Husky sledding at Lyngsfjord

Trip Start Nov 18, 2012
Trip End Dec 02, 2012

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Flag of Norway  , Troms,
Sunday, November 25, 2012

An hour and a half outside Tromso is an adventure centre called Lyngsfjord. It's in a stunning location, at the mouth of two mountain valleys. Thick snow, more than waist deep in parts, meant that our day's dog sledding was on! Being five-months pregnant I was recommended to travel as a passenger on the sled with one of our guides, and Daniel led with the other.

We were each given thermal suits and snow boots to keep warm. Five eager huskies were tethered to our traditional wooden sleds. The sound of 50 howling dogs was deafening, but as soon as we set off they became silent - focussed on the route ahead of them. Sat on the sled with just a reindeer hide for comfort, we made our way on well-made paths crossing frozen rivers and travelling at speed deeper into the mountain valley. The polar sun hitting the snowy mountains, with pink and blue tinged clouds, created a stunning setting.

Our guides were excellent. Katherine was half Scottish and had spent time living between Falkirk and various towns in Norway. She fell in love with dog sledding whilst studying in Kirkenes. It was great to hear her stories about the husky races that take place each year, including the Finnsmark race which is 1000km from Alta to Kirkenes and back. Katherine owned 12 huskies - a small pack compared to our guide leader who owned 54! He was a regular Finnsmark competitor and his lead dog - a beautiful white husky with the brightest blue eyes - had travelled to the North Pole with him after Prince Albert of Monaco decided to organise an expedition. Now he had Daniel as his passenger.

On route we passed a small hunting lodge, built to provide a shelter in bad weather. Over the years it has become more dilapidated and is rarely used. Katherine said that the only regular visitor now is a 75-year-old man who still hunts and gets about using traditional old wooden skis.

He is certainly more steady in the snowy environment than Dan. As we turned a corner our group stopped suddenly, and up ahead one of the sledges was overturned - Daniel, as the driver, was knee-deep in water and his passenger was face down in the snow! Turns out his dogs decided to take an alternative route which included jumping over a stream and inevitably the sledge followed!

The dogs were amazing - at the end of our two-hour trip they showed no signs of tiring and were ready and raring for their next trip. The adventure was topped off with hot, steaming fish soup in a traditional Sami tent - similar to a Mongolian ger - with roaring fire (which helped to dry out Dan's socks). What a great day - thank you to everyone at Lyngsfjord x
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