Ever been dogsledding near Mount Hood in Oregon? If not, it is a must try for anyone who loves the outdoors, winter, dogs and the very thought of sledding across the snow and ice, pulled by a dog pack. In fact, the area has many companies that would be glad to share the experience and quickly bundle visitors into a sled for an exciting adventure.
Dog sledding uses varied sleds, dependent on their usage. Some use traditional native versions, a basket style raised a few inches above the ground, and is usually used for racing. Others prefer the Inuit komatik, which lies lower to the ground and requires the sledder to lie down, or the pulk, a shorter Scandinavian style sled, used mainly for transporting goods.
Each tour company teaches eager learners how to attach the dog team to the sled, and the differences between the dogs used. These mushers (dogs) take on different positions, the leader, point, swing and wheel type dogs. Each one plays an important role in the stability of the sled and the overall speed of the ride. However, the greatest lesson is how to direct them, something that can only be learned with years of experience and practice. However, these companies provide excellent guides, so team driving is not so haphazard.