I have to start by thanking Matti and Stina for making our dog sledding trip an adventure to remember. They are had working and dedicated to their business and fun to be around. I went in the late season last spring (last week of April) and they were incredibly accommodating. They didn't have the normal group size for a tour, so my friend Rich and I got special treatment, and our own personal eight day dog sledding trip!
Our tour began with an overnight train from Stockholm to an old wooden train station in the middle of the forest and there was one big bus waiting there. We boarded and ten minutes later it took us even farther north to a parking area next to a beautiful lake. There we were met by a guy wearing some serious arctic gear and operating a snowmobile with sleds behind it. We piled our things and our bodies into the sleds, which were lined by cozy warm reindeer pelts, and in no time were cruising across a frozen lake to a hundred year old cabin on the opposite shore. The Saltoluokta Mountain Station has been hosting intrepid visitors for a hundred years, and we enjoyed a delicious meal and good night of sleep there before we began our dog sledding adventure.
Over the next six days we learned how to operate the dog sleds, take care of the dogs and stay warm in the changing weather of the arctic region. It was a lot of work, and if you are looking for a luxury get away, look elsewhere! I loved the ruggedness of the trip. We arrived at each cabin and gathered water from the well, chopped firewood and helped care for the dogs. In the mornings before departing there were more chores, packing the sleds, cleaning up the cabins and again taking care of the dogs. Matti and Stina are hard working people and handle most of the work on their own, but encourage and enjoy a little assistance! It is all part of the adventure. It is all worth it when you are gliding over that fresh powder in the beautiful wilderness listening to nothing except the sound of the dogs breathing in front of you! What a unique experience. The wilderness that they explore on the sleds is vast and spartan. Its covered with snow and ice and very beautiful.
The cabins are simple, but comfortable, and there are also tours that travel even farther afield and each night the group sets up camp and sleeps in tents. On our trip, the food, prepared by Matti and Stina, was delicious and surprisingly gourmet considering our circumstances. Other things to note: they truly care about the dogs and treat them exceedingly well, often having one or two of them ride in the sled if they become injured on the journey. They are humble folks and smart and funny and a true joy to be around. They really made the trip worth it. Its a little difficult logistically getting to and from their location, but the remote location adds to the charm. I'd recommend them wholeheartedly for anybody looking for a genuine dog sledding experience, and not afraid to take an adventurous trip!
Tip: Bring a good pair of work gloves in addition to your warm gloves for sledding.
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