spent at the edge of the vast fjord Sermilik (about 7 km wide) a majestic fjord cluttered with icebergs of all shape and sizes. The fjord receives huge amount of ice from the Greenland ice sheet that covers the most of the country, and its dazzling whiteness can also be seen overlooking the mountainous landscape. Throughout the day we head south along the banks of a river and we also have a good chance to see seals. Despite the beauty of the place it is not difficult to imagine the difficulty surviving the long months of polar winter at such a remote location. We set up camp in the Sapulik bay.
    Walking: 7 hours      Ascent/descent: 100 m

    Day 4: Sapulik -  Lake 13  
    After walking around Sapulik bay, our path turns away from the coast up along a valley following some lakes and rivers. We continue until we come to the bottom of the fjord Amitsivattiva, a truly incredible location! The fjord is so tight that it more looks like a crack in the granite wall than a 5 km long fjord with its slopes rising up several hundred meters while it is only a few dozen meters wide. We set up camp near the top opening of the fjord.
    Walking: 5 hours   Ascent/descent: 100 m

    Day 5: Amitsivattiva fjord - Tiniteqilaq 
    An exciting day you will remember all your life. We climb the high ground dominating the camp and, once up, turn south following a ridge that turns into a narrow peninsula, that extends into the sea. The ridge is located more than 400m above the water and the panorama is extraordinary. To our left we have a view of the fjord separating the island Ammasalik from the mainland and to our right a view to the ocean and impressive mountains that emerge from the summit of the glaciers. At the end of the day we go down to the forefront of the peninsula to reach the hunters village of Tiniteqilâq where we camp close by.
    Walking: 8 hours   Ascent and descent: 400 m

    Day 6: Tiniteqilâq
    Our day starts with a morning visit of the village of Tiniteqilâq. In the early afternoon, a boat picks us up to cross the channel between the mainland and the island of Ammasalik where we continue our journey by foot. Climbing the gentle slopes to about 300 m altitude, we find an ideal point to set up the camp with a beautiful view over the Sermilik fjord and Tiniteqilâq.
    Walking: 4 hours   Ascent: 300 m

    Day 7: Crossing of Ammassalik Island 
    Here the scenery changes completely. To cross the island we take the high road through a landscape of granite domes that were formed by glacial erosion. Following a small glacier we then descend into a valley filled with small lakes. At one point, we will come across a unique sight where large blocks of granite, sometimes reaching several meters in diameter, lie scattered on the ground reminding us that the glacier was still here not so long ago. We set up the camp on a small green area next to a small river.
    Walking: 7-8 hours     Ascent: 400 m Descent: 700 m

    Day 8: The 4 Qorlortoq Lakes
    Continuing our journey we reach the Qorlortoq Lakes in the middle of the island. Around the lakes we will most certainly meet the inhabitants of these parts of the island, Red-Throated Loons and Great Northern Loons ( aquatic birds) and on the lake's surface trout can most definitely be seen see jumping. As we get closer to the sea we will how the arctic vegetation becomes more dense. We set up the camp at the bottom of Kong Oscar Havn that in fact is more like a lagoon, connected to the ocean by only a short strait.
    Walking: 7-8 hours     Descent: 100 m

    Day 9: Tasiilaq
    A short morning’s hike towards Tasiilaq, the capital of East Greenland with 1800 inhabitants. In the afternoon we visit the village including the artisan center where people work seal skins and the local museum where we will get insight into the interesting culture of the Inuit. Night in a hostel or cottage in Tasiilaq.
    Walking: 3 hours

    Day 10: Somandsfjell- Flower valley Tasiilaq
    Today we hike up the 600+ high Somandsfjell mountain for a great view of the surroundings. On the way back we come down through the Flower valley. Night in a hostel.
    Walking: 6 hours     Ascent/Descent: 600 m

    Day 11: Tasiilaq- Kulusuk 
    We take the boat from Tasiilaq to Kulusuk island. There we walk to Cap Dan where during the cold war there used to be a radar station. Fantastic view over the drift ice and the Kulusuk coast. Night in a hostel in Kulusuk.

    Day 12: Kulusuk – Reykjavík
    In the morning we visit the village of Cap Dan before heading to the airport for our flight back to Reykjavík. Arrival in Iceland in the afternoon.

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  • Equipment List

    Backpacking Tours in Greenland

    -Equipment list for Backpacking Tours in Greenland

    For your own wellbeing and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    Boots and clothing:

    • Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support. 
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
    • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell. 
    • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable. 
    • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory. 
    • Gloves 1 – 2 pairs – Wool or synthetic (polypropylene / polyester). 
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Long Johns (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
    • Warm jacket/sweater – Wool or fleece (3rd layer).

    Other gear:

    • Backpack – (woman size: 50-60 litres - man size: 60-75 litres) – note that each guest will need about 15 – 20L of space free for food, tents and other communal gear. 
    • River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job. 
    • Sleeping bag – Down or fibre. Light weight and warm. We recommend goose down with high “fill power” or top of the line synthetic bags.
    • Insulation mattress.
    • Toothbrush.
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
    • Change of clothes – e.g. long and short underwear.
    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Protection against flies (mosquitos); such at nets, repellents, etc.

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s).
    • Gaiters
    • Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings. 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. Shorts
    • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
    • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down). 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing. 
    • Heart-warming spirits.

    
Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

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  • Gear Lexicon

    Backpacking Tours

    Backpacking tour - definition

    Backpacking tour is a multi-day trip where all gear and food is carried on the back. The tour may at some point have support in the form of a food drop off or food supply in huts. Participants will need to be prepared to carry both their personal gear as well as a share of the team´s food and communal gear (tents, stoves, pots).  On most backpacking tours you will sleep in tents in the wilderness, on a couple of tours we use only huts.


    Hiking Boots

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    Scarpa Hekla

    Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support. Leather or synthetic with a waterproof membrane, e.g. Gore-Tex. Make sure they are a good fit, leaving some space for your toes – and wear them in, even if it is just by light hiking in the city.


    Long sleeve- / T-shirt (thermal underwear)

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    Bergans Merino

    A thin base layer (next to skin). The most popular is merino wool – comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with the same merino shirt on for 2 – 3 days. Having short and long sleeve is great for adjusting to different weather conditions. A sleeveless shirt (merino wool) can also be a good addition for a base layer as well as a sports bra for the women.


    Light wool or fleece sweater

    This is your regular insulation layer for hiking during the day. Options from Merino wool are available as well as the standard fleece jacket. Not too thick for summertime use, but consider layering with two jackets or a jacket and a vest – that way you will be prepared for any type of weather.


    Trousers – softshell

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    Soft shell is strong and durable, wind resistant and quick drying. Perfect for hiking pants. Some might consider a thin base-layer for extra insulation on colder days. If you have a thinner trousers consider having long-johns handy for cold days.


    Jacket with a good hood (wind and waterproof)

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    ME Manaslu

    A good “hard-shell” jacket with a large protective hood. Gore-Tex membrane or similar to keep you dry. Make sure it is not too tight and that you can fit insulation underneath. Note that a soft-shell jacket is a great addition but will not replace a good waterproof hard-shell when you really, really need one! Good rain gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all our tours. 


    Rain trousers – wind and waterproof

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    Good rain pants are absolutely compulsory in Iceland. They should be lightweight – as they are in the backpack most of the time. If they have zip-up legs to ease getting into it is a big bonus. Make sure they are breathable and strong enough to take some abuse from walking.  We often see cheap rain pants come apart on the seams. Gore-Tex or similar waterproof breathing membrane is appropriate. Good rain gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all our tours.


    Gloves

    A light pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair is recommended, and then of different thickness.


    Socks

    Wool is definitely the preferred material for hiking socks. Different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots you might consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your hiking socks. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and in good conditions.


    Warm hat

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    ME Knitted beanie

    A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You could also use a thick buff. As an extra a buff is also nice to have, you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed or as a thinner option for a hat.


    Backpack

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    Love Alpine Kongur ND 65:75

    You will need a large backpack for most of our trips, make sure that you have space for your personal gear, including extra clothes and a sleepingbag inside the pack. Most of your gear should fit into the main compartment of your pack and should be packed into one or more drybags. Idealy pack all overnight gear into one dry bag and all gear that you might need access to into anouther one that can be kept accesseble during the day. Sleepingmat, rivershoes and items that are light and bulky or packed wet can be packed on the outside of the pack given there are good straps availible – but getting the weight as close to your centre of gravity as possible will make carrying the pack more comfortable. Pack raingear and cold weather gear so that it can be accessed quickly during the day.  The size of the pack depends largely on your personal needs and the pack size of your sleeping bag.  Women generally should get away with a 50 – 60L pack and mean 60 – 75L. This size should leave enough space, about 20L, for communal gear and food.  A modern pack has good padding, a stiff adjustable frame system (internal frame) and a few different compartments for storing smaller items and items that you will need to access during the day.


    River shoes

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    Keen Newport Sandal

    An old pair of running shoes will do just fine. Closed hiking sandals or neoprene kayaking shoes will also work great.  Any quick drying shoe with a good sole that can be securely attached to the foot will do. Loose slippers, flip-flops etc. are not acceptable.
    A good addition to your river crossing shoes are neoprene socks – see Neoprene socks.


    Neoprene Socks

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    Neoprene socks

    A good addition to your river crossing shoes are neoprene socks – they should go well above the ankles and the best once have welded seams. You will be able to do most of your river crossings without them, but it is just so much nicer with them. They should be a tight fit, but not too tight to get one when wet.


    Sleeping bag

    The mountain-huts during the summer are usually warm, although not heated during the night. Any old sleeping bag will therefore do, unless you get cold easily. For temperature control having a full length zipper is great. A liner bag is also a very nice addition and will improve your ability to regulate your head during the night.  If you are doing a winter trip or summer camping a 3 season sleeping bag would be sufficient. All the huts we use have mattresses on the beds so no need to bring your own for hut trips.


    Sleeping mattress

    Most will use a self-inflating mattress.  A modern model is amazingly light and comfortable and will pack down to the size of a water bottle. A classical foam mattress is also a good option – but bulky and less comfortable. If you choose to store the mattress on the outside of your pack it will need to be in a separate waterproof bag.


    Towel

    To save weight and bulk, a light weight microfiber towel is ideal. You might like a big one for drying off after a swim and a small one for drying your feet after river crossings.


    Sunglasses and sun protection

    Believe it or not, you will need those things in Iceland. There are no big issues with sun, so a high SPF rating for sun block is not an issue unless you plan to be on a glacier or on snow. You should have a small bottle to save weight in your pack. Likewise; any pair if sunglasses would be sufficient – but make sure you pack them. If you plan to be in snow or on ice a pair of glasses with a high UV (close to 100%) and/or cat (3 – 4) rating and side shields will be appropriate.


    Changes of clothes

    On a backpacking trip weight is everything so you should limit very much the amount of extra clothes your carry. You should still have a change of clothes so that at least a set of long underwear stays dry in your pack during the day. But there is no need for more than one pair of pants or a fresh t-shirt for every day.


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland you can drink from the stream, no filters, not iodine or chlorine! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. For most days a 0,5 – 1L bottle should be plenty as water is easily found all over. If you are a warm drinker we will be happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available (very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favourite brand).


    Head-lamp

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    Even though the summer night is bright the inside of the hut might not be. A headlamp is also useful for a bit of reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around the hut. A small flash-light will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one set will do for your Iceland trip.


    Personal first-aid-kit

    The guides on our tours will have a first aid kit available. It is still nice to have some small items to be self-sufficient with minor things. Band-Aid, Compeed for blisters, pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.


    Personal items

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    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you, if you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies having antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your conditions. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, having a small bar of soap handy or some liquid hand soap is a good idea. Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss should be packed. Pack shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spilling. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements you should continue to do so during your holiday.
    A bit of toilet-paper in a plastic bag along with a lighter to burn it after use is the way to go in Iceland. In most cases you are sharing a room with a few fellow travellers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night sleep. Those not used to the bright summer might also like to bring an eye mask.  Contact lenses, lens liquid etc.


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot-pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland. Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying is good.


    Trekking pole(s)

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    Black Diamond Trekking / hiking poles

    One or two poles are nice to have. Some trekkers like to use them all the time, other use them only during river crossings or on steep ups and downs. If you like them, make sure that they are foldable and light weight. A small basket is also nice.


    Gaiters

    For summer time use you should normally not need gaiters as they are designed to keep snow from getting into your boots. Some like them also for scree slopes. Keep in mind that the volcanic soil in Iceland is very abrasive so you will want to be able to remove the strap that goes under your boot sole to keep it from getting trashed.


    Sun/rain hat or Cap

    A baseball cap or a comfortable hat with brim is great to have. If it is a bite water and weather proof that is a great addition. It will keep the rain from running down your face and into your layering.  Be prepared to take it off if the wind picks up.


    Shorts

    It does get warm enough in Iceland to wear shorts. They are also nice for sleeping in, in case you need to get out in the night. For hiking it is nice to have some pockets, for the items that other ways would be in the pockets of you pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A nice light puffy is great during brakes. The insulation could be down or synthetics (Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky – Iceland is not that cold. Synthetic insulation is preferred in Iceland as it keeps most of its insulating properties also when wet. A puffy vest would also be a good option.


    Dry-bags

    There are plenty of different products available for storing your equipment inside your pack and keeping it dry. A rain cover over your pack often has limited use in Iceland due to the wind – a safer option is to pack whatever needs to be kept dry into dry-bags inside your back-pack. It is also a great way to organize the inside of your pack. One bag for electronics (camera and phone) and one bag for extra clothing, as an example.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands and limited opening hours stop you from buying any most other places. So having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travels in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be the crowning of a good day. You can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland if you like. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free!


    Other cool things to have when backpacking

    Book – to read during the evenings.
    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music.
    Diary or note-book – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also a pen or pencil.
    Power-bank / extra battery for you electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland so a pre charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Having converters adapters for 220 V and/or USB will help.


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  • Map

For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.

Total price for all passengers:

0ISK

Optional extra services - These items can be purchased later

    1. Just a tip - You can convert the currency here!