Musher's Bucket List

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Musher’s Bucket List

“West coast or death” are the famous words spoken by the great polar explorer Fridtjov Nansen as he was about to lead a group of six persons across Greenland in 1888. These words also represent the toughness of the arctic nature and the rough conditions that can occur at Spitsbergen. However, when we leave Longyearbyen on this 7-day expedition our assumptions are milder, and the guide will lead you and your dog sled across a well-known land.

Day before

Welcome to Svalbard and your first meeting with your expedition guide and fellow explorers. We gather at the Basecamp Hotel reception at 3PM. We will go through routines, equipment and packing to make sure that you have everything needed for five days outdoors. The sports shops in Longyearbyen are open until 6PM in case you need a last-minute shopping.

Day 1

The guide will pick you up at your hotel at 10AM and we continue by car to Basecamp Trapper’s Station where the huskies live. Each participant gets one sled and six huskies. We will show you how to handle the dogs and control the sled, as well as advise on the packing. Note that you will carry both private clothes and a part of the shared equipment in your sled.

When everyone is ready to go, we head into Advent valley towards Tempelfjorden and Sassendalen. We aim cover about 45 km before setting camp. There will be several stops along the way. This is your time to fill up with energy, cuddle the dogs, takes photos and simply enjoy life in all kinds of weather and temperatures. In the evening we start by caring for the dogs, before establishing the camp and preparing dinner together.

Shared tent
Lunch and dinner Included
Tent

Day 2

Enjoy the feeling of waking up in fresh air. Every morning you will look forward to opening the tent canvas only to reveal a new breath-taking view. The huskies eager to see you, and their enthusiasm will easily inspire for a new day exploring. When the dogs are cared for, we prepare breakfast and appreciate the morning coffee before packing down the tent camp.

This day will take us towards Nordenskiöld Lodge by the majestic blue glacier. Weather and conditions give us indications of how many kilometres we will be able to cover. We might reach the lodge by the end of the day. In case of heavy conditions, the program is subject to change and we can expect a second night in tent before arriving at Nordenskiöld Lodge.

Shared room
All meals included
Nordenskiöld Lodge

Day 3-6

Over the course of the next days we will truly experience what mushing is all about. Standing behind the ledge and letting your fateful dog team pull you through the white scenery gives you time really appreciate the beauty of the arctic. During the expedition you can really learn what silence and sense of freedom really means. Our route runs through a vast landscape where the weather and snow conditions set the limit on where and how far we travel each day. During these days we will cross Billefjorden, Dicksonfjorden, and Ekmanfjorden. We will pass the spectacular mountains of Tre Korner, and travel across the mighty glacier systems on Oscar II Land. On our first expedition night in tents, we try and stop early, so that we have good time to get familiar with the routines of pitching tent camp. Breakfast and dinner is served in camp and we’ll stop for expedition lunch during the days.

Shared tent
All meals included
Tent

Day 7

On our last day, we will arrive to Ymer Bay, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we will get boat transfer back to Longyearbyen and to the civilization. Once in Longyearbyen it’s time to say goodbye to our faithful dog teams and head back to Trapper’s Hotel. You can really appreciate the hot shower and a cold drink after so many days out in the wilderness. We recommend dinner at one of the town’s excellent restaurants (not included and should be booked in advance). We can guarantee, you will go home with luggage full of memories for a life time! Arrival at Trapper’s Hotel during the afternoon.

Shared tent
Breakfast and lunch included
Coming up in 2021
7 days
May
Min. 3 partisipants
Meals included
Tent and Nordenskiold lodge

Price information

What’s included?

7-day dogsledding advenutre with Arctic natureguide
Accommodation in shared room and tent
Meals according to the program
You will be provided with a warm thermos-suit, winter boots, balaclava, hat, gloves and googles
All camping equipment, thermos, cup and cutlery, sleeping bag and sleeping mat can be borrowed if needed without extra cost
Pick up and return transport to your hotel or guesthouse in Longyearbyen
Search- and rescue insurance

ADDITIONAL CHARGES

Personal spendings, drinks with meals, private equipment and travel insurance
Single room supplement at Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel
Accommodation in Longyearbyen before and after the expedition

MORE THAN TRAVEL

As part of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen’s efforts to be climate neutral, we add an additional CO2 and enviromental investment of NOK 250 per guest.  This is donated in its entirety to do good projects contributing to a sustainable future in our destinations.

Clothing and equipment

MANDATORY CLOTHING on expeditions in SVALBARD

Woolen underwear as the base layer
Warm wool or flees trousers & sweater on the top
Two sets of layers of socks (thin & thick woolen socks)
Wind- and waterproof pants and jacket. We recommend spacious clothing because air is the best insulation.
Woolen glowes with wind and waterproof outer gloves
A pair of working gloves or mittens to have when handling the dogs
Warm and windproof hat
Two warm buffs of natural material
Toilet articles
Sunglasses min. category 3
Skiing goggles if you prefer to use your own
Contact lenses (for those using glasses)
Sunscreen factor 50 (not based on water)
Binoculars
Camera and extra battery/power bank for charging
Waterproof pack for personal equipment (40-60 ltr)

Pack all your personal equipment in a couple of small waterproof bags, rather than one big one due to the slim size of the sled. Do note that you need to pack some of the common equipment’s to your sledge as well, and space is quite limited.

Basecamp will provide you with a warm thermos-suit, winter boots, balaclava, extra hat, gloves and googles.

Storage for other luggage during the trip: Basecamp Hotel

Note

The physical activity, dog sledding, is the main element of this trip. You do not need prior knowledge of the activity, but appropriate personal equipment, general good physical fitness, courage and adventure spirit. Parts of the trip can be demanding due to weather, wind and low temperatures, as well as rough terrain without roads or trails. Other factors that may challenging you is the length and duration of the trip, as well as a steep climb or when you must assist the huskies by pushing the sled in deep snow.

It is not required to have experience in outdoor tenting to join this trip, but you must be willing to learn and actively participate in the tasks required. As part of the expedition, you will participate in feeding and taking care of the dogs, help with collecting and melting snow to get water for cooking and drinking, set up/taking down the camp each day and prepare meals together. Always with supervising from your guide.

It is required to understand English and follow the guide information. If they cross the limits from the guide, we will return to Longyearbyen. This is of security reasons when operating in the Arctic.

Snowmobiling, dogsledding adventures and open RIB safaris are not suitable for persons suffering from back pains. Pregnant women cannot participate on any of the mentioned trips arranged by Basecamp Spitsbergen. Basecamp takes no responsibility to any health issues, due to neglecting this advice.

In Spitsbergen, weather conditions can change quickly. We can meet heavy winds, snowstorms or thick fog, crevasses and lack of snow or ice. This means we might need to make changes to the planned route, and this might result in not arriving to the planned destination. It can also mean that we need to use a different transportation style or accommodation than what was described in the program. We will always do our outmost to give our guests a great experience in the Arctic, but we must be aware that characteristics of the destination.

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