First of all in these special times we hope that everyone are safe and doing ok. It has been quite a year for everyone, us included but in all the difficulties people are facing it is sometimes good to think about all the good tings that have happend this year. So this is a little summary of what this kennel have had going on this season.
Its been a busy year full of fun and challenges. The team have been stronger than ever with alot of our former guides coming back Jakub, David, Kazune, Tomas, Charlotte and Nora. But also some new additions to the team In Christine, everyone have been doing an exceptional job. As of now all the guides are still hanging out in the kennel making sure the dogs are getting love and exercise even though we had to cancell all our April trips. Tom the owner have also been around of course. We would also like to thank our extra guides for helping out when help needed, you know who you are.
Last summers puppies are doing great and have started to runnin with the adults on some shorter runs. We also have some newcommers. On the first of Februari Habba had four lovley puppies 3 boys and 1 girl. Slobben their dad was making us proud this year being part of the Alaska team.
There have been alot of interesting stuff going on with the racedogs this season. Nora has spent most of her winter in Alaska training and preparing the main team for the Yukon Quest and Iditarod. Back here in Norway the rest of the guides have been training and racing the other part of the race dogs.
THE SCANDINAVIAN RACE SEASON
Kauppinen Wide Open
First race of the year was quite early and was Kauppinen Wide Open in Sweden in the end of November. We had two teams joining that race and Charlotte and Cristine was the mushers. Charlotte came in 16th and Christine came in 15th, This was Christines first race. They both had seven dogs in their teams. It started close to Kiruna and then they mushed to Sevo where they had a mandatory 3h rest. Then back to where the race started.
Third Race was Troms Quest and the Kennel had 3 teams starting in the 8-dogclass 180km. It is two legs with one stop at a checkpoint. The teams go out on a 90km loop come back to the start where they have a 5h madatory rest plus time differential. Then out on another 90km loop. Charlotte came in fifth, Jakub came in forth with his own dogs and Christine made it in to second place. We are very proud to have 3 teams in the top 5. The race starts only 15min from the kennel so its a perfect race for our guides to do.
Next race was Bergebylopet 350km where Charlotte and the dogs came in on a inpressive eight place. The race takes place in Nord Varanger/Finnmark and goes trough some amazing contry. David joined Charlotte as a handler on this race. Charlotte started this race with 8 dogs.
The big goal for the kennel this year was the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. The planning for this have been going on for years and finally this year it happend. Late november Nora and the first load of dogs travelled over to Alaska to start preparing for the two big races. Tom then came over for Rookie meating and brought some more dogs. Nora then spent alot of the winter training dogs, packing depo bags and preparing the dogs and stuff for the races to come. Markus Kvien a former fulltime guide now a sometime guide came over beginning of januari to help with meat cutting and packing of the depo bags. The winter In alaska was very cold this year only a few days in januari was warmer than -30 and alot of the days was -40 or colder. We want to thank Marcus alot for spending days and days and days cutting an packing meat in -40, he was big part of getting everything ready in time.
On Februari 1th Nora started out on the 1000mile (1600km) race Yukon Quest that goes from Fairbanks Alaska to Whitehorse Canda. Over Peaks, in forest and alot on the yukon river. She finished 7th and got both Rookie of the year and the Spirit of the North award. Some highlight of her race was chasing a wolf out of McCabe, to mush on the amazing Yukon River, mushing trough some of the most special places she ever seen and meeting all the amazing people on the checkpoints, hospitality stops and dog drops. First camping at -47 was not her favorite moment. Her races started very cold but got warmer and warmer and when she finished it was quite warm, the trail was very soft this year and the first team finished about a day later than normal. The dogs impressed her all the way and the bond you make with the dogs on sutch a long journey is very uniqe.
Iditarod started about 3 weeks after the finish of the Yukon Quest. Tom came over in the middle of februari to get himself and the dogs ready for the Iditarod. On march 7th the show start took place in Anchorage and the day after on the 8th Tom and the dogs left Willow on the course to Nome. The trail is about a 1000 Miles (1600km). It goes from Willow alaska all the way to Nome, this year the race followed the northen route. It follows partially the old Iditarod Trail dogsled mail route to the old goldfields and mining camps of northwestern Alaska. The trail goes over two mountain ranges, The Alaskan and the Kuskowim range. It runs along the Yukon River for awhile and crosses some frozen waterways one of the being the pack ice of the Northon Sound.
Tom and the dogs had a great run and finished on a very impressive 19th place. He was the second rookie to cross the finish line this year. It was a tough race with some days of very warm weater, snowstorms and alot of winds. But the dogs and Tom came trough the Burled Arch In Nome with smiles on their faces and Tom is now one of the few mushers who have finished the 3 longest races in the world. The finnmark 1200km, The Yukon Quest 1000miles and The Iditarod.
The dogs and guides have really proven themselfs this year. We would like to say a special thanks to Brent Sass and the wild and Free team for borrowing us some dogs for the races making our logistic of this whole trip alot easier. We also got to mush amazing dogs. Unfortunatley but understandebly all the races in end of march and april was cancelled. We where planning on having teams in Tobacco Trail, Passvik Trail and Gold rush run. But there is always a next season. We hope all of you are good and can enjoy easter as best as you can and stay safe out there!!
SUMMERTIME IN THE KENNEL
The summer is well on its way and after one big heat wave the weather has finally cooled down enough for us to start the fall training. The dogs and the people could not be happier. We have a lot of exciting things happening in the kennel. For the first time we are training not only one but two race teams. The main team and the young dog team and we hope we can get all of them trough some nice races this year.
The dogs are very happy to start running again and we can already see alot of new upcoming stars in the young dog team.
It’s been a real puppy summer and we have had a lot of exciting litters of puppies. The puppie walks are one of the highligts of the day. We have been lucky with some very nice volunteers this summer and they are helping out a lot with the puppies so they become nice and confident dogs.
There is a lot of other exciting stuff going on in the kennel. We are building a dog stabel to give the dogs a nice hangout place after long training runs and races. We are super excited to get this done and start using it.
While preparing for the upcoming season and planning the winter we are also happy to see that a lot of the guides from last year are joining us for another season. And that’s just great! They already know the dogs and the routines of the camp and that will make kennel life very easy. We have 3 “new” guides joining us this season. Charlotte who has been helping us out for years will come back as a fulltime guide. Also two of our former volunters Mike & Thomas have earned their place in the guide team.
Silvia, Hannah & Tessi have left us for new adventures and we would like to thank them for all the hard work and heart they had put into the company. We have been lucky to have all of them here for two years and they will be very missed.
But so far 2018 looks like it’s going to be a great year and we are getting ready for cold tempratures and a lot of mushing!