Thu 02 Aug - Fri 10 Aug 2018

In aid of WaterAid

WaterAid

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Vaccinations

Flights

Insurance

Group size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance & valuables

Typical Day

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Clothing & equipment

Toilets

Phone & Wi-Fi

Safety

Emergencies

Training

Training Weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Greenland Arctic Challenge is graded as “tough”. This is a challenge for someone who who has some experience with regular trekking and who wants to take that to the next level.

You can tell your sponsors that on the HSBC Arctic Challenge you will be:

  • Trekking 7 - 9 hours a day for 5 days
  • Carrying all of your own equipment
  • Camping in the Arctic Circle with minimal facilities
  • Pushing physical and mental limits
  • Having to put up and take down your tents

Money

Currency: Danish Krone. For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com.

Credit cards: Credit card facilities are available at main hotels and bigger airports. There is no ATM at Kangerlussuaq airport so cash should be brought with you for smaller items at the start. There are two banks with ATMs in Sisimiut, but you will have little time to visit them.

Spending money: You will not need to carry a large amount of money during this trip. We recommend that you change your pounds into Krone in England before you go, and that you carry a sufficient amount of cash with you during the trek.

Tips: Tipping is personal and at your sole discretion. You should only tip if you feel that you have received good service. We recommend approx. GBP£5 / 40 DKK per participant per trekking day and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge who will distribute it amongst the local support team.

Visa

UK Citizens do not require a visa to visit Greenland with the same rules and regulations as Denmark. Check with your home country foreign office for details of any home country requirements (eg. South Africans requires a special VISA to leave and return).

You will however need your passport and it must be valid for at least six months from the end of your challenge. You may also be asked for proof of return in the form of your flight ticket.

Vaccinations

For up to date vaccination information please visit the NHS Government website ‘Fit for Travel’ at: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx. Although the Charity Challenge team are travel professionals, they are not medical experts and we would encourage you to visit your GP or travel nurse to discuss vaccination requirements

Flights

The challene starts in Keflavik, Iceland on the 3rd August. You are responsible to get to and from Iceland as per the itinerary. This challenge includes flights from Keflavik airport to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland where you take a private helicopter charter to the start point.

You will be flown at the end from Sisimiut to Kangerlussuaq, and onto Keflavik, Iceland.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Group size

We are aiming for 5 groups of 20 trekkers, a total of 100 participants.  Each group will have 2 qualified leaders/guides.

Leadership

We employ a number of first aid qualified challenge leaders, all of whom speak English to varying degrees. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Climate

Temperatures in August can get as low as 5 celcius during the night and during the day can average between 10 and 15 degrees celcius.

Terrain

You will be trekking along low lying hills and mountain tracks to a maximum elevation of 450m.  A footpath and track will be followed but there may be short diversions due to melted water streams.

Normal conditions underfoot will be a mixture of soft earth footpaths, rock and heather with occasional wet or boggy sections.

Good sturdy walking boots are required and MUST be broken in before the trek - essential to avoid severe blisters!

Luggage allowance & valuables

As no formal clothes are needed, luggage should be kept to the absolute minimum – details on what to pack are provided in your Kit List. Your rucksack must not exceed 15kgs in weight. 

You will be carrying this bag yourself during the trek so bear that in mind when packing. You can leave a small bag at the hotel in Kangerlussuaq which will get sent over to the hotel at Sisimiut at the end of the trek.

Whilst we will do everything to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches. Your passport and money should be kept on you at all times.

Typical Day

Its very difficult to give a typical day as it will be heavily dependent on the weather and conditions, but a rough guide, you will wake up around 6:30am each morning for breakfast and depart on the trek by 9am.

You will trek each day for between 6-8 hours (up to 10 hours for slower groups making longer stops), aiming to finish each day by 6pm.

Accommodation

You will have one night full board in Iceland at the start and then one night full board in Kangerlussuaq before departing for the trek start point.

During the trek you stay in group tents of 3 - 4 people which you will break down and carry each day between tentmates (around 2kg per person).

At the end of the trip you will have one night full board in Sisimiut with the celebratory dinner.

Food & Drink

The whole trek is on a full board basis with additional drinks or food not included.

Breakfast and evening meals during the trek will be dehydrated camping meals, requiring boiling water prepared on lightweight portable camping stoves (provided by us and carried by you). No actual food preparation or cooking will be required. These meals will be supplemented with a whole range of additional foods, drinks and snacks. Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan and other special dietary requirements can be catered for but must be stated on the registration form at the time of booking.

Clothing & equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, we will provide a comprehensive kit list and can also help you to buy the gear through some outdoor retailers with whom we have negotiated some discounts. With significant cold weather, keeping warm is paramount. We will advise you and support you to ensure you are properly kitted out. 

Toilets

There will be no public toilets on the trek and there will be male and female toilet tents (with holes dug by the organisers) in camp.

Phone & Wi-Fi

There will be no mobile / cell phone coverage except at Kangerlussuaq airport at the beginning and in Sisimiut town at the end. Each group will have a satellite telephone.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

In terms of your HSBC Arctic Challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • Bad weather can be experienced at this time of year, including rain and strong winds, causing wet conditions under foot. Suitable boots, warm clothing and waterproof clothing should be brought.
  • Musk Oxen can be encountered on the trek and close contact should be avoided, even requiring a short change of route if necessary. These animals can become aggressive if approached or made to feel intimidated or vulnerable or if young calves are present in the group.

Emergencies

The event is not run as a race and there will be a discrepancy in people’s speed in the Arctic and capabilities in camp. This is allowed for. In the unlikely event that rescue from the ice is required, this will be carried out by satellite phone call.

There is a small medical nursing centre at Kangerlussuaq airport and a hospital at Sisimiut. In case of accident or emergency you would be taken to one of these locations. There is no vehicular access to any part of the trek and suitable insurance is essential, to include helicopter evacuation and cover for medical reasons, medical and hospital costs, and repatriation if required.

Training

Training and a high level of fitness are definitely required. A full Fitness Training programme is included within the challenge cost and the more physically fit you are, the better the trip will be. While training, try to wear a backpack with 10 - 12kg inside to best mimic the trek itself.

Training Weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, including dates and prices, check out our dedicated page here.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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