You can’t see it, but behind my woollen balaclava is a smile so wide it’s squishing my cheeks up into my frosted eyelashes.
It’s minus twenty degrees and the feeling in my feet all but disappeared 10 minutes ago. Standing on ice, the whole landscape is white.
Howling barks echo off of the snow-covered trees and in front of me, there’s a train of five, bouncy, mixed-breed Alaskan huskies: two leaders, one in the middle and two at the rear.
I can’t quite believe I’m here.
I have to pinch myself because today, I get to drive deep into the forest of Finnish Lapland on a husky sled. The only way to travel in the Arctic Circle, darling.
The ropes pull to make a straight line. I lift my ankles off the brake and we slide off with a whooosh.
Leaning into each turn to help steer, our sled takes us through 12 kilometres of snow-covered paths, over frozen rivers, through Twilight-esque woodlands and in and out of clearings. This place is unreal.
We pick up speed around a bend and I don’t quite lean far enough, the sled is now at a diagonal against the snow bank. Eeeek!
‘Whaaaat do I dooooo?!’ I scream at my boyfriend who’s joined me on this adventure. The dogs at the back of the group look back at us; they sense something is off.
I pull my entire body into the snowbank, hanging off the sled handles to prevent us from tipping. The dogs do the rest. We’re going straight again! Phew, that was close.
Up ahead, our local guide on a snowmobile has stopped, his arm is vertical in the air. Time for a break!
Running for around two hours, this husky experience at the Raitola Reindeer and Husky Farm is seriously bucket list worthy. Home to around 100 dogs who are built like marathon runners, they sprint up to 50 kilometres every day. Now that might seem like a lot, but trust me, the dogs LOVE it. Seriously.
Plus, the colder the better for these furry folks. Did you know they perform the best in extreme minus temps? I wish I could say the same for myself!
I’m hidden under proper arctic attire including an insulated, waterproof and windproof onesie, a balaclava, woolen socks and mittens 🤗
Once we arrive back at the lodge, a glass of warm berry juice and ginger cookies wait for us. After some puppy playtime of course.
We leave the lodge with full hearts and a squishy smile still in place.
Husky sledding is one of the optional activities on Topdeck’s Lapland Express trip.
Wanna come check it out?