Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

On our first morning in Swedish Lapland (read about our adventure-filled arrival here), we woke to minus 8 temperatures and were ready to get out exploring.

Today’s adventure was a husky experience and we were driven to Abisko National Park, about five minutes down the road. The woman who collected us explained that she had been late because a moose had been standing in the middle of the road and had refused to move. Like, cool cool, average day then.

The temperature in Abisko was just a casual minus 27. Which, stating the obvious, is cold like we had never experienced before. Ice actually formed on the inside of my nose and on my eyelashes. By the end of the day, bits of my hair would also be frozen. It was surreal.

We were given the option of operating our own stand-up dog sledge or being sat on a longer sledge operated by one of the guides.

Given that the former option – once explained - sounded surprisingly complicated and I wanted to enjoy the experience rather than stressing over keeping half a dozen huskies under control, I opted for the latter option. Once the others had set off, the three of us who opted for the latter drove a little further to where the huskies lived. To pull four of us on one sledge (3 sitting plus 1 standing guide), we needed 10 huskies. We were shown how to put their harnesses on, and attach them to the rope that would pull the sledge. The huskies were unbelievably cute (as well as very loud and slightly smelly). They were all over excited so attempting to get the harnesses on them was a challenging, if entertaining experience. They were also super friendly and often jumped up affectionately to give you a hug!

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Once everything was ready, we set off. As soon as they were running, the huskies went deadly silent. It was quite something to be pulled through the wilderness on a fur covered sledge by ten different-coloured huskies, with snow-covered trees and mountains flying by. You could see nothing but sparkling white for miles around. There were lots of bumps and bends, uphill and downhill, a bit like being on a rollercoaster – only colder!

We stopped for a bit to meet up with the others and when the huskies were together, the noise was unbelievable. It sounded like operating your own sledge was pretty hard so I was glad I was able to just admire the views.

We set off again, pausing a couple of times as the lead husky was still in training and kept leading the other dogs in the wrong direction. I'm not sure how far we went, but I'm pretty sure those furry dogs ran several miles. I wish I could have taken photos whilst on the sledge but it was a hang-on-for-dear-life situation plus, even with three pairs of gloves and four pairs of socks, my hands and feet were starting to hurt by the end of the trip! But they soon started to warm up when we had to un-harness the huskies. One husky hadn’t been on the ride and he was brought out for some air – he was so affectionate and kept giving us really long hugs. It was so cute!

By the time we got back to the resort, it was minus 17 and we were knackered (although probably not as knackered as the huskies!).

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland

Sledging With Huskies In Swedish Lapland