Our tour season is going well.
Lots of snow but then some warm weather created a melt off that
left the trails hard and icy. Fresh snow has fallen and trails are
beginning to soften up again.
Please note that we customize our tours
to our clients abilities but then each year we also do 1 or 2 extreme
trips where we invite select clients to return and do a trip that
is very challenging physically and mentally.
Our first extreme trip began February 18th
with 6 teams heading out in beautiful weather. SPOT cords will be
posted below so you can follow each days camp sites and locations.
They completed the first 45 miles without incident. That evening
they learned that ahead of them was extremely deep snow and moose
that were hugging the river and not wanting to leave.
Feb 19th...Temps have stayed cold on the group. Last night as they
camped about 40 miles up the Nation River the mercury dropped to
Feb 20th...The dog teams are now in the process of climbing over
the pass from Nation River to Kandik River. They are approximately
10 miles into this pass. Temps tonight for them were minus 30 and
dropping. The teams...people and dogs are all doing well. They met
up with the snowmachiners that were attemping to put in trail as
they hauled a drop of dog food into the upper Nation.
Charlie and Earl have had such deep snow conditions that they have
been out in front of their machines with snow shoes for the past
3 days but have finally gotten out of the difficult ravine and are
now into some easier trail conditions.
February 21st...All team members met up at a remote cabin on the
Kandik River. The snowmachines are going to go on today and the
dogs are taking a day off as the last day in deep, soft snow was
hard on their feet. It is still extremely cold but all are doing
February 23rd has had the team exploring and camping out on the
Kandik River. Conditions on the pass between Kandik and the Black
River were not negotiable so the team has rerouted and are working
out other travel plans. All team members and dogs are doing good
and are happy with the way things are going. Temperatures are still
very cold on the group. I am not envious of the ones staying in
the single wall tent in the extreme cold they have had.
February 24th the team has returned to a remote cabin for the night.
Temps are still cold at minus 25 and dropping. The northern lights
have been gracing the night sky and the crew is doing fine and having
fun. Tomorrow they will cross back over into the Nation River drainage
and then spend a few days exploring around some creek drainages
there before starting home.
Feb 25...has the teams dropping back over into the Nation River
Drainage. They encountered overflow today so are busy working to
dry out gear and dog booties. All are doing well and the dogs are
Earl and Charlie their front running snow machine support have
come back through here and will be in Eagle by 8 pm.
The group initiated an airplane rescue of a dog that was in extremely
bad condition. The individual who had the dog in a remote area had
already had one dog die on him and Moby is hanging on by a thread.
The group decided to step in and fly the dog out as the owner was
going to leave him alone for 3 days unattended. He is on 1/2 cup
soaked dog food 4 times a day with small amounts of water in between
in the hopes of getting some food and hydration back into him. We
do not have the capability to get an IV into him so are hoping that
as he is eating and drinking that we can hydrate him that way.
Feb 26...the guessing game begins. Last night I was able to hear
Wayne on the sat phone but not tonight. All I can do is look at
the SPOT and try to guess their next move. The last plan I heard
from them was to have them exploring the Nation for a few days but
overflow on some of the side drainages and a bit on the Nation may
have changed those plans.
As a follow up I am sad to report that Moby had congestive heart
failure and the decision was made to let him pass in loving arms.
I am glad the group flew him out of the remote area and he spent
his last hours with friends and love.
Feb 27th...the crew is on their way back and will be staying on
the Tatonduk tonight and the going up the 70-Mile and spending a
night there before returning home on Saturday, March 1st. They have
had a good trip and enjoyed the experience of traveling into new
Feb 18th near the mouth of the Nation River
Feb 19th was about 30 miles up the Nation River. No SPOT was received.
Feb 20th was a camp on the pass between Nation and Kandik Rivers
Feb 21 and 22 a remote cabin on the Kandik River
4 , 5 and 7
Our son, Matt Hall has some very awestruck parents and quite a
fan following as he competed in theYukon Quest 1000 mile Dog Sled
Matt Hall finished with a very strong team
in 3rd place and was awarded the Rookie
the Year, The
Spirit of the North and the Vets
Follow his progress on our Face Book Page...
Here are the links to his finish line interviews on YOU TUBE and
Our first extreme trip is about to get underway as Scarlett fights
a computer virus. More news to come on that.
The tour season is going well.
Our Blog has been moved to the
Us & Blog
Click here for Touring and KENNEL UPDATE/BLOG
Check out the caribou migration crossing the Yukon near our homestead
at the above link!
March 2013 Dog Sledding Video by Mike and Katie Rabalais
2014 SEASON BOOKING NOW
FOR CUSTOMIZED TOURS!
Book now for the 2014 season...we customize our tours to
our clientele's level of ability and physical comfort so we are
able to work with beginners to advanced. Don't hesitate to get with
us with any questions and to see what we can offer you for a truely
Our 2014 season is booked and we are
reservations for the 2015 season now!
We are in the process of planning 2 Extreme/Wilderness dog sled
expeditions this coming year specifically geared for high adventure
including the possibility of very difficult trails, Alaska weather
extremes and physically/mentally demanding situations. Please note
these are in addition to our regular tours.
If your profile can meet the requirements to participate as a client/team
member on either of these expeditions please express your interest
with us ASAP due to logistical considerations on our part.
The routings in the planning stages are...
Yukon/Charley River Expedition...approximately 14 days - level
of difficulty strenuous. Timing will be in late March to early April.
Nation/Black River Expedition...approximately 14 days if you do
both legs of the expedition or 7 days if you choose to only do half
the expedition, in which case you would fly in or out of a remote
landing strip. Level of difficulty possibly very strenuous. Tentative
dates are Feb 17 to March 3.
Due to complex logistics dates, costs and details are still under
WINTER WILDERNESS ARCTIC SURVIVAL
COURSES in addition to our
regular customized tours.
In this course you will learn to mush your own dog team of Alaskan
Huskies through varying degrees and levels of difficulty. In a land
that for the unprepared can be unforgiving, for the prepared a marvelous
experience. The terrain will cover river drainages, woods and boreal
forests. The surroundings of your class-room would be one of the
most extreme wilderness environments and eco-systems left on earth…real
hands on experience traveling and camping with your guide and your
own dog team. Live, travel and camp the same as the Alaska Pioneers
did over a hundred years ago as they searched for gold and trapped
for fur in what was one of the richest gold mining areas on the
continent. Travel with your dogs could take you to old gold camps
and trapline cabins dating back to the historic gold rush era of
1. Navigate your dog team through deep snow and unbroken trail.
2. How to care for yourself and your dogs in dangerous conditions.
3. Learn how to “Read” dangerous ice and spots to avoid.
4. Build a survival fire in minutes at minus 50 F.
5. How to travel comfortable even in extreme temps down to minus
50 F. This could be a true hand on experience if the temps are extreme
while you are training.
6. Where and how to tent camp including survival shelters.
7. Wildlife behavior, animal tracks and trapping (if desired).
8. Survival hunting – dressing and preparing of small game.
9. How to find water and/or melting snow and ice for your dogs and
10. Historical and traditional skills of native culture can also
be discussed and demonstrated.
When you have completed this adventure in arctic survival, living
off of and on the land experiencing first hand all of Alaska’s
wonders, from the aurora borealis to its natural eco-system you
will become one of the small minority that have…”Connected
with the Land.”
Mike McDougall will be the guide for these courses and you can
read his bio on theAbout
The cost for these courses are our normal costs which are listed
on our Trips
App dates are Jan 13 to 20 and Feb 19 to 26. FEBRUARY DATES
Photos and details of our expedition trips have been moved to Expeditions & Photos to see more about our expedition trips
and their photos.
Matt has a website going as he starts preparing for racing.
If you get the chance check out Smoking Ace Kennels and/or see some of his racing career
here on our web site at Matt's Racing
Check out a neat video, Twenty-four Feet Across the Yukon, that one of
our clients, Court, has put together. His video covers so much of
what happens while on tour with us.
Sled dogs enjoying back packing in the off season.
Ever hear the one about not standing up in a canoe?
Aug 14, 2012...The second wave of suicidal porcupines have broken
through the perimeter of the homestead and here is one of the wounded
June 17th...Happy Father's Day...Wayne is not too impressed with
the gift the dogs gave him...
Personally, I am not either...a bear up a tree in the dog yard
all night...Quiet PLEASE!
We have been enjoying travel on the river and came across an interesting
discovery. Is it a new species...?
Cleaning out some paperwork I came across an interesting picture.
Here is our very first Sierra Club Tour group waiting at the Eagle
Air Strip for the charter flight to pick them up for their return
to Fairbanks. Picture is compliments of Bob Thorton.
Just in case anyone thinks this is a serious picture...this was
a fun loving group who had a great time setting this photo up.