Tonight will be the first night the four youngsters will camp
out over night. The sun rose just before 11am. Through falling
snow I headed out with Pingo, Sasha, Piper, Timber, Hansel,
the youngsters and a sled prepared for three days and nights.
Huge flakes fell as though we moved silently through a giant
fall of feathers from a pillow fight. River ice conditions
were good while skiing beside the dogs and sled. I included
experienced leader Sasha at the last minute. Soon to retire
she has a calming influence over Pingo who she will be in
lead position with. Pingo can be a little boisterous and I
don't want the youngsters overawed. Sasha will keep Pingo
This year has seen particularly heavy snowfalls
here. The colossal weight on the Mackenzie can cause ice to
fracture and water to rush up causing overflow and slush.
Despite ice over the river water continues to flow underneath.
Bends or creeks running into the river create less stable
ice. These are potential nightmare spots. At 30 below zero
this can make for difficult travelling. Today our only confrontation
was with a hefty cow moose. Pingo noticed her first. With
head up and extra zip in his stride he fancied his chances.
The moose stood there, defiant. I was wary she might have
a calf with her. I halted the team 200 metres short and let
her decide the next move. She crossed in front of us and up
the bank. Then vanished. With over an hours daylight left
I made camp at just gone 5pm.