A travel along the coast of the lake, with a number of difficult rocky gradients. To stay clear of little crags emerging from the water and some small peninsulas, there are brief diversions. If a canoe is obtainable at Katiffik, this entire distance can be travelled in it. Total distance 20km. This distance can be travelled by two ways. You can either travel by foot along the southern coast or paddle in a canoe to cross the lake. It is easy to travel by foot and figure out the route, even though you will come across a few jagged rocky gradients at the beginning.
The travel-by-foot way
Depart from the Katiffik hut and walk along the path, on the sandy shoreline, near the beginning of the lake. A simple track is right next to the coastline. However, later is passes through a sharp and rocky gradient. At one stage, the track narrows down next to the coast because of large boulders covering the gradient. Look out for two paint-stained large rocks. These make it somewhat obligatory to enter the water to cross them.
Keep moving ahead to cross another sharp slope and get to an even more impressive gradient with huge rocks. These lanky-shaped rocks are placed on top of each other and a few have even fallen into the water. The track becomes flattened in some places and is covered by bunches of willow. To cross the area covered by boulders, its best to remain slouched. There is nothing significant to be seen by ascending up this incline. You may find colonies of ferns in dark retreats.
When you reach the highest point of the cliff, you can view as far as the summits of Aqqutikitsoq, lying north of Sisimuit, which are covered by glaciers. Descending downwards, the track slowly becomes simpler, while going beside the coast of the lake. Past the lake, there is an island which seems extremely rough, even though it is only about 75m. above the water level. Its maximum point is at 194m. While walking on the track, watch its peak. When the weather is good, you can see past it, the twin summits of Pingup Sallia and Pingu. For the next few days, you will be seeing these summits in the distance.
The track takes a very clear-cut right turn round the inlet while bypassing a piece of sandy shoreline. Ascend while crossing a few smooth, curved, fragmented stony ridges. The map displays this point as a tent pitch. The track goes on effortlessly, beside the coast, while offering sights of theatrically knotted cliffs on each side of the island. Later on, if you like you can hike onto two small headlands to enjoy a beautiful view. However, the track takes a shorter path from behind them. One of these headlands is also marked as a tent pitch on the map. A short while later along the coastline of the lake, be prepared for a gradual ascent in the opposite direction, from the lake. A majority of hikers overlook this because they don’t see a small marker above the coast. (An attempt was made to create a tall marker but its height made it lose stability. Therefore, it’s best not to rely on these markers as they need to be built every time one collapses.)
Past the lake, a very melodramatic bend in the rock can be seen at the bottom of the overhang. The track descends down and carries on effortlessly beside the coast. Because of the low water level, you would be able to observe quite a few rocks emerging from the lake water alongside this section. Later on, this track comes a point which is marked as a tent pitch on the map. But if you go there you will only find a bent spit and you would need to walk back on the same path to join the original track. In its place, the Arctic Circle Trail ascends over the lake to dodge a number of small cliffs in the path. This is the first time that the Canoe Centre along with a small rock-strewn island before it, can be seen in the distance. Once the track joins the coast, it stays straightforward till the Canoe Centre.
The Canoe Way
Anyone who wants to take a canoe to cross Lake Amitsorsuaq can get one from the Katiffik Hut. However, this is possible only if one has been left by someone travelling in the opposite direction. If you are successful in finding a canoe, make sure you check its hull, lifejackets and paddles. You should also try-out the canoe in the water first, and then to ensure stability, you should distribute the weight load equally in it. The maximum weight each canoe can carry is 400kg. This would generally be two people and their kit. One person alone can paddle, but to keep moving forward in a straight line, it’s best if both the people paddle the canoe.
You should stay near the coast, where the lake bed can be seen through the clear water. If you stay close the southern coast, you should be able to see the walking track. Just after departing, you may observe closely the rocky slopes. While travelling by a canoe beside the northern coast, there is a clear view of the rough cliffs. At about 194m., a large island will be crossed. Past this point, the water level along the southern coast is low and a number of rocks emerge above the water. If you wish to take a break anytime, step onto the sandy shoreline, to help with the canoe body.
Continuing forward is dependent on the weather situation. A light breeze in the eastward direction is perfect whereas, a westward wind can make it hard if it blows intensely. You should not leave your canoe unless there is no other choice. However, if you must leave it, you should try to do so, on the southern shore. This is because from here, it is visible from the lake and from the path which means anyone else who wants to take it, can see it. Else there may be no canoes left for travellers.
Past one bend and crossing a tiny island, you would be able to see the Canoe Centre and reach it soon. Once at the coast, you would need to drag the canoe out of the lake, turn it upside down, while ensuring that the paddles, hull and lifejackets are fastened properly. Anyone who is not planning to stay at the Canoe Centre can travel till the end of the lake in the canoe.0