With two days of mushing your own team of six-to-eight canine athletes through a wintery dreamscape, plus an overnight stay in a sheepskin-lined tent in the backcountry of Spray Lakes Provincial Park, the Ghosts of Fortune Mountain dogsled tour is a whole other realm of winter-camping experience.
Legend holds that Fortune Mountain is full of gold and that many have never returned from seeking its riches, however, your safety and comfort are guaranteed by the experienced guides from Canmore-based Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, with a ratio of one guide to every guest. Snowy Owl co-owner Jereme Arsenault says the 80-km tour, which runs over the frozen expanse of Spray Lakes and into the wild, is popular with adventure-hungry Canadians and Europeans.
At the end of the day, you can opt to help feed and care for the huskies or wrap yourself in a Pendleton blanket and sip hot chocolate around the campfire before dining on Valbella venison and roasted vegetables, cooked fireside. (Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.) Then, you slip into your expedition-style tent, luxuriously kitted out with reindeer, bison and sheep skins and North Face Inferno sleeping gear rated to -40 C. Fresh coffee and a hearty campfire breakfast will fuel your second full day of exploring the region by dogsled.
The Ghosts of Fortune Mountain tour is $3,500 for two, and if you’re feeling particularly energetic, snowshoeing and ice-fishing excursions can be added to what Destination Canada has designated one of their “Canadian Signature Adventures.”
This article appears in the October 2018 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here.