This tour is also designed for sporty beginners. It should be kept in mind that dog sledding is more strenuous than a city walk. However, an average level of physical fitness is sufficient, such as is necessary for bicycle tours with luggage in low mountain terrain. Very important is the ability to adapt to adverse weather and snow conditions. Energetic tackling, tolerance and endurance are very advantageous qualities.
On this tour, a circle is drawn through the mountains in several stages. The direction of travel in this circle depends on the weather and snow situation. If the weather forecast indicates good weather at the beginning of the tour, the National Park is immediately approached. If, however, better weather is forecast for the end of the tour, the National Park will be crossed on the way back.
In the description of the tour, we move clockwise through the mountains on the circular tour:
Arrival at Bardufoss Airport or Setermoen Bus Station mehr ...
Here you will be picked up by your guide and taken either to Björn and Regina’s husky farm Innset or to Jan and Ane’s husky farm – depending on who your guide is. At the respective husky farm you will be greeted by the four-legged participants of the tour and a cabin/guest house with all comforts such as shower, kitchen, etc. The first details of the tour are discussed over dinner.
(Of course, you can also arrive a few days earlier. This gives more time for fun in the snow: meeting huskies, snowshoeing or skiing on your own, trying out “Snørrekjøring”, relaxing in the sauna, acclimatising.)
This day is used completely for the preparations of the expedition mehr ...
First, everyone is assigned their team so that dog and human can get to know each other.
Then it’s time for instruction in the art of dog sledding. The aim is to enable each participant to handle the dogs and the sledge as independently as possible. All questions will be dealt with: Which dog goes where? What are all the leashes for? What do I do if I fall over, etc.? The harnessing and leashing of the dogs is practised and a small yard round with a team gives first impressions of the fun to be expected.
Another important point is the equipment. Here, the participants’ equipment is thoroughly checked for suitability and missing items are added. The participants’ equipment should be able to cope with all conditions. In order to guarantee this, we can also fall back on our extensive equipment warehouse.
A look at the map will give you an approximate idea of how the tour will proceed.
Today the sledges are packed, the dogs harnessed and the starting lines loosened mehr ...
Destination: The cosy Gaskas hut. Many kilometres are covered over the ice of Lake Altevatn. Only about 3 kilometres before the hut is the ice left and the hut is approached via frozen swamps and sparse birch forest. Technically, this day can be described as an acclimatisation day.
If rather difficult snow conditions are expected, a trail must be trodden from the hut to above the tree line on snowshoes. This takes a few hours and will make the start and the first ascent much easier the next day.
Now it's a massive uphill climb mehr ...
But that’s not all: most of the altitude meters have to be climbed on a steep slope running diagonally to the direction of travel. But in return, a mighty mountain range, steep rock faces, and deep canyons rise up around the group. We have reached one of the most magnificent areas of the Dividal National Park.
The trail descends for quite a while when, after 20 kilometers, you reach Vuomahytte. It lies at 700 meters, well above the tree line.
The fifth day takes the group first across Lake Vuoma mehr ...
Afterwards, the road climbs again to a pass almost 1000 metres above sea level. The landscape becomes wider again, the mountains more rounded, and the view can sweep eastwards far across white landscapes. Before entering the upper part of the Dividal valley, there is a small Sami village on the right. Here, in summer, the young calves are marked with the families’ sign. Now the widely scattered huts lie lonely on a small plateau.
Now the trail descends rapidly. The brakes of the sledges make the snow fly up in fountains. Then the first birch trees of the valley are reached. Through this loose birch forest we head southwards to Lake Altevatn. Now the hut for the night is not far away.
Should the weather cooperate, Lavvu can also be reached via a pass mehr ...
Should the weather not cooperate, there is the possibility of reaching a tipi, or – as the Sami say here – a lavvu, via Lake Altevatn at this easternmost point. This is a quite comfortable tent, heated by a stove, which is not only very cosy, but also gives a glimpse into the traditional home of the Sami.
If the weather is fine, Lavvu can also be reached via a pass through Rohkunborri National Park, across Lake Gævndja and on through the birch-forested valley of Stordalen. This alternative is very scenic, but also longer and therefore more strenuous.
After a short forest drive, the ice of Lake Altevatn can be felt under the skids again mehr ...
The dogs quickly realise that they are heading for the dog kennels and pick up the pace. That’s why the shower and sauna at the husky farm in Innset don’t have to wait long for the participants. But before that, the dogs have to be unharnessed and the sledges unloaded.
About 130 kilometres are covered in demanding terrain. It is a pleasure to relax the muscles in the sauna.
A warm dinner concludes the day. Here the Norwegian cuisine will prove that it has something else to offer than “Smørebrød”.
Breakfast and farewell to the dogs mehr ...
Afterwards the transfer to the departure points will take place.
PS: Due to bad weather conditions, significant snowfall or avalanche danger, the route may change. However, we have several, very scenic alternative routes to choose from.
Please be sure to read the Dog Sled ABC