Crossing the finish line of the 2011 Iditarod marked a significant break for Sven and his race plans. After having exhausted all of his savings he had to find a different way to pay his dog food and equipment bills and since mushing was still very much his passion he tried to follow up with a tourism oriented dog sledding operation by the name of Arctic Winter Adventures. He started his business in the village of Bettles (pop 25) 35 miles north of the arctic (thus his business name) circle only accessible by airplane, boat or dog sleds during the cold winter months.
After building the company for the past 6 years he is finally able to switch the tour sled for a race sled again, shake out the cobwebs and give racing another shot. Over the past 6 years he was able to create his own bloodline, come up with new training strategies and philosophies and is excited to enter his first race on January the 13th, the Copper Basin 300.
He was able to train all of his 25 race dogs this winter and he was having a ball doing that and stepping a little bit away from his business, thanks to a wonderful crew who has been helping tremendously this season.
This will be a very young team which consists of mostly 3 and 4 year olds and not only for Sven will be this the first competitive race but also for his whole furry gang. Most of these dogs go back to the “mother of all mothers” a dog by the name of Mudslide who is famous for giving birth to dogs that have incredible appetites, attitudes and are contributing to his kennel with never ending energy and pulling power. He calls his crew “Mudslide’s army” and Sven is very excited to test his totally new training regimen at the Copper Basin where some of the best teams in Alaska will make an appearance.
He pretty much threw all of his old training techniques out of the window and was experimenting with new ways of training sled dogs. Not one training run was like another. Every day he surprised his dogs by trying something new. In 3 weeks everything will be put to the test. We all can’t wait and it should be fun to follow his progress!