One of the most difficult dog sledding races in the world
is set to start in January. La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is an
international sled dog race that sees sleds pulled by dogs travelling over 560
miles through the French and Swiss Alps. This year marks the 14th
edition of the race and will
be running between the 13th to the 24th of January.
Racing across ski resorts and villages, from the north of
Haute-Savoie to the South of Savoie, La Grande Odyssée sees a beautiful blend
of incredible sportsmanship with stunning scenic views of the wintery
panoramas. There are four different stages of races, based on different skill
levels, which are dependent on length of the course and the number of dogs
involved. You will be wowed by the harmony displayed between the racers and
While dogs have been pulling sleds for over 4000 years, it
is only since the 20th century that dog sledding has become a real
sport. The use of dogs and sleds as a sport originates from the time of the
gold-rush in Canada during the 1990s, when teams of gold miners travelled
through the snowy weather on such sleds. When gold was nowhere to be found,
those with dogs compared the endurance and speed of their animals, leading to
the creation of this new sport!
Each team is made up of 14 dogs, although only 6 to 8 of
these sled dogs tend to be used at a time. While huskies are very commonly
known as sled dogs, this isnt the only breed that does well in the wintery
conditions. As well as Siberian and Alaskan huskies, the Alaskan malamute, the
Greenlander, the Greyster, the Samoyed and Chinooks all make great sled dogs,
due to their athletic strength and ability to withstand the chilly temperatures
in the snowy Alps. A full team of vets and animal health specialists are at the
ready to ensure that all of the dogs involved in the event are treated well and
fit enough to take part.
If you want to check out the dogs in action this January, then its not
too late to book Holiday
villas in Provence!
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