They say that the Sami people
– the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia
have 500 words that describe snow. I now understand that this is very
important. In the past 2 weeks I have learnt a few variations of the word snow
– I have found myself asking what type of snow has fallen?! What snow is
After the small snow fall 2
weeks ago the weather has been deteriorating.
Considering my home country, I believe that one would assume that the
weather would of got colder. But oh no, the deterioration that I am talking
about is the weather actually getting warmer.
But not all is negative – we
have been blessed with some fantastic displays of the northern lights…. I
wonder if I will ever get bored of this natural phenomenon that draws people in
there thousands from all over the world. I don’t think I will. It changes so
quickly – from a faint almost non existent glow to a dramatic display that
stretches all across the sky. I spent an hour head tilted backwards with a
guest whom I met at 3am in the morning whilst on my “restocking the fire” shift.
It was a magical experience.
So we may not have the snow –
but as mentioned we have ice. The ice on the ground is hazardous – but the ice forming
like stalactites from the water cascading down steep rock formations are spectacular.
Creating “Aero Bar” shaped bubbles at the base – it’s a photographers dream
Setting out on a new training
track we where optimistic that our track issues where behind us. But after two
runs we where back to square one. During the wet autumn the track has been used
by quad bikes tearing up the once relative flat base, now frozen in hard
chocolate ridges. So it was no longer a slippery ice issue it was a track that
was badly corrugated to the extent that we could not get a consistent running
speed in order to train
The third option was to
return to the Autumn training camp – where we knew that the track would be in
better condition. Thankfully, we where right. The down side to this is despite
the autumn training camp being just over the mountain – it was an hours drive.
An hour there, 1.5 hours to train and then an hour return journey is making the
extra long and tiring. On top of that is the loading and unloading of the dogs
needs to be taken into account.
The last few days have been very
trying. The minimal snow fall at first was a promising sign of good things to
come. But alas the tracks are now playing field for cart drifting and
fishtailing. With the temperature increasing the lying snow has melted somewhat
to refreeze in the early hours of the morning– creating a thin layer of pure
ice. There is very little traction and although the drifting is good practice
and honestly a little bit fun. It’s only a matter of time before a dog is
injured. With a cute title of “Bambi
Legs”. Dogs legs are slipping on the ice
patches, swinging wildly to the side. It was blatantly obvious that we could no
longer train on this track.
Everything has been coated
with a wonderful sprinkling of icing sugar loveliness. Yesterday the woods which
have now been striped of their autumn leaves, stood bleak, naked against a
black steel horizon. But today well it’s all brand new
The path is slightly padded
with the snow. It is also somewhat slippery in places. With cart wheels locking
and skidding, the small downhill become a process of lock and release. Lock and
release. Not that dissimilar to try to do skids on a BMX.
The hay bales standing in the
field, which have been sealed in a white plastic look like giant marshmallows,
with the overnight snow softening the edges.