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Cruise Diary: Helicopter to Sled Dogs on Mendenhall Glacier

Adventure traveler and Dutch TV personality Charlotte Van Hoorn was on board Zaandam for an Alaska cruise and will be sharing her adventure with us.

No one who took the Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter tour wanted to leave the ice field … There is taking a ride behind sled dogs, calling to mind Capt. Preston of the Yukon on B&W tv, then there was this … Starting with suiting up at the helicopter hanger for glacier trekking, we then watched a safety briefing about the helicopter before climbing aboard (4 plus the pilot – all with good viewing and earphones). We were piloted directly above the Mendenhall Glacier and followed it up the valley below the rim of the sidewalls, it was breathtaking. Our pilot described many glacial and geologic features and we took pictures like mad. Later we strained to spot the camp, all in white, and the 200 dogs summering on the ice field for their continued Ididarod training pulling dead weight like us!

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It was a magnificent day to spend time with the animals, take a 4-mile sled run standing on the back brake, playing with the puppies and experience standing on 200 feet of moving ice. If you hear a report about a missing pup, please don’t tell anyone he left with me. I’ve been to Antarctica on the Amsterdam and I’ve met Felicity Aston, the great Antarctic solo explorer, but this was so personal, experiencing the animals living in their own glorious environment that I can appreciate the Call of the Wild for myself. They were so passionate to run. It made you wish there were more people in the world that happy. Unforgettable.

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2 Comments
  • Peter Ward

    What a great and unique experience you had. Thanks for sharing with your video.

  • charlotte van hoorn

    Heh Julie – somewhere along the line we lost my video of the helicopter ride, following the helicopter in front of us as it swooped up the glacier and then away from the dog sled camp—but other wise, thanks for such a nice production job1 It’s a lot of work to make all these sources of experiences all flow together.

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