Most of us are proud owners of a vehicle driving license but did you ever dreamed about learning how to drive a sledge pulled by a bunch of cute husky in the heart of Norway?
Be an instagram sensation
In the last few years the trips to Lapland became an insta trend and every winter we are virtually bombarded with high doses of cuteness and fluffiness. We all have that one friend who was lucky to travel to Scandinavia and get to experience the husky pulled sledge in real life but why “that friend” couldn’t be just us?
Well, I took the gangline of the sledge in my own hands and I planned my husky adventure from Tromso to Lapland. The day started with the most incredible drive alongside Norwegian fjords crossed by frozen water and sky painted in strong shades of orange. With the moon in one side and the sun to the other end, I can’t help but be amazed of such beauty. After almost 60 countries visited I didn’t expect to be impressed so easily.
Explore Frozen lands
Norwegian Lapland also known as the Finnmark it’s a magical land of ice lakes, frosted woodlands and pure natural beauty located at the shared border between Russia, Finland and Norway. A picturesque landscape of white snowy mountains and mgestic fjords that played as inspiration for the famous Frozen movie.
The moment we reached our destination, the husky camp, most of the dogs were still sleepy and lazy, but as soon as they have seen the sledges being prepared for departure they have started a mass choir of barking and woofing, excited for the upcoming adventure. WOOF WOOF!
Some of them were hugging and licking their fluffy partners as a sign of affection and encouragement, others were showing their sharp teeth to the less favorite “friends” that were sharing the same camp, but all of them were acting like cute little puppies when approached by the tourists. In the end doesn’t matter how ferocious they are in their job, they all love being petted by humans.
Learn how to drive your sledge
Our instructor paciently explained us how the sledge works and the signals that we must transmit to our herd of dogs in order to lead them to the right path for our journey. We were provided with extra layers of cloths to be able to endure the -15 degrees Celsius temperatures of that day and off we went.
The Alaskan huskies are not being chosen randomly, their skills are observed with attention and they are being assigned tasks that best suits their personality. The most intelligent and obidient are leaders of the group and are placed in the front row, while the others which are more restless, stubborn and display high energy levels and physical strenght end up in the row closest to the sledge.
They are not like the regular huskies that we are used to (blue eyes and shinny grey fur) and they are not even officially recognized as a breed. Alaskan huskies are the product of careful selection from various breeds taking into consideration factors such as speed, endurance, intelligence, appetite and tolerance of extreme weather. They might not be the most prettiest of their kind but are definitely the strongest and the most hard working.
Frozen lakes and surreal landscape
Once the first sledge is giving the GO signal all the other ones will follow, trying to compete with each other. That’s when the sledge brake comes in the play and it will significantly slow the dogs and determine them to maintain the right speed.
Even though at first I was afraid of driving the sledge, it proved to be an unbelievable adventure, a lifetime experience and a MUST DO for anyone traveling to Scandinavia. The highlight of the trip was sledging across frozen lakes and the adrenaline pumping in my veins at the simple thought of having my dogs pulling in the wrong direction and ending up on a thinner layer of ice. BRRR!
The camp experience
Back to the camp we were served a traditional Norwegian fish soup and hot chocolate to warm up our bodies after the 20 minutes spent outside. After the lunch we were able to meet the puppies which were being trained for the job and we got to find out each and everyone skills and aptitudes, more about their lifestyle at the camp and the food served.
The tour operator chosen was Best Arctic AS and I was totally satisfied with the experience and the passion and love displayed by everyone working with the huskies. I have found this trip on Viator and the price paid for the tour was 227$