Take an atlas, look in the extreme North-West
of Canada, and you will find Yukon, the country of Jack London,
and of the Klondike gold rush of 1898. Only 30,000 inhabitants
on a surface almost as large as France.
Here, at the end of January, it's the preparation of the Yukon
Quest, the greatest sled dog race in the world.
We will share our trails with professional mushers able to have to 14
dogs in their team. A world separates our styles, but the pleasure
is the same one. I began with 4 unknown dogs and I finished the trip with
6 trusty companions. My team was composed of adorable,
courageous, willing and relatively quiet dogs (given that they
are generally very excited in the mornings as soon as you move
the sledges or the harnesses).
The trip progressed gradually, with each day becoming increasingly
technical, to finish with 2 camps of 4 and 3 days
in isolated but comfortable camps.
Our guides, Trevor Braun (7 days) and Pierre Fournier (3 days), helped us
discover the splendid landscapes of the Yukon on very varied
trails. Each day, they prepared us very good meals in order
to face the cold (of -26 °C to -2 °C).
To note among the new experiences :
- 2 nights under the stars at -7 °C and -20 °C,
on a very comfortable mattress made from branches of fir trees
- a trout fished under the ice of the Beaver lake and
consumed at once in the evening, a treat !
At the lodge, we met others mushers and unusual characters, for
example Ian McDougall, a true Yukon trapper.
To benefit from it even more, it would have been necessary to understand
a little more English. Fortunately, Pierre, Guillaume and Ed helped me
share their passion and their experience with their beautiful