Today’s route follows the coast of the Amitsorsuaq lake. If a canoe is available at Katiffik, the whole trip can be taken in it.
Today’s route is in a height of 120 m. above sea surface. You can travel the distance in two ways. You can take the route by leg along the Southern coast or paddle in a canoe crossing the lake. It’s easy traveling by leg and easy to follow the route even though you will come across of some big cliffs in the beginning. The chances of traveling by canoe are minimal! This is due to the fact that it’s only possible if someone else has taken a canoe in the other direction and left it at Katiffik.
Ascent: 350 meter.
Descent: 350 meter.
Walk along the lake
The departure is from the Katiffik Cottage, and from here you will walk along the path at the sandy beach near the lake. The whole route is just at the coast of the Amitsorsuaq lake. At one point of time, the path narrows along the coast because of stone waves covering the transition. Look out for two big painted cliffs.
Continue by crossing a sharp slope, and you will then arrive at an impressing hill with big rocks. At some points, the track becomes flat and is covered by willows. In order to cross the area that is covered by rocks it is best to stay low. You won’t see anything special by climbing that slope. You will find groups of ferns in dark hiding places.
The track continues comfortably towards a peninsula which extends out into the leg. There’s no reason continuing to the end of the track. Instead, it’s recommendable to take a short walk over a low place. On the right side of the path is a small pond. A narrow sandy beach is placed between the pond and the lake. There’s a cliff slope which is hard to pass. That is why the track continues over a rough cliff. The route is indicated by cairns. It crosses through an opening behind the cliff.
When you get to the highest point of the cliff, you will see as far as the top of Aqqutikitsoq which is located North of Sisimiut covered by glaciers. In line with moving downwards, the path slowly becomes simpler while you walk at the coast of the lake. Past the lake is an island which seems incredibly tall despite only being around 75 m. above sea surface. While walking on the path you can look at the tip of it. When the weather is clear, you can see past it and see the twin mountaintops of Pingup Sallia and Pingu.The following days, you will see these in the horizon.
The path takes a clear turn right around the lake while you walk around a piece of sandy beach. Ascend while crossing a couple of smooth, curvy, fragmented rockeries. The map shows this spot as a campsite. The path continues effortlessly along the coast while you pass a cliff on each side of the island. Later – if you want to – you can hike on two small territories to enjoy the beautiful view. One of these areas is also marked as a camping site on the map. Shortly afterwards, still at the coast of the lake, be prepared for a gradual climb in the opposite direction of the lake. A majority of hikers overlook this because they don’t see the small marker above the coast (Once, a taller cairn was created, but its height caused it to lose stability. For that reason, it’s best not to trust these cairns since they need to be rebuilt every time they collapse).
Further past the lake a very dramatic bend in the mountain can be seen. The path descends and easily moves along the coast. Because of the shallow water level, you will be able to observe a couple of rocks coming up from the lake water at this point. Later, this path will reach a point which is marked as a campsite on the map. However, if hiking there, you will only find a bent skewer, and you will have to walk back the same way to return to the original path. At a point, the route ascends above the lake to stay clear off a series of small cliffs at the path. This is the first time that the canoe center – with a small stone covered island before it – is visible in the far away direction. When the path connects to the coast, the canoe center is straight ahead.
Sailing with canoe
Anyone wishing to take a canoe to cross the Amitsorsuaq lake can in theory get one from the Katiffik Cottage. However, it is only possible in practice if someone has travelled in the opposite direction and left their canoe. If you succeed in finding a canoe, you need to control its carcass, life vests and paddles. You should also try the canoe in the water before sailing. To make sure it’s stable, you must spread the weight load equally in it. The maximum weight each canoe can take is 400 kg. That’s generally corresponds to two people and their gear. One person can paddle alone, but to continue ahead in a straight line, it’s best if both persons paddle the canoe.
You need to be close to the coast where you can see through the clear water. If you stay close to Southern coast, you should be able to see the hiking trail. Right after departure, you can clearly observe the cliff formed hills. If you travel by canoe at the Northern coast, there’s a clear view over the hard cliffs. At about 194 meters of height, you cross a big island. After this, the water level along the Southern coast is quite low, and a series of rocks shows itself in the water. If you wish to take a break, you can step up onto the beach at any time.
The further trip depends on the weather. A small breeze in Eastern direction is perfect while Westwind might make it hard if it blows intensively. You should not leave your canoe unless there’s no other choice. If you really need to leave it, try to do it on the Southern coast. The reason for this is that the place is visible from the path which means that everyone else wishing to take the canoe can see it. Otherwise, no canoes will be left for travelers.
After a buoy and a small island, you will be able to see the canoe center and quickly arrive there. When you get to the coast, you need to pull the canoe out of the lake and turn it upside down, while you make sure that paddle, carcass and life vest are secured correctly. Anyone that isn’t planning to stay at the canoe center can travel to the end of the lake by the canoe.