Dog sledding was the highlight of Svalbard.
At least it was for me. I have a sneaking suspicion it was Even’s favorite thing too. He made time to pet every single one of the dogs at Svalbard Husky’s yard. No wonder his gloves had so much more dog hair than mine.
While there are a number of places to dog sled, more information can be found here, I choose Svalbard Husky based on: (1) We were in Svalbard, (2) They had the highest reviews on Tripadvisor, (3) They offered the type of activity I wanted to do.
I’ve always been fascinated by dog sledding. I am not sure why, but it just seems really really fun. To be able to do it in the arctic? I was sold.
Then came the decision of how to choose which company to go with. In our Svalbard article, I list the best tour companies that are used on the island. So that helped a lot. Looking through them all, I knew that I wanted to be able to mush the dogs in a hands-on experience, and I wanted to have as few people on the sled as possible. Hence, I picked the activity in which Even and I would be the only one driving the dogs, in addition to being able to harness and feed the cuties before and afterwards. Pricing was generally consistent all around.
We booked with Svalbard Husky. They had a very easy booking system. You just choose the date and time you want to go, enter your lodging information for them to pick you up at the designated time, and pay. That is it. It should be noted that schedules are only up 2 weeks prior to the date of activity. I just marked it in my calendar to remind myself to book two weeks ahead, and had no problems at all.
Svalbard Husky is run by Robert Nilsen and Sissel Lian. A husband and wife team: keep, care for, and run the whole operation. They are incredibly kind and accommodating whatever needs or wishes you have as well as great people to sit and chat to. The wife picked us up from our lodging, took us to Adventsdalen, where the dogs are kept, and gave us plenty of time to play with them all. By all, I mean, all. Even wasted no time setting off to befriend all of the dogs.
Then we were shown how to harness the dogs and how to steer the sled. After we harness all of our dogs, we were off on an adventure. We were able to sled on and off the main road, and made stops by: mining caves, WWII plane wrecks, and old airplane strips. The route is not fixed as weather conditions vary, the colder it gets the more snow the dogs are able to explore. Possibilities are limitless.
After a great ride through the tundra, we got the dogs back to the kennel, lead them back to their individual homes, and then got to feed and play with them some more. Coffee, tea, and biscuits were handed out to the human folk to help warm up from the cold weather. I had worn the wrong type of socks and was immensely cold. I am not sure I have ever appreciated coffee more.
All in all an absolutely fantastic experience that I am so happy we were able to partake in. It is something I definitely think is worth doing, and something that will be very difficult to top as an experience.
Hope you enjoy getting to see some of the landscape through pictures.
Let us know if you’ve been or where you would want to go!