Hello and welcome to our blog. We have been getting many requests to join in on blogging so here we go. I hope you all enjoy the "view". Be sure to check us out at www.earthsonglodge.com for detailed information.

EarthSong Lodge in pictures

EarthSong Lodge in pictures

The view of a lifetime

The view of a lifetime
Denali in March 2012

Caribou and Sled Dogs

Caribou and Sled Dogs

two minutes of sunshine at -16 below

Friday, March 5, 2010

Late winter dog sledding in Denali Park

Early March finds us in the middle of our busy time for guided dog sledding in and around the lodge. We finished our first seven day Toklat Loop trip the last week of February, with Dana and Nancy from Columbus. They found out first-hand the "challenges" of a strong El Nino year in Interior Alaska. When we have an El Nino phenomenon, the Interior (most of Denali Park and our lodge area) see very low snow years, as the storms all come from the south and there are two mountain ranges between us and the ocean. We need a few storms from the west, and since they haven't come, that's why we have only seen snowfalls of over two inches at a time prior to early December. In addition, the temperatures swing wildly, from colder than usual to warmer than usual. This seven day trip started with temps up to +40F, and the fifth night out was down to -24F. We found some great mushing, but also a fair share of rocks and bare tundra, not to mention ice...in that matter, a normal mushing trip!

You can see a video clip of Nancy and Dana following me up Stony Hill for an amazing view of the mountains and Denali (Mt. McKinley) on YouTube, at

A great trip, and when Nancy returns we'll try and keep her away from the steep drop-off on the east side of Sable Pass.

We finished a three day trip yesterday with a group from National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). We usually take a group of 4-6 people out on a trip from NPCA the first week of March, part of a week-long trip they do that includes watching the Iditarod Race start in Anchorage. NPCA is an excellent organization advocating responsible development and recreation in national parks, and watching over the National Park Service, keeping them "in line" when they occassionally stray from their mission. Tom Kiernan is the organization's president, and this has been his fourth trip with us. We'll miss him, as he will soon be moving on to other challenges. Due to the low snow year, our trip to the Sushana River cabin made a detour the last three miles, which includes the descent down the Sushana Steps, two short steep drops down the the spruce forest and onto the river near the cabin. Check out the video clip:
this descent was unusal in that I had a passenger in my sled. And Anne didn't scream at all! While all our trips are safe, there has to be some excitement or you're not getting what dog sledding is all about.

In other guiding news, we will be starting a three day trip for a couple in a few days, followed by a seven day trip, and then a ten day trip with two guys who did a seven day trip two years ago, and want something more challenging. They won't be disappointed. Also, our five new pups are doing well at about six weeks: Dax, Sisco, Basheer, Odo, and Kira. Anyone guess the theme?

I'll try and keep posting updates about the dogs and trips as the season progresses. If you are bored, go to my YouTube contributions (DenaliDogBoy), and see some Frodo-cams and Picard-cams...video shot from a camera attached to the dog's harness. Puts it all in perspective. In the meantime, the people back East can please send us some of their snow, I'll appreciate it.

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