Master of the Mush
As leader of the pack at his husky farm in Swedish Lapland, Kenth Fjellborg gives us the lowdown on the thrills of husky sledding.
Mush? Me? I have trouble controlling a supermarket trolley.
Any adult can mush a team of huskies as long as they’re reasonably fit. You basically stand at the end of the sledge, on top of the rear runners and let the dogs do the work! They follow the lead team, so you don’t need to do much steering. After a while you learn to control the sledge by shifting your weight from one side to another.
“All morning we sweep through a wintry landscape of silent forests and frozen lakes. At times all you can hear is the panting of the dogs and the tinkle of their collar chains.”
What happens if I fall off? And what’s husky for “Stop”?
The snow softens the landing and falling off is part of the fun! Keeping your eye on the ‘road’ is important, as is staying a good distance behind the sledge in front. The dogs are very eager and love running, so it doesn’t matter how much you shout ‘stop’ in any language, they are unlikely to take any notice. The only way to slow down or stop is to stand on the brake.
Why shouldn’t I just hop on a snowmobile instead?
Snowmobiles are fun too, but part of the magic of husky sledging is to experience the silent snow-laden forest.
Okay, you’ve convinced me. Where’s the best place to learn?
There are plenty of excellent husky sledding bases across Lapland, but with its proximity to the extraordinary Icehotel, I’d recommend the wilderness trails around Kiruna in Swedish Lapland. The top-class kennels near the Icehotel can provide anything from a two hour excursion to a whole week in the wilderness.
And for the chance to become a ‘master of mushing’?
A two to three day trip will allow you to take part in harnessing and feeding the dogs, traverse more challenging territory and experience life in a wilderness lodge.
“Twice we spot reindeer browsing among the lichen-clad fir trees and the huskies’ ears prick alert. But the team has settled into a steady, exhilarating rhythm. They have only one thing on their minds: to run.”
William Gray, Travel Writer
Find more information about wilderness husky adventures as well as other winter adventures in Swedish Lapland. Or for help planning your winter break contact our Travel Specialists or call 01737 214250 today.