Canada Dogsledding, April 2009

Before heading on, time for some data and graphics.

Distances travelled:

Flight from Inuvik to Herschel Island: 283.8 km

Snowmobile Herschel - Island tour plus drive to ice camp: 110,5 km

Sledding Camp1 - Camp 2, April, 20th: 32.9 km
Sledding Camp2 - Camp 3, April, 21st: 26.0 km
Sledding Camp3 - Camp 4, April, 23rd: 33.7 km
Sledding Camp4 - Camp 5, April, 24th: 35.9 km
Sledding Camp5 - Camp 6, April, 25th: 46.6 km
Sledding Camp6 - Aklavik, April, 26th: 16.0 km
Total distance dogsledding: 191.1 km
(Approx. 119 miles)

Drive from Aklavik to Inuvik Airport: 126.7 km
(Ice road: 116.5 km Street: 10.2 km)

Tour on map Tour on colour sat image Tour on bw sat image
Route travelled Route travelled over satellite image Route travelled over greyscale satellite image
Colours used:       Flight path      Snowmobile path      Dogsledding path      Driving path     


And here are the 'engines' used for the dogsledding, the thirty dogs that were on the tour:

Sleddog: Nahanni Sleddog: Caesar Sleddog: Paila Sleddog: Taku Sleddog: Tim Tam Sleddog: Kona Sleddog: Sam Sleddog: Arwen Sleddog: Fennel Sleddog: Thistle Sleddog: Frodo Sleddog: Legolas Sleddog: Tassie Sleddog: Molson Sleddog: Cola Sleddog: Tucker Sleddog: Spirit Sleddog: Shrek Sleddog: Jeddah Sleddog: Gimli Sleddog: Ali Sleddog: Gizmo Sleddog: Dino Sleddog: Roo Sleddog: Jeremy Sleddog: Blue Sleddog: Coleman Sleddog: Zoot Sleddog: Kanga Sleddog: Herschel

For a lot of them, it was like a family vacation. There was a 'family tree' back in Whitehorse (which I, unfortunately didn't write down) and as far as I recall, ten of the dogs were Ali's kids, namely the litter named after Lord of the Rings characters (Frodo, Sam, Legolas, Arwen and Gimli) and the Australian litter (Tim Tam, Kanga, Roo and Tassie). (To spare you the search at Wikipedia, if you're not from Down Under: Tim Tam is a type of chocolate biscuit.)

It's quite interesting how different the dogs within a single litter can look. While Arwen sort of looks like Ali, dogs like Sam and Gimli look almost nothing like each other. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that sled dogs are bred for personality traits and performance and not for looks. So they're not predisposed to a specific look. (It's probably more similar to a litter of house cats, which often has quite different looking cats, since they are usually not selectively bred, but tend to make their own arrangements.) There's also quite a variety of sizes. Ali is literally dwarfed by Gimli.


I stayed for another day at the homestead in Whitehorse, so I got a chance to spend some more time with the dogs that hadn't been on the Herschel trip.

(The homestead isn't really in Whitehorse, but some distance away in the woods, in a nice setting.)

Homestead, near whitehorse Homestead, near whitehorse Dog sled parking spot Dogsledding sign

Among the dogs were such 'characters' as Bubba, who was seemingly competing for the title of 'Most relaxed dog'.

Sleddog: Bubba Sleddog: Bubba

While this dog seemed to be working on a career as Chow Yun-Fat impersonator.

Sleddog with straw in mouth ledgedog with straw in mouth

But at least the young dogs in their puppy pen were fairly energetic. (And the advice "don't go in there with just a t-shirt" should be followed - violators will get scratches from over-eager dogs!)

Young dog in 'hamster wheel' Young dog in 'hamster wheel' Puppy pen

There was also the opportunity to go walking with Denali and Hobbs (Hobbes(?)) to a nearby hill. (Hobbs is the one that looks scary on photographs - a very nice dog, though.)

Sled dog Hobbs looking scary Sled dog Hobbs enjoying the outdoors Sled dog Denali going walkies

But there came the time where I had to leave, but as a last thing, I tried to take a picture with the dog whose haircut most resembled mine.

Sleddog, resting

That didn't work out quite as planned, since that dog was clearly more interested in my hairstyle and in licking my nose than in looking into the camera. But it was fun and worth a try...

Similar haircuts? Similar haircuts? Similar haircuts?

But that wasn't quite the end of the vacation. On the way home I stopped in Vancouver.

On to part 5 - Vancouver