We hope all of you have a fantastic, adventure-filled 2012! Be sure to share any of your Yukon adventure stories with YAM, we want this site to be a great resource for those looking for new adventures and want to share the awesomeness of our Territory.
Some of you, outside of the Yukon, may be wondering what we do here on New Years Eve. Well, it can range as much as NY festivities do anywhere else, but there can also be a certain “northerly” angle to some NY celebrations.
Some common NY celebrations in the Yukon:
- dogsledding at the stroke of midnight
- bonfire parties complete with fireworks (everyone up here seemed to have fireworks this year!)
- skating & pond hockey parties
- skiing (cross-country, downhill, backcountry)
And…. skijoring! This is what we did this year and we have some videos & photos to show just how much fun it was.
There are LOADS of great, groomed public trails around Whitehorse, and we found these about 20 mins outside of town. Well packed, WIDE trails make for great skijoring trails. A bunch of us headed out with 9 dogs, 3 sets of skis and one dogsled. It was about -16C, perfect for skijoring with light layers on – you warm up quite a bit while skijoring. It’s a fun, fantastic workout.
Here we are getting ready, with a mass of lines and dogs and people tripping over each other in a fairly confined space, but luckily the dogs are old pros at this. It didn’t take long for us to get going. And even though they’ve done this a million times, the whining, screeching dogs were certainly happy once we got going!
Ever wonder what it’s like to skijor?
Pooh Bear and Woody and I are off! These two little happy creatures are a joy to skijor with. Even though I’ve tried, I just can’t go back to cross country skiing without dogs, it just seems to slow and boring now. Having a couple of 50lb dogs help out makes for a faster and potentially wild and crazy experience. Depending on trails, you can have a wee bit of fun – we had some good downhill sections here. The dogs ran full out and I had to snowplow to keep from running into them. The trail was windy and full of bumps as well. I took some air off of some of those downhill bumps and the dogs kept pulling.
Time for a bit of a break! They know the dogsled team is up ahead and were not big fans of just “taking a break” – there was a team to catch. If you ever want to try your dog skijoring for the first time, the best way to do it is to have them CHASE something. Anything – other dogs, loose dogs, a skidoo, etc. It works wonders and most dogs just have that innate need to chase (and pull while they’re at it).
Here you can see the workout they’re giving me as we go slightly uphill… and the dog team is up ahead if you look closely. Sorry for the somewhat sideways video, but it’s hard to hold a camera while your hands are strapped into ski poles! I REALLY need a helmet-cam.
And that’s how we roll on New Year’s Eve in the Yukon!!! What a great way to finish off the year, with good friends and dogs.
All the best to YAM readers in 2012!