Saturday, March 12, 2016

A sleddingful season it is.

It's almost mid-March, meaning warmer days, birds singing in springy tunes, lot's of daylight. In February and March I'm pretty busy with dog sledding. So knife making has been in a part-time mode. It's good for a change to earn your living without a dust mask on your face.

This pair of leukus was finished just the other day.

Mornings at the husky farm start with packing the stuff needed on the trip. Safaris vary from 1 hour up to 5 days. All the stuff is transported in the sledges.

Dogs being harnessed. Leaders are the first ones in, as they should keep the line stretched out, avoiding mess-ups and tangles.

Teams are made ready before the clients arrive. On 2 days or longer trips clients always harness and unharness their own teams later on.

A short briefing about driving a sledge is an important part.  Using the brakes, keeping enought distance to the next team, balancing, paying attention to your team, and so on....

    Sledges packed, guides taking the snow anchors up, almost ready to go!

And out of the farm!

For the first few kilometers dogs are running a bit faster, especially if the track is well packed and without fresh snow.

Last team out of the gate. Balancing is important when curving from the farm to forest road!
 Relaxed driving on the great lake Inari.

Blue light of early winter in the northern Lapland's wilderness.

Guesthouse Husky's wilderness cottage on an island on lake Inari. This is where we stay on 3 and 3 day trip. Nearest road is appr. 15km away, and to Russian border it's around 20km.

Short break on a 2 day trip, we cover about 53km a day on these tours.

Preparing the fire for a lunch break. Feather sticks of course!

        Nice view of a glimpse of the sun suddenly between falling of wet snow for the whole day.

 Masa and Tuupo leading the second team. On longer trips the order of teams will almost never stay the same for the whole trip. Dogs are not machines who work exactly the same day after day. It's pretty much impossible to make several teams go exactly the same speed, so Sometimes we need to swap dogs from team to team or put more or less load in the sledge to balance them.

A beautiful day to be out on a husky safari. I'm driving as a second guide in between the teams, so the front ones have cut the trail through fresh snow.

Common behaviour of Conan and Ricky. At the farm these fellows live in the same pen, and they hardly seem to have any serious disagreements. Ricky, the one Conan is sitting on, is usually a bit restless and noisy during the breaks on safaris. If Conan get's enough of it, he just lays or sits on Ricky to make him quiet. Dogs are all individuals indeed.

We came from here just the day before this pic. Snowfall and wind during the night has made the track pretty much invisible.

A pic from nice snowy and sunny day ends this random set of random pics from random husky safaris.


  1. Wonderful!
    Dogs are individuals indeed. Just have to look at our 2, whom with any luck we will start training coming autumn.
    Is it possible to join such safaris as an outsider?

  2. Put your skis on and let two of them pull you. That will easily get out of control if you let the speed get too high ;-)

    Please define what means an outsider in this case?

    1. Not a member of this group you work and travel with. A newbee, foreigner, whatever you want to call it.
      Putting on skis? Can't even ski! So no way I want to break my bones that way. Or any other way for that matter. My dogs are completely unreliable when it comes to pulling. Very short attention or focus span. They are easily distracted, even if they choose to obey commands. We have a long way ahead of us....

    2. I work for Guesthouse Husky, they arrange sled dog trips here in Ivalo area. So on the trips there is a guide or guides, plus customers who have booked a trip from the company. Most of the clients are newbies and foreigners... ;-)

      Well, then probably with the dogs snowshoes would be a safer choice instead of skis!

  3. Awesome Pasi, what a life, thanks for sharing. I carry my damascus puukko often and think of you and your dogs. Take care,

    Kris in Montana

  4. Great pictures and looks like it would be an incredible experience. Also appears that there is no shortage of snow still.

  5. Thanks Bradley. Snow here melts usually at the end of April or beginning of May, so it's a full winter still!