Hundspann!

Posted in: Sweden

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photograph courtesy of Viven Kim Thorp

Yes, the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are still going strong in Åre, Sweden. But we’d like to take some time to talk about one of our favorite Åre activites—hundspann, or dogsledding!

Though the best known dogsledding option in Åre is the highly organized Åre Sleddog Adventure, we opted for a tour with a laidback dogsledder named Peter. Our three-hour trip looped around the Undersåker ski area, across fields of untouched snow, frozen ponds and trees aglow with icicles. Peter drove the first sled, and we followed close behind with our own set of 10 slightly slower dogs.

Now, driving a dogsled is fairly easy, as long as you’re not going too fast or up a steep hill. One person stands with a foot on each rail, shifting weight to steer. When things get too fast, you dig the break into the snow with your foot. Meanwhile, the other person bundles up on the sled.

According to Peter, dogs require very little training before being hooked up to the sled. It’s canine instinct to just run and run and run when placed in packs. We asked him if poodles would be up for a sledding adventure and he assured us that even a pack of Pekinese would be up for it.

You can reach Peter and book your own hundspann adventure at +46 0647 50333. To find other fun things to do in Åre, try the Turistbyrån.

About the author

Vivien Kim Thorp got her first taste of travel aboard Caribbean-bound cruises, leaving from her native Florida. While these trips resulted in a life-long aversion to cruise ships, they did whet her appetite to see the world. (One could even call it an addiction.) Since then, she has traveled throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas, though her heart belongs to Southeast Asia. Her most recent thrills include driving a team of sled dogs in northern Sweden, diving with manta rays in Komodo, and wandering through the Temples of Karnak in Luxor. She recommends adding the following items to your "try it at least once" list: raw horse meat, fried spiders, and bear carpaccio. Vivien has a bachelor's degree in English and Asian American Studies from U.C. Berkeley and is working on earning a master's degree from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

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