It’s a dog’s life
Dog sledding is a favourite treat for many ICEHOTEL guests. Kenth Fjellborg has worked with sled dogs for over 20 years – and he is still astonished by what Alaskan Huskies are capable of.
Kenth runs the dog sled company Fjellborg Arctic Journeys in Jukkasjärvi, with one hundred Alaskan Huskies.
Together with neighbouring company Lapland Wilderness Tours, Fjellborg’s company serves as an exclusive provider of dog sled tours for ICEHOTEL. They pick up guests at the airport in Kiruna, conduct tours and lead excursions.
– We want to give all of the participants an authentic dog sled experience, not just travelling a few hundred metres on a marked track. Our shortest tour, which departs twice daily all winter, is at least twelve kilometres long and takes approximately an hour and a half.
Jukkasjärvi has developed into a centre for dog sled tours. The village is home to nearly as many dogs as permanent residents.
– The vast landscapes north of Jukkasjärvi, with their flat terrain between wooded areas and low mountains, are perfectly suited for dog sledding. Says Kenth. Nearly all participants on the long tours bring up the same topic, Kenth explains.
– They are fascinated by the wide open spaces and silence. No cell phones ringing, no polite conversation if they don’t feel like it – instead, they can look around, reflect and pass time with their own thoughts.
It is meditation in the wilderness, in other words. The participants get the chance to see what the dogs can do – dogs that run like crazy, despite the snow and extreme cold, dogs that can travel more than 50 kilometres in one day – and enjoy it.
– Time and time again, I’m forced to expand the limitations of what I think the dogs are capable of.
Kenth also marvels at the guests that follow along on the dog sled tours.
– It doesn’t matter if they come along for a couple of hours in the area near ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi or on a long tour in the wilderness – everybody is so unbelievably positive.