Early Winter 'Trail Blazing' Dates
Weeks 3-5: Mid-Jan to end-Jan
If you choose to come at this time, be ready for long days, tough conditions including some sledding in the dark and clients are very likely to need to work hard to help the dogs on the hills. The trails should be marked for use by others by the start of Feb. and they start to become easier after that. Until then, however, we are making our own tracks each week and there is little time in the evenings to hang out and relax. This is full-on expedition mode and you need to be tough and fit enough to not only survive but enjoy the challenge.
At this time of year, multiday safaris are not recommended for anyone with compromised circulation because of the potential for extreme cold.
Dates During the Frosty Depths of the Arctic Winter
Weeks 6-9: February
This is the time of long cold days & very variable trails. It can still be very physical to sled at this time of year - particularly since the coldest weeks are often in February. Hence, this should still be considered full-on arctic mode. You may be lucky and still able to experience the picture postcard version of the arctic with snow frosted on trees at this time but it is generally at some point in February when the sun and wind dislodge the snow and leave the landscape looking a little more barren.
For those on multiday safaris, our start times do not need to be quite as early as at the start of the season but we still time the days around trying to maximise light on the trails.
At this time of year, multiday safaris are not recommended for anyone with compromised circulation (diabetes, heart conditions etc) because of the potential for extreme cold.
Spring Beckons: Time of Crystalising Snow & Solidifying Trails
Weeks 10-12: March
It is hard to predict exactly what you will experience at this time of year, since winter does not give up its hold on the arctic easily. Hence, although more local people are heading out onto the trails at this time and thereby helping them to solidify underfoot, it is not uncommon to get sporadic snowstorms which can still make progress incredibly challenging for both you and the dogs.
Having said that, Spring is just around the corner so extreme cold is less likely to be your constant companion and a normal tour at this time of year starts to feel a little less demanding than earlier in the season. With the increased amount of daylight, there is more chance to enjoy the dogs in the evenings at the cabins and to actually feel like you might have time to relax a little rather than simply getting to the cabins and completing all chores before rushing to sleep ready for the extremely early starts of early winter.
Dates at the time when Spring Truly Awakens
Weeks 13-16: last week March and April
This is the time to visit the arctic if you want your dog-sledding holiday to be just that - an enjoyable but challenging outdoor holiday (as opposed to a potentially extreme expedition which could be more exhausting and less enjoyable as a result).
For a few short weeks in Spring, the landscape becomes truly accessible and it is possible to walk off-track and explore around the cabins in the long evenings. The only downside is that it can be a bit icy at times. The main benefit of sledding at this time is that the evenings are long and there is, therefore, a chance to enjoy spending plenty of time with the dogs and relaxing in the evenings.
This is also the time of year when older and younger clients should visit us - and, indeed, anyone at higher risk from the extreme cold linked to compromised circulation since this is the safest time of year for arctic dog sledding.
At this time, we also have more capacity to offer private or customised tours so this is a great time for families to visit. Indeed, we generally have one designated family safari at this time.
Click through to our 'how to book' page which will guide you through the next stage of the booking process.