Malamute Express Dog Sledding Adventures
MALAMUTE EXPRESS IS NO LONGER TAKING RESERVATIONS
After years of enjoying recreational mushing during the winters here in the Methow Valley, in 1990 we began Malamute Express Dog Sledding Adventures, becoming the first dog sledding business in the Pacific Northwest. Our aim was to be a premier outfitter with the best dogs, the best equipment and providing the finest experience possible for our guests. We operated the sledding business for over a dozen years, giving "the rush of the mush" to customers from all over the United States, as well as Canada, China, Puerto Rico, England, New Zealand and Australia.
Our goal was always to share the joy of driving a team of well trained Malamutes and giving folks a unique opportunity that no one else offered. This wasn't a trip where you just went along for a ride in a dog sled. We provided a truly hands-on adventure, with our customers doing it all, from harnessing the dogs to driving their own teams. We began with them meeting the dogs that would be our teams for the day, then continued with an orientation session where they learned everything they needed to do to keep their teams running smoothly. They learned about parts of the dog sled, the ganglines, necklines and tuglines. They were taught what to watch and why, how and when to brake and all of the necessary sled handling skills. We explained to our customers the idiosyncrasies of the Alaskan Malamute and exactly where they fit into the realm of sled dog breeds. Why they are the perfect freighting dogs and not necessarily suited for racing. With this insight and instruction, we all set out on the trip. Out on the trail it was often hard to tell who was having a better time, our customers or the dogs!
We shared lots of special occasions with our guests. Many of our trips were given as birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents. And we enjoyed being part of making their lifetime memories. After all, how many people ever get the opportunity to drive their own dog teams? Not to mention being able to do it in such a pristine mountain setting.
Unfortunately, after the events of 9-11-01 the price of insurance began to skyrocket, despite the fact we had never had an accident. And in 2003 the cost simply became prohibitive to operating the sledding business. We continue with our love of our dogs and dog sledding. We still sled almost daily during the winter months, but now just for our own personal enjoyment.