Early in the morning, a friendly driver with an outstanding resemblance to actor Ian Mckellen, picked us up from Scandic Hotel. After enjoying the Northern Lights in Inari, Ice Climbing in Pyhä and cruising on the Sampo Icebreaker in Kemi, among other adventures, it was time to experience a Husky Sledding tour in Lapland.
He drove through the outskirts of Rovaniemi until we reached the base of Bearhillhusky, a family company established in 2003 and run by Valentijn and her wife, Veronica. I liked their philosophy of keeping the groups of guests small – so they can guarantee a personal service and a more satisfying wilderness experience -, that contrasts with other big companies in the area.
We were welcomed by Antti, our guide in the expedition, and an affable guy whose name I can´t recall now, pictured below with a group of loving dogs. First thing was a visit to the changing room, for those who needed some extra clothes. Once ready, we walked to a huge esplanade, where all the dogs were kept, each one with a small wooden hut to get refuge if needed.
For both Alicia and myself, dog lovers, dealing with the dogs was a great time. Most of them were very friendly and willing to interact with human beings. Before starting the tour, Antti taught us a couple of basics about sledge control and how to dress the sled dogs with the corresponding harnesses.
Short after that lesson, with our canine friends prepared, we were ready to begin with the experience. As I had to take photos during the tour, we chose a double sledge, so we could switch places during the way and alternate the fun driving with the more relaxed passenger enjoyment. There are a couple of important things to keep in mind when mushing, such as the security distance with the sledge ahead and the importance of braking firmly, when necessary.
Using this transportation method for the first time was amusing and exciting, and traveling through the wilderness offered a richness of landscapes that made this a unique experience in Finnish Lapland. After a good amount of kilometres, Antti announced a stop in the middle of the taiga forest, where we enjoyed a campfire lunch and a good conversation. If you have any doubt or question about Huskies and dog sledging, Antti is the person that will solve them for you.
As soon as we satisfied our hunger and curiosity, and the dogs got some rest, it was time to return to the headquarters, through a forest that was even more beautiful on our return, due to the presence of a golden sunset light. If you plan to visit Lapland and want a good introduction to dog sledding, remember to check Bearhillhusky for a personal and very interesting experience. They also offer overnight tours that I personally find fascinating and hope to experience sometime in the future.
Lapland Adventure 5: Wilderness Husky Tour in Rovaniemi
Part 1 / Northern Lights and Sami Culture in Inari
Part 2 / Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Part 3 / Ice Climbing and Altai Ski in Pyhä
Part 4 / Sampo Icebreaker in Kemi
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