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Join us for the Christmas Parade! We are pleased to take part in the Revelstoke Santa Parade December 10th, 2011. Also, come visit us December 3rd, as we celebrate Parks Anniversary with commemorative dogsled rides in Glacier National Park. We are pleased to be working with Parks Canada for this special event.

 

This article was published in Reved Quarterly's Winter Issue #19 under "What's your Biz?"

A Different Breed of Powderhound

by Colin Titsworth

 My morning training session with Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures began with some friendly competition for a seat in the work truck. A sleek husky-mix was already sitting shotgun for the trip out to 12 Mile — for back up there were six other dogs lounging in individual compartments lined with hay in the back. After stealing back the front seat, I was introduced to Eric Marsden, owner/operator of this new company offering dog-sled tours in the Revelstoke area.

Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures plans to operate up to three tours a day on the B.C. Hydro flood plains not under water during winter. Other dog-sled companies have their sights set on Revelstoke, too and Eric understands he can’t control the competition. He plans to diversify his business with a nine foot touring sled that can be used for overnighters and northern light tours.

“I always had dogs around in my life,” Eric said, ”but when I was younger I was more interested in dirt bikes.” 

On this mild October morning we would blend his interests as his eager team of canines towed us along the snowless flats on his ATV. This mix of dogs has competitive racing experience and it shows when we hit full stride. Each pup has unique attributes from appearance to demeanour but when running on a tow line the team becomes a unified force. I can tell Eric is proud when he states, “All of my dogs are honest dogs; a term meaning they are happy to be pulling and are keen to please.”

 A thick undercoat and compact paws allows these dogs to work in temperatures well below the freezing level. “They are all Alaskan Racing Huskies, which is a romantic way of saying; mutt with certain ingredients.”

 Mud is flinging off the tires as we charge through mucky puddles that were formed during the previous storm cycle. One of the lead dogs is purposely guiding the team through puddles, causing Eric to bark out his own orders to the team.

 These working dogs are trained with a universal set of dog-sledding commands used around the world for consistency. Eric yells out, “HAW!” and the team instantly cranks a left turn when we arrive at a fork in the road. 

Eric’s 12 working dogs need their space and they found it on a local ranch where they have a network of horse trails to run on and barns to sleep in. His furry companions also scored wild meat scraps through the fall thanks to partnerships with local hunters.

 Being a professional musher is a demanding occupation, which requires patience, trust and love for the animals you work with. As Eric puts it, “Dogs are the best business partners out there.”

To find out more about this operation and book your dog-sledding trip, contact Eric Marsden at 250-814-3720 or check out his new web site.

Please navigate to Reved Quarterly for more information on one of Revelstoke's finest publications.

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