A journey on a sleigh pulled by dogs is a very special way of being in contact with nature. This type of activity requires great understanding between the person driving the vehicle and the animals pulling it.
A sleigh is a vehicle with skates or skis that glides across the snow and can be pulled by between two and twelve dogs, which are always tied to the sleigh in pairs. The most important dogs are the guides, who are always at the front and are usually Siberian huskies, due to their strength, intelligence, stamina and docile nature.
Although this sport is ancient, it is still practiced today in Lapland, where it is a means of transport. As a result of the sport´s difficulty, it is increasingly seen as just a sports activity. It is not an easy vehicle to control at all. The mushers (or sleigh drivers) must be very patient and know how to handle the dogs.
In the Pyrenees, you can do this sport in some areas during the winter. In summer, you can train on land so that the animals are fit by the start of the season.
The Pirena, the name given to the traditional route across the Pyrenees , started in 1991 and it is the most important competition held in Spain. The competition´s main attractions are the beautiful landscapes and the amount of mushers who come from all over the world to take part.
Dog sleighs have become more popular since ski stations started including them in their programmes as a way of enjoying the snow. In the Catalan Pyrenees, you can have a go at mushing or just take a ride on a dog sleigh in stations like Espot Esquí, La Molina, Port Ainè and the Bosc de Viròs cross-country complex.