Monday, 19 September 2005

Pinga moves north again, last part

The picture here is from before we got here, when she was still a sled dog on Svalbard.

Well, after a year or so, Pinga moved with us a bit closer to her roots - Tromsø, North Norway. She loves to live here and she loves to go for walks up on the mountain behind our house in Tromsdalen. Straight up for 20 minutes and she is in the landscape she is used to from Svalbard - open mountainplains without too much vegetation. I think she got a bit sick of the big forests in the south eastern parts of Norway. I is easier to breathe in the north, the air is crisp and clear (in a subtle way). She has now also grown up, not a teenager anylonger. She is a bit more reserved in meetings with other dogs, but still very playful. She loves running for sticks and have learned some "trics". She is also great having along on randonnè trips in the mountains adjacent to Tromsø - she gives exactly the little pull necessary to make the trip easier for the one at the other end of the bungee jump, me... The only thing she needs is someone to break trail. She has become a great family dog, she is calm and loving. Annelill and I look forward to the next years with her!

The Story of a Sled Dog, part 2

Finally Pingo has arrived Norway mainland! The original intention was that Monica, Annelills mother was going to 'own' her and take care of her - and she did, very well!! However, to 'cultivate' a one year old polar dog that know no other logic in life than 'how to survive in a dog-yard', needs a lot of work and time and determination.
At the time Annelill and I were living on Roverud, a small village about 110 km north of Oslo, close to the Swedish border. The climate there is good for such a dog, cold as a fridge in the winter (but a little too warm in the summer...). Monica soon renamed Pingo to Pinga as she has no what so ever realtions to arctic geographic phenomenas but a clear vision of wich endings female names should have.
Bjørge, Monicas husband, built a large dog yard with two meter fences. She also got a long line. We happend to live just next door so Pinga became just as much ours.
In the beginning Pinga was quite frustrated with the new life, cut off from her pack and in a totally new environment. She quite often managed to escape, venturing into the great woods in the area. Every time, some nice people finally called us telling where we could pick her up (once almost 25 km from home). She also tested her instincts on the neighbours farm - proudly she came home with a hen in her mouth one day. Now we know what a hen costs...
To be continued...

The Story of a Sled Dog, part 1

The winter 2003 my girlfriend Annelill and I was working on Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago of Norway. I was taking tourists on snowmobile safaries and ice caving in the glaciers and Annlill was feeding and caring for 80 alaskan huskies in a professional sled dog company.
Amongst all these extreme performers of sled dogs some are considered 'not usable' for different reasons. In Pingas case, she had too much hair, specially between the toes on the paws and she was also a bit scatterbrained according to the boss dog handler. On the other hand she always liked to be touched and she communicated it by rolling around on her back ready for some scratching and hugging whenever there were people around. This made her stick a bit out in the mass of all the eighty dogs. She is also completely white - though not exactly, after spending her first year only 500 meters from one of Svalbards coal mines.
With a little bit of negotiations with the company we convinced them to (without compensation) to leave Pingo to us (yes - her original name was Pingo after a geophysical phenomenon in arctic regions; Pingos - a bulb of ice formed of an influx of water from below...).
When it was clear that she had all the vaccinations against rabies (it's rabies on Svalbard due to some mice that the russians imported in the fifties) she could start traveling down south to Norway mainland. Annelill and I was long gone south so our friend Henrik brought her along. Her first flight must have been a nightmare for her as she was pretty far out as she arrived at Oslo airport. She threw up in the car going home - pizza from kroa, her first and only pizza meal and she couldn't hold on to it - what a pity..

Welcome to Another Beautiful Day in the Arctic

The *polar files* blog tells stories from polar regions, mostly Svalbard, Greenland and Antarctica. It is made out of Tromsø, Norway, at 69° North, also in the Arctic (in many senses). I will give some short and popular information about Polar Regions, animals, people and other fun stuff...

Friday, 16 September 2005


On Sept. 5 I joined some friends to Grøtfjorden, 45 minutes drive out of Tromsø to surf the waves after a good autumn storm that had howled a few days. It proved that the storm was just not quite finished yet and waves was quite..Good!!! My friends were hovering over the good conditions and totally forgot they were beginners, they were washes and spit ashore about a hundred times but managed to stand a ride occationally. Surfing in Northern Norway is quite exotic and is a growing sport (I think...).