Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Going up north from Toronto into ‘cottage country’ is a favourite past time for many Torontonians, summer or winter. We rented one such cottages close to Algonquin Park in February of 2006 and did a myriad of winter activities, including barbecuing at –23° C, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice skating. We considered going dog sledding, but, for whatever reason, we didn’t do it then.
This video was shot using a GoPro action camera strapped to my chest. You can see me dismounting and running at one point, and Shu had to get off as well when we were going uphill because the dogs can't burden the weight of people on the slope.

This winter, being one of the harshest in the past few decades, was an excellent opportunity to finally do it. And we couldn’t have picked a better day; the sun was shining, the temperatures were positively mild at just above freezing. Check out the photos below:

The day started with a 45-minute introduction on what we were about to set out to, including instructions on how to pick up the dogs, harness them, prepare the sled and all the commands to make the dogs go, stop, turn right or left. Then we went out to fetch the dogs and do everything that the guides had taught us.
A loud and excited ‘Readyyyyyyyy, let’s GOOOOOOOOOO!!!’ will make the dogs start. They actually go like crazy! There’s nothing more these dogs want to do but run! Most will even do their business while running, doing a very funny running squat position.
‘Eeeeeeeeaaaasyyyyyyyywooooow’, said in a subdued way is the way to stop the dogs. That and using the brakes… One tries, but the dogs are so excited to go that you have to fully step on the brakes to get them to stop!
Here's another video, shot with our compact weatherproof Panasonic. You can see the dogs from the sled following us up close.

This trip was amazing! We loved every minute of it. I would recommend doing an overnight trip as opposed to the one-day trip we did. It involves camping in a remote area and should be nothing but spectacular.
We did our trip with Chocpaw Expeditions, the people were nothing but kind and  professional and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
How was your winter? What are your plans for the spring? Let us know!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Amazing! What a beautiful experience!