November 28th – December 1st, 2019
Dog sledding pretty much deserves its own post! We had originally planned our trip to Tromsø hoping to see the auroras, but the heavy snow over the few days we had there prevented us from going out on our lights chase. Instead, we booked a dogsledding experience, which was probably one of the most unique and surreal experiences of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much snow in my life, with the thick layer of powder coming off from the snowstorm from the night before.
We booked with the company, Active Tromsø, which I would highly recommend, and our guide was Tore Albirgtsen, who is probably the biggest badass you’ll ever meet. Though his day job is running dogsledding tours, this man is currently working on the Seven Summit, has skied across the entire country of Norway, and competed professionally in dogsledding races like the Iditarod. It was seriously an honor to meet him and hear about his experiences at the end of the experience.
The dogs that pulled our sleds were Alaskan huskies, which are different from the much-larger Siberian huskies that often come to mind. These dogs look small, but they are incredibly strong, energetic, and have amazing endurance. We even had the opportunity to help bring the dogs out to the sleds and later unharness them after returning to their home. The amount of weight they are able to pull, especially for such a long time, is unbelievable, and of course, they are all beautiful! We got lots of husky kisses and hugs both before and after the sledding.
It was definitely cold during the sledding, despite the heavy snow gear provided to us, especially since it continued to snow and one of us was sitting in the sled while the other mushed. It was truly an unreal experience with the expanse of the white landscape. The teams all ran in a line, and save for a few falls, we made it through without our team running away from us. Mushing was actually much more tiring than I thought, as the driver is responsible for braking and balancing the weight while cheering on the team to avoid sinking into the snow or just tipping your passenger out of the sled.
The bonfire and hot cups of coffee and tea were especially welcome after we returned from our ride. We met our fellow travelers and local badass, Tore, shared his incredible experiences mountaineering, dogsledding, skiing, and more. We were famished and exhausted after, so after eating some food we snagged at the grocery store, we finished off the day at the Polar Museum (Polarmuseet) and more food at a local Italian restaurant.
While small, the museum had its own charm and fair share of creepy human figurines. It contains historical artifacts and exhibits about the history of Norway and Arctic sports / expeditions, in addition to lots of stuffed animals. Visit if you are a fan of mannequins, stuffed arctic animals (polar bears! seals!), and /or model ships.
Again, a very fulfilling day that ended, in reality, around 5 pm (oops).