Alaska-Shore Excursions offered this tour and many more
Background as found on the site via Alaska-Shore Excursions:
Dogsledding on the Herbert Glacier is a one of a kind experience! Working in cooperation with Sebastian Schnuelle and his team of mushers at Blue Kennels, we orchestrate a thrilling adventure over vast expanses of Alaskan snow on the Herbert Glacier. Coastal Helicopters and Blue Kennels have teamed up for this “once in a lifetime” tour. Blue Kennels has been offering dogsled tours since 1997 and in 2009 Sebastian Schnuelle, camp owner of Blue Kennels, won the 1000 Mile Yukon Quest and also finished the Iditarod in 2nd place only a few weeks later.
To start your dogsled experience, you will be picked up at the cruise ship dock area and transported to the heliport in our Coastal Helicopters vehicles, where you will start your very special adventure. Once at the our main facility we will go over paper work, weight requirements, fittings of boots/jackets/etc. and go over regulated safety videos for your tour. The helicopter flight is only one part of this legendary experience that includes flying over the Juneau Icefield to the dog camp, a kennel tour, and the dogsled ride. When you take off, glaciers are seemingly within arm’s reach and the glacier-carved mountains will unfold in front of your eyes as you embark on your helicopter flight over the Juneau Icefield to the dogsled camp. You’ll have ample photo opportunities and can ask questions.
FEEL THE EXCITEMENT as the team is hooked up, then…. YOU’RE OFF! A team of 12 to 14 dogs will pull the dogsled while you and your family or friends begin your mushing adventure.
NOW FOR THE REVIEW:
As stated above in the background section you meet your guide at the cruise ship area right in front of the “Mount Roberts Tramway” Red building. From there your transported via coastal helicopters van to the main facility were your outfitted w/overlay boots (if you don’t have your own winterized snow boots), jackets if needed, go over paper work/get weighed, and you go over a regulatory instructional video. I called in advance to make sure the boots I had was sufficient, my boyfriend wore his sneakers, and needed the overlay boots. Gloves aren’t necessary but if your hands get cold quick, bring them. This is a no “carry on” place and so you must store all of your purses, anything that you can’t fit into your pockets, in there storage area at the main facility before boarding the helicopter. Then you await to be loaded onto the helicopter which is the most amazing thing you can be on and is approxametly a 30 minute ride. At least I think because honestly it was a quick helicopter ride but it was so much fun. The pilot is really good at surprises and he saved all of the hidden gems for the right moment, as he hovered to show us different areas before reaching our destination on Herbert Glacier.
–HOUSTON WE HAVE ARRIVED — or should I SAY
–HERBERT GLACIER WE HAVE ARRIVED
Alaska’s landscape is amazing, my seat was in the back center..so I was to the left middle behind the pilot, and was able to film a lot. We arrived on the glacier and was quickly escorted off the helicopter. Once on land, we were introduced to our team leader, and walked around the compound for a mini tour before meeting our team of dogs. Oh the beautiful pups who will be pulling us and taking us on the ride of our lives. I honor you… yes I do! I want to thank the dogs in the beginning to show major gratitude because these dogs eat, sleep, breathe, and can’t get enough of dog sledding. They enjoyed every moment of it and yes your able to touch, photo, and play w/the dogs at the different stops your team leader will take you. You go around a giant oval, all you hear are the sounds of the waterfalls on the glaciers, and happy dogs. It’s overall quit up there and you hear your thoughts easily.
What I mean is when your up on the glacier, the sun is beaming right down on you, so the snow is actually warm, your surrounded by glacier-mountains, and there’s only one way in/out which is via helicopter. Dog sledding is the best roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on, the musher gives commands, and these dogs take off like a bat out of hell. Natural energy anyone…
-NO DOUBLE SHOT OF EXPRESSO FOR THESE DOGS REQUIRED —
We came up on the helicopter w/another group (helicopter only seats max of 7 including pilot) and they were behind us using another dog team. We asked the Team leader a lot of questions about where are the dogs from (some are rented out from different US states) and go back once the season is over, if one dog is sick: immediate attention is paid, they live completely off of what I call Military rations, no tv/internet, and spend 100% of there time tending to the dogs. Creating a bond w/the dogs is a big deal in that they have to trust you in order for them to listen to you. Our team lead loved using the word “manners” and I tell you the dogs shut up real quick. After the laps around, we got off to give the dogs a rest, and was given a tour of the mini compound. Each team lead has there own section to watch over there dogs, military style rations, sleep in tents w/heaters, and the cooking area is minimal but use common since your up on a glacier so not much you can really store. I asked where do they keep the dog supplies and do they have to keep a years worth in case something bad happens on the glacier like cave-ins? The team lead told us they keep it in a big above ground cooler (ice chest) and they’ve actually had some of the glacier calve off and had to push there camp back. He said while sleeping they heard a loud thunder sound, jumped up, and immediately pulled camp way back away from the bottom of one of the glacier-mountains; out of harms reach. What a rush over the entire trip and this is worth being done at least once in your lifetime. So much history & culture.
-BACK TO HEADQUARTERS PEOPLE —
Our pilot came back for us which seemed like we were only there for 1hr but it was actually close to 3 hours total I believe…you do the math — start time 11:15am – 2:20pm. We went back the same way we came enjoying the view down wind, looking at the lovely national forest, seeing an airplane flying in for a landing, and being above the clouds. Gosh I’m honored to have been able to say “I WENT DOG SLEDDING” in my lifetime and thank everyone for being apart of it.