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Polar Routen e.V.
International Association for Hiking
and Conservation of Nature in Greenland
Amitsorsuaq, seen from the canoe center
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Where humans and animals still share their paths
"Leave no trace but your footprints," is a well-known slogan of American conservationists, to which this initiative also feels committed. Footsprints or hoofprints by animals and humans contain messages for those, who can read them.
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shows such imprints by reindeer and humans. The photograph was taken on the "
Arctic Circle Trail
", originally known as "Polar Route". The imprints contain an important message: Animals and humans share a common path and the same direction.
This applies literally and figuratively. When you notice traces of wild game on a hiking trail in my home country Germany, they cross human tracks, because the game will cross our tracks just as we cross a dreaded traffic connection, but never share it as a path. But here in Greenland, it is still different. Here the hikers still share the paths with musk ox and reindeer. And this is the way it should stay.
What is special about the Polar Route?
The Polar Route is one of the most important long-distance trails in the Arctic and the most well-known and visited Greenland, though it is not the longest or even the most difficult trail. And those who hike on it do not need to face a dangerous sporting challenge. Not iron condition is required on the Polar Route, but respect and sensitivity to a unique nature and cultural landscape.
So what makes the special about the Polar Route, which motivates every year many to a hike, not a few to come back again and again. You will not be able to say that without subjective reviews. I have the impression that during the walk you experience a metamorphosis, a change to yourself, and at the end of the journey you feel that you have become a part of the trail and the nature surrounding you. And I get the feeling that that has been the case since ancient times.
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