A Short History of Husky Dog Sledding
Husky Sledding, also known as Mushing, is a mode of transport powered by dogs. Originally, Husky dogs pulled equipment and people across difficult snow and ice conditions. However, in recent years, dog sledding has become a popular leisure pursuit and an exhilarating sport.
The practice of dog sledding dates back to 2000 B.C and originated in Siberia as a way to travel across the icy landscapes. Husky sledding was introduced to Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush of the late 1800’s and later spread across the United States and Canada.
In the 20th century modern forms of transport such as the airplane and snowmobile gradually replaced dog sleds. Today, this ancient practice survives as the recreational sport of sled dog racing. The most iconic use of sled dogs for racing was by Roald Amundsen in 1911 who competed against Robert Falcon Scott to become the first person to reach the South Pole. The practice of Husky sledding has been an important factor in the exploration of both the South and North Poles.
Today, the most popular race is the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. This highly competitive race is run annually in early March. The distance covered runs from Anchorage to Nome and can take between 9 and 15 days to complete. The current fastest time of 8 days, 19 hours and 46 minutes was set in 2011 by John Baker.
In recent years husky sledding has become an extremely popular leisure pursuit for adventure-seeking tourists. Travelling through stunning winter wonderlands at speed is the most effective and exciting way to take in the scenery. Full training is given on Husky sledding holidays so anyone can experience this breathtaking sport.
Tip and Facts for Husky Sledding
Anyone can sled. These tips and facts will help you get started:
- Husky Sledging is like skiing – the driver uses their weight in the turns.
- A sled driver is known as a Musher.
- Sled dog teams are carefully put together and consist of the leader, swing dogs, wheel dogs and point dogs. Team sizes vary between 4 and 16 dogs.
- The driver communicates with the dogs using a series of short words. Originally ‘mush’ was called out to get the dogs moving; now the common command is ‘hike’ or ‘hike up’.
- To slow down the driver calls ‘easy’, to turn right ‘gee’ and to turn left ‘haw’.
If you would like to try the Musher’s life for yourself, you can book a thrilling Husky Dog Sledding holiday in Finland with Scandi Travel today. Scandi Travel is an independent Tour Operator providing unique travel experiences and luxury holidays within Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltics.