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Hiking in East Greenland: Untouched Trails Awaiting You

East Greenland, with its untouched landscapes and breathtaking vistas, offers some of the most exhilarating hiking experiences in the world. Unlike other popular hiking destinations, here you’ll find an almost meditative solitude, with trails that often seem undiscovered, awaiting the imprint of your boots. From the imposing ice caps and towering snow-clad mountains to deep fjords and sprawling tundra, East Greenland boasts a myriad of terrains. Each trail presents its own set of challenges and rewards, ensuring that both novice hikers and seasoned trekkers find their perfect path. East Greenland offers an unmatched hiking experience, blending adventure with serenity, challenging terrains with awe-inspiring views, and ancient cultures with rich biodiversity. Whether you’re trekking along the coastline with icebergs as your backdrop or climbing mountain ridges for panoramic vistas, every step in East Greenland is a journey of discovery.

Preparations

Given its remote location and extreme weather conditions, it’s crucial to be well-prepared for your hiking adventure, regardless of whether you head out for a one day hike or mulit-day trekking adventure. This means appropriate hiking gear, navigational tools, and always informing someone, such as your accommodation or personal contact about your hiking plans, when venturing out on your own. Be mindful and check the weather forcasts such as Windy, DMI or YR before heading out into nature.

Essentials

Be prepared when venturing out on a day hike. Keep in mind that the temperature can drop rapidly, even if the day starts warm. Despite not feeling hot and a gentle windy breeze, the Arctic sun can be exceptionally strong during the summer. Most important bring approriate footwear. Consider whether you require additional ankle support, as the terrain may not always follow established trails, but are wondering off in a landscape off the beaten track. Wandering off in uninhabited areas of East Greenland, please be advised to bring along polar bear protection (a rifle, a sled dog and/or polar bear fence). Heading out to your one day hiking adventure you should bring along the following:

  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Woolen hat, gloves and a buff
  • Sunscreen
  • A warm layer, such as a fleece or lightweight down jacket
  • A windproof outer layer, especially for the jacket, as sudden winds can lead to a significant tempeature drop
  • Hiking boots or trail shoes
  • Insect repellent and a head net, during mosquitoe season from early July to August
  • sufficient food and snack supply
  • Water bottle
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Pocket knife/multi-tool
  • Navigation aid such as maps and/or GPS
  • Polar bear protection

Multi-day Hiking Adventure

Additionally to the above mentioned day-hike essentials, consider to bring along the following in your backpack:

  • Lightweight tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Therma-rest
  • Multifuel burner or trangia
  • Food prepation equipment
  • Dry bags for personal gear

Winter

Winter hiking in East Greenland is an adventure reserved for the brave and well-prepared. The harsh Arctic weather and often indiscernible boundaries between land and icy water bodies make the trails challenging, and at times, perilous. It’s not advisable to embark on a solo expedition beyond the confines of settled areas. The snow and ice, whether thick or thin, obscure the natural demarcations of the terrain, making the environment unpredictable. Local guides, with their ingrained knowledge of the subtle nuances of the land, become indispensable companions. Their expertise allows you to safely explore the majestic white expanses, whether it be on a snowmobile, dog sled, snowshoes, or skis. With a guide, you can confidently traverse the frosty wonder, fully immersed in the raw and desolate beauty of East Greenland’s winter landscape.

Maps and Routes

Navigating the unchartered territories of East Greenland demands meticulous preparation, including having detailed maps and necessary materials on hand during your hike. In regions such as Tasiilaq and its encompassing mountains, there are some markings to guide your way, providing a helpful reference in the vast, wild landscape. However, venturing into other areas, you might find paths that are somewhat recognizable due to frequent usage, subtly imprinted on the terrain. In contrast, some parts remain untouched, with no markings or discernible paths to follow. These places require a heightened sense of awareness and strong navigational skills to traverse safely. Bringing along comprehensive maps and other navigational aids is imperative to ensure a secure and enriching hiking experience amidst East Greenland’s sublime, yet challenging wilderness.

About the Author

Profile picture - Dina Lynge Larsen

Currently enrolled at the Greenland Business School in Nuuk, Dina Lynge Larsen is deepening her knowledge in International Trade & Marketing. As an integral component of her academic journey, she’s gaining hands-on experience through her internship at the Business Department of Sermersooq Municipality, also located in Nuuk. With an innate flair for marketing, Dina envisions delving further into this field in her future endeavors. As part of her practical experiences at Sermersooq Business, she dived into the field of tourism and marketing. For Dina, it’s not just about marketing; it’s about narrating the story of her home, ensuring that the world perceives Greenland through a lens that captures its purity and positivity. Dina’s deep-rooted passion for marketing is rivaled only by her commitment to presenting Greenland to the global audience in its most authentic and untouched splendor. She believes in showcasing the essence of Greenland – its traditions, its natural wonders, and its people, in a light that resonates with both its reality and its charm.

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