follow that dog!

More interesting people from Iditarod… and a grand tour of the five longest sled dog races in the frozen edge of the world…

More Vikings…

Ketil came from Norway to finish a thesis on Inuit whaling… met a nice lady in Kaktovik, married her, and stayed in Alaska mushing and …

…taking people out in his boat to photograph polar bears.

Image result for polar bears


Wiki has this to say about Kaktovik…

Until the late nineteenth century Barter Island was a major trade center for the Inupiat and was especially important as a bartering place for Inupiat from Alaska and Inuit from Canada.

Kaktovik was traditional fishing place—Kaktovik means “Seining Place”—that has a large pond of good fresh water on high ground. It had no permanent settlers until people from other parts of Barter Island and northern Alaska moved to the area around the construction of a runway and Distant Early Warning Line station in the 1950s. The area was incorporated as the City of Kaktovik in 1971.

Due to Kaktovik’s isolation, the village has maintained its Inupiat Eskimo traditions. Subsistence is highly dependent upon the hunting of caribou and whale.



Ketil has the unique experience of being…

…the only musher to have finished the five longest sled dog races: the Iditarod four times, the Yukon Quest, La Grande Odyssee, the Hope Race from Nome to Anadyr, Chukotka and the Finnmarksløpet.

OK, digest that for a minute…





Iditarod is about 1150 miles (often touted as 1149 for historical reasons)… the Iditarod website states this caveat: PLEASE NOTE:  THESE DISTANCES ARE ESTIMATIONS AS THE ACTUAL TRAIL PLACEMENT CAN VARY FROM YEAR TO YEAR BASED ON CONDITIONS AND CAN AFFECT THE ACTUAL MILEAGE…

The Yukon Quest logs in at 1000 miles… across the frozen wilds of Canada/Alaska. In the dead of winter.

La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is an international sled dog race spanning 900 kilometres (560 mi) in French Alps and Swiss Alps.

The Hope Race or Hope Sled Dog Race is a defunct international sled dog race between Nome, Alaska and Anadyr, Russia, across the Bering Strait. The race was established in 1991,[1] shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, and according to information on the race’s (now inactive) Web site, was run as recently as 2004.[2]Racers covered 1,200 miles, but did not actually race across the Bering Strait. Teams instead were shipped across the strait on boats and raced on land.

“Nadezhda” is one of the biggest dog sledding races in Russia’s Chukotka. The event takes annually in the beginning of April. Lasts 2 weeks. Total distance for dog sleds to run is 1114 km across ice- and snow-hummocks. It’s “the race on the edge of the Earth.”  Looking at the pics here: …it appears to take place in darkest Siberia… the dogs are not the lean, wiry, short coated Alaskan Huskies, but thick hairy stout dogs of the type seen in Alaska before Leonhard Seppala brought in those Siberian huskies.

The Finnmarkslopet takes various teams on a tour of Finnmark in Norway, it’s the most northern dog sled race in the world. There are 6-dog (junior), 8-dog and 14-dog classes. This line pretty much describes why mushers do this…

…the exact time the first racers enters the finish line is as unpredictable as the weather in Finnmark.  But as a result of this unpredictable and challenging weather conditions, this race has been this popular among mushers from all over the world.

Getting light in Nome…


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