Dogsledding in Langfjordbotn
Parken Gård Husky lies where the mountain meets the fjord in beautiful Langfjorden in Alta, Northern-Norway. We are a small family business, consisting of us, Arne Karlstrøm and Marianne Skjøthaug, as well as our brilliant dogteam. In addition, our daughter Mina also helps out as a guide from time to time.
Arne was born in Rjukan and grew up on Herøy in southern Norway, but moved up to Langfjordbotn when he was four years old and his father inherited the farm from Arne’s grandfather. In many ways it was Arnes love and curiosity for outdoor life that created the foundation for everything. Still, he wouldn’t have started dogsledding if not for a book he read that he found inspiring. He started with two dogs, which quickly grew into fifteen and so on.
Marianne came to Langfjordbotn to work for Arne in 1993. She’s originally from Drøbak in Southern Norway, but has always had a great love for dogs. She and Arne knew each other through some mutual friends and so she felt confident packing her dogs in her car and travelling to Langfjordbotn. There she fell in love, both with dogsledding and Arne, and we have been a perfect team ever since.
Dogsledding is one of our perhaps not so secret passions and one that our daughter Mina has inherited. One of the biggest events of the year is Finnmarksløpet, Europe’s longest dogsledding race. Though we both compete, Arne is the one that has participated in most races. He even raced the year Mina was born and Marianne participated as his handler. Marianne, for her part, became the world dogsledding champion in 2011. We like to look at ourselves as the perfect team, whether we are farming or mushing, we do it all together.
Our farm in Langfjordbotn
Our lives don’t just revolve around dogsledding, but much of our time goes to another of our passions; farming. It was Arne’s grandfather who first built the farm after falling in love with the place nearly 100 years ago. Today we run the farm alongside Arnes brother. We are milk farmers and spend our days making sure the lovely ladies in our barn are happy and well-taken care of. We recently also started dabbling with cheese-making and are looking forward to exploring this field even further in the future.
Photos by Photographer Dánil Røkke, Noraførr AS