Arctic Circle Expedition : March 17, 2007

Dog sledding in inuvik, northwest territory



Returning from Tuktoyaktuk around 5pm, dog sledding was next on the agenda.  Mike, Peter and Eric retired for some much needed rest, so it was up to Kim, Jim and Neal to take on the challenge.  Instructions included learning how to give commands to the dogs, how to control the sled, using the “brake” and “anchor” (and make sure those dogs are anchored when you stop!)  Remembering “chaw” for “turn right” and “chi” for “turn left”.  Oh, and remember, hold on.

The reasonably flat trails snaked through a stunted growth spruce forest and across two lakes.  It’s a dual trail which allows the sledders to stay closer and enjoy watching each other’s travels – and face plants, of which there were three.  (Kim twice, Neal once).  Falling off is an experience of its own.  Either you hold on and get dragged a few feet before the dogs finally stop, or, you have to pick yourself up and run to catch up - in four foot deep snow, wearing 8 layers of clothing, and boots that you would swear at this point are lead-lined.  Even without the added exercise of running to catch one’s sled, dog sledding is more physical than you may expect, and so we all returned tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.