re-sized Dog Sledding

These are the months for dog-sledding

As I sit here and shiver, I’m thinking of where I would prefer to be sitting and shivering. Somewhere other than infront of a desk… and you know what? I would love to be out there in a deep snow landscape – dog sledding. Still shivering but having a wonderful time! Doesn’t this look preferable to staring at a computer screen?

Enjoying the serenity of the wild whilst dog sledding

So … where to go? Aslaska, sadly, is a little far, but here on our doorstep there are numerous possibilities…

There are plenty of places now in Europe where you can dog-sled, and most countries have something to offer. France appears to have a well-organised set-up round Meribel, Courcheval and the Three Valleys (Trois Vallées). They offer proper dog-sledding where you are part of the team… just you and 3 to 4 dogs. This is what I would like. I don’t just want to be a passenger on the equivalent of a booze cruise … though I’ve got nothing against booze cruises I hasten to add! But, I digress. I want to feel like the real thing, be a MUSHER, so back to sledding…

Zermatt in Switzerland offers dog-sledding too and you can mush in the German Alps and the Pyrenees, but the créme de la créme of course would be to head to the land of mushing – the north of Sweden – Lapland, Finland, Norway or Iceland. The only noise you will hear up in the far North is the true silence of nature and the gentle crunching of snow as your sled glides across the white surface.

Travelling in the company of animals brings you closer to nature. The camaraderie, trust and respect you quickly feel for your dogs is a rare experience that enhances the pleasure and adventure in exploring the great, wild mountain expanses.

But while I muse on about the romance of being a Musher, the real Mushers are limbering up for the race of all races: the Iditarod Trail. There are just 8 days to go…. the race begins on the 3rd March and as it’s an even year (2012) they will be taking the northern route – the southern route is run in odd years. So, it will be from Anchorage to Nome – 975 miles.

There are ways to follow this route yourselves if this is a race that interests you. Watch the following video:

The Iditarod Trail Insider Landing video

And then go directly to the Iditarod site 

photo courtesy of Schlittenhundefahrten     

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