There is nothing more representative than thinking of a snowy landscape and visualizing a sled being pulled by dogs. In Whistler, you can enjoy a movie-like activity and feel like in a dream. Do you dare to take a sled ride?

Dog sledding emerged in the 20th century in the territories of Alaska and Canada during the Gold Rush as a way to move from one place to another. Years later, this Canadian travel technique was used for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, until it reached the present day, where it has gained great importance as a cultural tourist attraction. 

What is dog sleeding?

Dog sleeding (dog sleed) is what is known in Spanish as “trineo tirado por perros” (dog sledding), where there is a pilot called a dog sled driver. In Whistler, it is a recreational activity that hundreds of tourists do every year when they choose to enjoy winter sports.

What are the breeds of sled dogs?

Sled dogs must meet a series of physical characteristics to be able to perform this discipline. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the international organization that dictates which dog breeds are included in the category of “sled dogs”. Some characteristics common to all of them are that they are dogs from Nordic areas, with a coat capable of coping with low temperatures, of strong build and living in packs.

The breeds that make up the list are the Canadian Eskimo dog, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Greenland dog, Yakutian Laika and Samoyed.

There are other dog breeds not recognized by the FCI that are known in the sledding world, such as the Alaskan husky or the Chinook.

How fast does a sled dog go?

The speed that sled dogs can reach is around 20-24 kilometers per hour, reaching a distance of up to 130 kilometers per day.

Sled dog competitions

Mushing is the so-called sled dog sport, where the musher is the controller and pilot of the sled. Currently there are different modalities of mushing. The sledding specialty is the best known, where there are speed and distance modalities from 2 to 10 dogs. The pulka is based on a smaller sled than the previous one, made of plastic or metal, in which a maximum of 4 dogs can be pulled. Other modalities that exist are skijoring, cart or scooter.  This sport can also be practiced outside the snow under the categories of bikejoring and canicross.

Among its world competitions, the Yukon Quest in Canada stands out, a 1600 kilometers’ race where weather conditions are extreme. The number of dogs pulling the sled in this race is 14, which have to withstand snowstorms and high winds of up to 160 kilometers per hour.

Iditarod, a historic dog sled race of more than 1600 kilometers in Alaska, has been held every March since 1973.

Dog sledding tour in Whistler

When you book, and hire a sledding tour with Whistler Ski Experience, our tours are led by a team of powerful, trained dogs that will take you into the famous Callaghan Valley forest, where wildlife flourishes. There will be a warm-up stop at a hunter’s cabin as you discover the history of Canadian fur hunts, learning about the customs and way of life of the locals. In addition, you will assist the professional musher in preparing and tuning the dogs, learning the commands and feeling the thrill of driving your own team. The duration of the dog sledding in Whistler is two and a half hours.

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