Snowflakes of the North
Each year in march the Finnmark, Norway's largest and least populated county with its remote landscape becomes the scene for the world's northernmost sled dog race: the Finnmarksløpet.
Dog-mushers from all around Europe but mainly from Scandinavia and over 1.500 huskies gather in the city center of Alta. After the crowded and solemnized start, the mushers and their dogs are almost entirely on their own. Hundreds of miles through unpredictable weather in the freezing scenery of the north. Those are the moments the dogs were trained for all their lives. They were bred for the sole purpose of running and to withstand these harsh conditions. Days of sleep depravations, cramps and pain lie ahead for both musher and dog. Days that will show the seemingly limitless loyalty of dogs, their incredible ability to recover and to endure.
It's a unique and effortful way of living that people choose when they dedicate their life to sled dogs. A life close to nature that tells the remarkable bond of men and dog. However a lifestyle full of deprivation and hard choices. But, and that should never be forgotten, every musher did choose this life of devotion. The dogs did not.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost