Dog sledding, otherwise known as dog sleighing, is a sled pulled by a pack of dogs connected by ropes to travel across snow or ice. There are many different types of sled and the ones used will depend on its function.
There was a time when dog teams were commonly used for transport in the Arctic. This transportation was especially useful for delivering goods, for reaching areas harder to access by other methods and reached speeds of 20mph.
While some rural communities in Alaska still use sled dogs, they are better known for recreational racing events.
La Grande Odyssee Savoie Mont Blanc is Europe’s annual dog sled race and is known as the most demanding dog sled race since its first edition in 2005.
Once a year, this challenging international dog sled race is held in the French and Swiss Alps, bringing some of the best athletes, and their teams of Huskies, together to compete.
Every January contestants from all other the world travel 1,000 kilometres through the Savoie and Haute-Savoie. The race takes place in nine stages over five days. Athletes are accompanied with teams of 14 dogs, achieving over 30,000m of altitude along their route.
These athletes, known as Mushers, tour through 20 resorts and villages where onlookers equipped with snowshoes or skis can watch their progress and join in on the festivities.
There is usually music, stalls and refreshments to enhance the atmosphere for all the family to enjoy. If you’re lucky, you may even meet some of the friendly, retired dogs in the crowd. If you don’t fancy getting chilly feet, however, the race can be viewed on screens from a toasty pub.
Inspired by the Alaskan dog sled races, the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, watching the athletes and their huskies glide through the floodlit ski resorts is a sight to behold. Judging by how much the retired dogs love the attention from the audience, we can see how much the dogs love being a part of this race. What’s more touching is the connection between the athletes and the huskies in a beautiful demonstration of the ancient bond between man and dog.
This year’s race saw more than fifty-five mushers and 500 dogs take part in the unique alpine sled race. The opening ceremony took place in Samoëns which is the best opportunity to get close to the action. Ending in Val Cenis, French athlete, Val Cenis Rémy Coste broke the record of being the first person to win the race four times in a row.
Sounds cool, right? Great news - you don’t have to wait until next January to experience dog sledding. In Vallandry (Les Arcs), dog sledding takes places in December through until April. Better still, you don’t just have to watch it - you can try it for yourself!
Experience the mountains in a new way and discover the natural world as you speed down the slopes in another way from skiing. From Chamois and Mountain Goats to Bearded Vultures, you’ll even be given binoculars to observe the breath-taking views we’re so proud of.
Dog sledding in Vallandry can be an indulgent experience in a cosy ‘big dog sled’ that allows up to 3 people (two adults and one child). Escorted by an experienced Musher, you can sit back and relax while being steered safely along the trail.
Hauled through the snow by ten Nordic dogs, you’ll have 30 minutes to enjoy the scenery on a shady trail with stunning views. This is one of the most memorable alpine activities for couples, families or solo holiday-makers alike.
Whether you’re looking for a thrill or a way to unwind after a day on the slopes, the pace of your ride is accommodated to you. Either way, be sure to wrap up warm!
Hucksters offer very cheap ski holidays all season. We’d recommend making your holiday more special with a dog sled ride with all that extra holiday money you’ve saved with booking with us! Remember to check ahead before you book to ensure availability as slots can fill up well in advance.
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