On a more personal note. During the last two years, I had the incredible privilege and luck to get started as a dog sled driver (or musher as we say). Mushing has been my childhood dream ever since I read the Yukon Goldrush adventure stories by Jack London. For many years my favorite books have been White Fang and Call of the Wild – and I spend many nights dreaming about going on such adventures myself.
Now, these dreams are coming true in Svalbard. This weekend, I will participate in the world’s northernmost sled dog race – Trappers Trail. The race goes for 70 km over two days through the stunning landscapes of Svalbard. Starting in Longyearbyen, going over a mountain pass, and down to the coast where we will spend the night. On the second day, we will return to Longyearbyen by climbing the steep slope of Fardalsbakken (dreaded by all mushers) and via a glacier until the finish line at the old culture center Huset.
Five dogs and I will test our endurance and willpower during this race. Melville, Kygo, Jølle, Sagi, and Plett have been training all season to get in shape and learn to avoid all the mistakes that can happen during dog sledding (it turns out, there are a lot). After all the tripped sleds, confusing Gee and Haw, mushers falling off, forgotten snow anchors, and countless entanglements we are ready for the race!
If you want to follow our progress, you can track me on this map. The race starts Saturday at noon and ends Sunday afternoon. I thank Team Kamikaze and Gun Beate for this amazing opportunity and for being my mushing sensei! Also, Timea and Alex for being my awesome support team!