Snug as a bug in a rug. We are racing through the snowy upper Laurentians in Quebec, about 45 minutes from Mont Tremblant resort. It is peaceful and calm and the mountains are majestic as the snow continues to fall. Three of us are on this one dog sled lurching out of the starting gate and my older daughter rides safely behind us with a driver of her own. Content. This is the definition of contentment and peace and it makes you almost forget how bitterly brutal the winter has been because inside this comfy warm red wraparound blanket that feels like a sleeping bag you are simply snug like a children’s character in a fairytale book.
Some adventures remind you that you are an adult. Striving to ski for the first time at Mont Tremblant, well into my 40s, made me proud to be able to tackle a challenging sport at this age. Although I might have started out with as much knowledge of skiing as a child, there was never any mistake that I was an adult with all the requisite adult awkwardness upon trying a new sport. Other adventures transport you back to a childhood. Dogsledding outside Mont Tremblant at Les Aventures Banquise is one of those pristine childlike experiences.
When we arrive we are greeted by the owner of Les Aventures Banquise, dog sledding Mont Tremblant, Quebec business. She wears a husky hat and invites us all into her yurt for a quick lesson on what to do and what not to do while dogsledding. She owns over 70 dogs and she tells us there are a couple more added every year. The pups are nurtured for one year and then shortly after their first birthday, they are old enough to join a team pulling a sled. The pups are given plenty of interaction with humans in that first year so they get used to tourists like us. We are advised to keep our hands and arms inside the sled. Approach the teams carefully at first.
We are nearing the end of the season, but there is still time for us to have a great run today through the mountains. There are many other instructions and I start to wonder if this is more dangerous than I thought. If you drive the dog sled, she advises, then you need to be physically fit. We sign waivers and we are advised the dogs are good dogs and they know the way, but if you ever get lost hold onto the sled and put the brakes on. The owner of this adventure business then demonstrates how to brake on a dog sled. Don’t take your foot off the brake or the team and the sled might just keep going cartoon style. We take it all in.
Everything is ready and we head out to line up and meet the teams of dogs. There are the leads, the points, the team and then the wheel dogs. The dogs in the front of the team are strongest. Each one has a specific role on the team and they each have adorable French names. On one team in lead there is Butreau & Macro and Captain is on another. In point behind Butreau and Macro are Bousqueuille & Fantôme, then in team we have Frozie & Croc and in wheel position, Kick & Surois. On our team, Captain generates much praise during the ride.
Outside the yurt, the dogs all snap to attention loudly barking their welcome. Many are harnessed and ready to go. Each bark, each team, tries to be the loudest straining at their leashes. Pick me. Pick me. I climb into one at the front of the line. The seat reminds me of a sleeping bag and we snuggle in. My younger daughter sits on my lap toboggan style and we wait for the cue to go. Five minutes pass and we are off fast at first and I am a bit amazed that the dogs can pull us as fast as they do.
We coast along snug as a bug yelling Hop, Hop, and Allez, Allez. We spy tracks throughout the snowy mountain path. Foxes and rabbits. We don’t see any foxes, just the tracks, but on the way here we saw several deer. The dog sledding ride is blissful. The driver answers a few questions for my daughter. The dogs, he tells her can’t see all the colours. Just black and white and yellow. Many are just over one year old.
After a mess of minus 35 and minus 30 weather, we have finally hit a warmer spot. It is expected to be up to about minus 5 today. The driver tells us the dogs perform best in minus 25 weather. The colder it is the faster they move. That make sense I suppose when you are part of a dog sledding team. Today is a bit warm for them, he says. But it’s just right for me, I think.
We round the corner back towards the starting point and see the yurt coming into focus. Allez, Allez. Hop, Hop. I am wishing the trip was longer when we slow down. Moments later though and I hear them say: Round two. My husband is smiling. He lifts the brake and we take off again with the professional driver by our side. This time I lean back, daughter in my lap, and enjoy the second pass through the snow covered mountains. Snug as a bug in a rug.
Dog sledding is just one of the activities you can book at the activity centre near the base of the mountain at Mont Tremblant Resort. This particular adventure was called the Mountain Adventure. It costs about $133 per adult and $98 for each of our children (10 and 13) We were guests of Tremblant tourism department and Mont Tremblant. This activity was easily 2 hours long and there is about a 45 minutes drive to the location so you could easily take an afternoon and simply enjoy. This adventure was very worthwhile and enjoyable. My kids loved it. My older daughter was able to switch halfway through her ride and drive the team as well. She really loved being able to drive the team as well. It’s an activity everyone should try at least once. To read more about any of the other activities at Mont Tremblant resort visit this post right here 50 Things to do at Tremblant.
We were guests during our stay at Tremblant. We loved every minute of the stay.
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