Les visiteurs de notre ferme auront beaucoup à faire peu importe la saison. De la perspective des chiens, il y a deux saison clairement distinctes: la saison de mushing (d’octobre ou novembre jusqu’en avril ou mai) et la saison d’entraînement (du printemps tardif jusqu’en automne).
Les habitants locaux, quant à eux, déclarent qu’il y a en fait huit saisons distinctes et qu’au fil de ces huit saisons nos activités avec les chiens varient. Il y a, par exemple, un grand contraste entre les conditions du début de l’hiver et celles de la fin de l’hiver ainsi qu’entre celles du début du printemps et de la fin du printemps. L’ensoleillement joue un grand rôle sur l’expérience au cours des safaris, étant donné que la nuit polaire dure du 6 décembre jusqu’au 6 janvier et que le soleil de minuit dure du 26 mai jusqu’au 18 juillet. Il faut choisir sa saison attentivement. Préférerez-vous faire du mushing à travers des paysages enneigés féériques, mais entourés d’une grande noirceur du début de l’hiver, ou des paysages illuminés de la fin-mars. Vous pourriez également faire du mushing en décembre et ne pas voir de lever du soleil, ou faire du mushing toute la nuit en avril et ne pas voir de couchez du soleil.
Toutes les saisons peuvent être louangés et nous vous fournissons, par le menu de navigation de gauche, un peu plus de détails sur ce à quoi s’attendre durant les saisons standards. L’information ci-dessous, en contrepartie, devrait vous donner une bonne idée de comment les mois de mushing et les autres mois interagissent.
Our main client-season starts towards the end of November but in November and December, our focus tends to be on shorter one-day safaris since there are many people visiting the area in search of Father Christmas. Through most of December, we are operating in the middle of the Polar Night. A common misconception is that this means that it is totally dark. In reality, however, when the sun is only just below the horizon, it creates a fantastic array of blue-tinged hues as the snow reflects the refracted sunlight (and the moonlight on moonlit nights). It is as if you are living in a perpetual dawn or in a twilight zone. Hence, it is possible to go out dogsledding right through the Polar Twilight, without artificial lights although the guides, at least, all carry good torches so that they can react quickly and safely to things like dogs getting tangled in the lines. This time of year is for the adventurous with a flexible and open frame of mind.
Daylight, in particular, plays a huge role in the safari experience since the polar night lasts from December 6th to January 6th (and the mid-night sun, from 26th May to 18th July). Hence, choose your season carefully, since it will impact on whether you are more likely to be mushing through the fairy-tale, snow-laden landscapes of early winter, surrounded a great deal by darkness, or the bright, sunny landscapes of late March. You could be dog-sledding in December and not see the sun rise, and five months later, dog-sledding all night, and not see the sun set.
By the end of December, depending on how busy we are day by day, the conditions are generally good enough for us to have opened most of our longer routes and therefore safari options are wider. The new guides are still learning the trails at this time, though, so our facility to run the longer tours might still be a little more restricted than it is slightly later in the season.
By January, we have a little more time and the guides and dogs are also fitter and more able to withstand the long days and cold temperatures. The sun starts to poke its head above the horizon and we start to prepare the tracks that are needed for the longer multi-day products.
This is a really beautiful month in the sense that the tree branches are still laden with snow, there is still a part of each day with the ethereal refracted light of the Arctic winter and you feel like you are mushing through a picture-perfect winter wonderland.
By February, the hours of daylight are noticeably longer and the temperatures tend to be warmer. Linked to this, however, the snow starts to melt from the trees so the appearance of the whole landscape changes and you will really feel like you have entered the time of ‘Spring’ mushing. Having said that, we generally get one really cold week sometime in February when the temperatures drop one final time below -35C or even -40C and some years it is even the coldest week of the whole winter. Hence, you can never quite predict what February will bring.
By March and April, we are in the season of long, bright, sunny days although short-lived snow storms are also possible. By the end of April, the sun is only dipping below the horizon for a few short hours each day so people need sunglasses to prevent eye damage from the brightness of the sunlight reflecting on the vast fields of snow. The ambient daytime temperature is noticeably warmer although still several degrees below freezing – and night-time temperatures can again drop below -20C, though -10 C is more usual.
More information can be found, here, about the single day safaris ie shorter safari options lasting for one day or less and farm activities and tours as well as about our multiday safaris, our multiactivity products and suggestions and other winter activity options availabile in Enontekiö as a whole.
At the end of the season we have a second transition period (generally from mid April through the first week of May) when we tend to have fewer clients but those that do come can still take part in very intensive training sessions. At this time of year the dogs are fit and the guides experienced enough to really play with whatever conditions are out there. Sometimes they are great, still, and we train all day on sleighs. Sometimes they are icy and we may have to quit training for a few days at a time for the safety of the dogs and at one point the snow melts but the temperatures are still cold enough for the dogs to run. Hence, when the snow finally goes at some point in May and the lakes thaw, we bring the quadbikes back out and fine-tune running skills for older dogs by training things like GEE and HAW whilst at the same time giving the newest pups their first chance to train before the warm summer days dictate that it is time for a well-earned holiday.
More information can be found, here, about the husky guiding camp which we run, annually and farm activities and tours which are possible year-round, and summer activities like kayaking may also be possible depending on the temperature. Information about other autumn activities availabile in Enontekiö as a whole can be found from the location section which goes into a lot of detail about the wilderness areas, national parks and hiking trails that you might like to explore. NB: Late August to early October are arguably the best times of year here for hiking and biking and you will be amazed by the autumn colours which sweep the landscape from east to west.
You are welcome to visit our farm outside of mushing and training / transition seasons since there is always lots going on here. Indeed, it is really important for the continuity of care of the dogs that they are visited by friendly strangers through the year so that they don't become nervous around strangers.
More information can be found on the activities you can take part in around our farm at this time in our section on summer options for those who want to spend time with the dogs or take part in our multiactivity day and general information about can be found from our summer activities page about the wide range of activtities you can take part in, in Enontekiö as a whole, in summer.
We start the mushing season with pre-snow quad-bike training in the Autumn (once the temperature has consistently dropped below 5C). Taking part in training safaris at this time is often very interesting as we see how much the dogs have learned from the previous season and introduce new dogs (eg new pups) into the mix.
We start running the dogs with just 2km rounds and relatively small (eg 10-dog) teams to get them used to being back in harness and behaving themselves in the lines. This is particularly important for the older dogs and the pups who need to gradually get accustomed to the running routine. Running distances fairly swiftly rise, however, until we are soon doing up to 20km in one session with the quads and maybe 16 dogs per team.
As soon as the snow is deep enough to compact on the marsh areas and the river crossings are safe enough, we start to create a network of routes that we can use with the sleighs. This is one of the best times in the year for the guides since we are out nearly all day every day on the sleighs with the dogs, developing the pups and training the lead dogs to listen to turning commands etc.
Clients who are interested in joining us for this season should be relatively experienced with dogs and have a strong love of them since this is our 'dog-focused' time. We even offer a full-on sled-training week each October for clients interested in learning more working with dogs either professionally or as a hobby.