Dog sledding through vast expanses of white is in many ways synonymous with a winter adventure in Swedish Lapland. Håkan Stenlund took a tour with the company Erlebnis Wildnis in the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve. Following the footsteps of Jack London, in a way.
“And through another winter they wandered on the obliterated trails of men who had gone before. Once, they came upon a path blazed through the forest, an ancient path, and the Lost Cabin seemed very near. But the path began nowhere and ended nowhere, and it remained a mystery…” Jack London.
Our journey begins in the northern part of Ammarnäs, along the road that takes you up the Ammarfjäll mountain in summer, past the Bijergenas reindeer pen, where the King’s Trail begins. Today the snow on the summer road hasn’t been cleared and instead of walking we’re stood on sleds behind a team of dogs. It’s quiet. Roaring quiet. All you can hear is the swishing sound of the sled gliding across the snow and the dogs panting as we travel the road past Höbäcken. But thirty minutes ago, when we were harnessing our dogs, the sounds were different. Forty dogs brimming with energy, wanting to run. Forty dogs with no other outlet for all that energy but to bark, howl and pick a fight. In a way, it’s the price you pay for harnessing them to a sled. Frustration. But as soon as we’ve released the brakes and begun to move, everything goes quiet.