A husky safari: exploring Finnish Lapland in the winter
December 21, 2016
A husky safari in Lapland is a truely thrilling experience, especially when you have the chance to be a musher in control of your own team of dogs. And while the dogs eagerly pull your sledge to a wilderness cabin, you have time to take in the breathtaking Lappish scenery.
My husky safari starts in Inari in Lapland, Finland, about 320 kilometres north of the Artic circle, and 39 kilometres from the airport in Ivalo. Inari is a small town with only 450 inhabitants. Still it has all facilities needed as it is the centre of this endless white world.
I am allowed to choose my own pack of dogs and I choose wisely. My leading dog doesn’t allow any other packs nearby and the other dogs respectfully keep their distance. So I am riding through the Lappish nature all alone. No sledges or people in sight anywhere near. I truely feel like I am alone in a snow white world. Twice a musher on a snow scooter comes racing by to check if I am okay. He is the only soul I see the whole day. I let my dogs running wild and free, trusting that they know their way. And my pack does a good job: I arrive about 1 hour and 45 minutes earlier in the wilderness cabin than the other teams.
The sledge trip takes us over Lake Inari and it is cold, minus 42 degrees. But special clothes make the cold bareable. Staying in the wilderness lodges is a kind of indoor camping. There is no running water, heating or electricity in the wilderness cabin. The mushers drill a hole in the ice of the lake and will give you a bucket of water for drinking and washing. It’s hard to imagen that this world covered with snow and ice is green in other seaons. In the winter the scenery is white and serene and with some luck you can wittness the magic of the northern light.
A husky safari in Inari can be combined with other activities like ice fishing, a snowscooter safari or visiting a reindeer farm. I can really recommand the Siida museum. The Sámi Museum Siida is the national museum of the Sámi in Finland. The museum shows the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish Sámi in its collections and presents it to the public through exhibitions and publications. Its main purpose is to support the identity and the cultural self-esteem of the Sámi.
Unfortunately this blog doesn’t show the best pictures: my camera couldn’t handle minus 42 degrees and didn’t survive this trip. But still the images give you a good impression of this winter wonderland.