DOG SLEDDING IN BANFF
“Let’s Go! Let’s Go!” shouted Nathan. The cacophony of barking and howling ceased instantly as the troop of huskies took to their heels, picked up speed and hit the snow covered trails. This was what the dogs had been eagerly awaiting all morning; running with all of their strength through the thick snow into a forest of pine trees surrounded by a series of pristine mountains. Dog sledding – oh what a feeling!
I planned the perfect winter adventure for my sister’s 25th and wanted to indulge in this new experience with her. Although I had my doubts about dog sledding before the trip, I was adamant on ticking off this winter experience off of my bucketlist. I chose to book our dog sledding adventure with Howling Dog Tours out of Canmore, Alberta. Once we arrived at the base, got introduced to our troop of huskies and familiarized ourselves with the pack, it was obvious that we had nothing to worry about. We helped Nathan harness our team of huskies – Pluto, Tulip, Ocean, Whitey, Beast and Ryder, the leader of the pack!
Huskies live to run and run for miles everyday for fun. They are natural born runners and need little to no training since they run for miles daily just for fun. We also learned that the dogs have their own personalities and cannot be forced to run if they do not want to. We ended up leaving 2 dogs behind at the base for this very reason.
Nathan shared stories of each dog’s journey as we winded through the snow trail and up and down the slopes. There were a few unpleasant moments where the dogs would release themselves while they ran, never slowing down their pace and sprinting with much excitement in their eyes. My sister and I were still very cold, despite being wrapped in thick wool blankets. We held strong throughout as blunt winds (and occasional gusts of stinking poop!) & crystals of snow grazed our faces. The huskies were obviously not fazed as they continued strong, blazing their trail in the snow.
When we stopped for a break, Nathan took time to show affection to the huskies by rewarding them with hugs and kisses. He taught us how to do the same and gave us an opportunity to take photos individually with each husky.
The huskies take a break for a few months in the summer and get ready to run again come winter.