Since we’re still a few years away from a Titanic-sized ice cruiser pushing us through harsh arctic conditions, on a recent trip to snowy Montebello, Canada, we chose to rely on something just a wee bit more old school: canine power.
For thousands of years, humans have relied on dog sledding for both hunting and travel. And while it’s no longer the most efficient way to travel (damn you, internal combustion engine!), it’s still a giant—and sometimes yellow—pile of fun.
Here’s what we learned about the ancient practice.
1. The dogs go fast.
No, seriously. These dogs can carry you, a friend, and the mush-man (we think that’s the technical name) over 15 mph.
That might not sound too fast, but when you’re so low to the ground and snow is blowing in your face, it can get a little scary.
2. The dogs are cute.
These huskies, simply put, are beautiful, intelligent animals. And if you’re a dog lover, you might be more interested in playing with them than, you know, having them zip you around town. Just look how happy the dogs make these lovely ladies…
3. The dogs pee and drink at the same time.
It’s a remarkably efficient pit stop—every 5 minutes or so, the dogs stop, munch on snow, and lift up their legs. Besides being incredibly cute (see above), it emphasizes what a genius mode of transportation dog sledding is.
4. You have to deal with traffic.
On the route we took around the massive grounds of the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, we had to cross actual roads—like, with cars—several times. The dogs were totally plugged in to what was going on, either moving on ahead if the cars stopped, or stopping on a dime, in unison, if they weren’t. (Yes, we did get some odd looks.)
5. It’s way romantic.
So you can go with a buddy if you want, but the cute-ass dogs, scary ride, and lone blanket to cover both of you really call for someone you’ll be wanting to take back to the bar for a hot toddy. Woof!
Think you’ve got what it takes to let a bunch of cute dogs drag you around? Check out Fairmont Hotels and Air Canada’s Après in the Air program, which gives you and up to 57 of your closest pals unparalleled access to some of our northern neighbor’s most sought-after destinations. Mush!