Last Sunday I headed off to the Birches Valley Forest centre near Rugely, Staffordshire. The idea of the day was to meet up with a few of the fellow adventurers, chat through what exactly we’d let ourselves in for and go through the kit. Of course we were going to meet a Husky too!
The event was hosted by Alistair & Mike who had done this same expedition many times before. Infact, Alistair will be my guide when I go next March. After a video presentation and a coffee break, we were shown what was supplied and what we’d need to bring with us. It’s safe to safe there were a few apprehensive faces amongst the group with the realisation of what was actually involved in the 8 day trip. Just to bed this in, we were told on the trip “You will never be as comfortable as you are now!” and also “You will fall off!”
Alistair talked us through the kit, with tips on what to and what not to bring. The key to keeping warm is to “layer up”. Personally having been through a Bosnian winter in the 90’s I’m more aware than most just how cold it can get. The boots we’ll be issued are good for -100, thick snow parkas whilst on the sledges and some lovely sallopettes too. I did send Santa a list of what would be nice to take with me so hopefully he’s seen all the good things I’ve done this year and will be putting some warm bits under the tree for me.
We also met “Mac”, he was actually born in Tromso so a bona fide Norwegian Husky. Not what you were expecting? He, like the dogs we’ll be using the trip is an Alaskan Husky, I’m sure like me you were probably expecting to see a big fluffy wolf looking Husky, these ones are Siberian (every day’s a schoolday!) The reason that Alsaskan ones are used is as they’re fitter, faster and importantly from my side of things friendlier!
It’s all becoming very real now that come the 22nd March I’ll be leaving a nice warm building and heading 270km from Norway across to Sweden. There’s still plenty of time to donate if you haven’t or if you want to wait for some nice doggie pics then all good!