Compared with our beginning trips, these highly adventurous treks involve dogsledding, skiing, snowshoeing greater distances and deeper into the wilderness, often to reach the Northwood's top scenic & historic sites. Open to adults & teens in good fitness who are ready for a physical challenge in a remote winter setting. Previous camping experience (summer or winter) and familiarity with skiing are helpful but not essential: the skills you'll use on these trips are gained largely along the trail, rather than through the instruction and training sessions offered on our beginning trips.
During the first evening's orientation at the lodge, the guides will organize your group as a team so that when the trek is launched the next morning, everyone is prepared to learn and assist with camp and trail duties. Each group of 6-7 participants (plus 2 guides) has 2 freight sleds driven by 2 persons each. This means that 4 participants are mushing at any given time while others in rotation are following along on skis or snowshoes. But since these trips take you far off the beaten path across unbroken snowscapes, the travel pace is very moderate (like a brisk walking pace). No technical skiing skills are required.
Since we are not on groomed trails, trail conditions vary with each trip and thus our daily travel distances and destinations are unpredictable -- it may be slow going in deep snow and slush, or we may find wind-packed crust and fast travel.
Technical skiing skills are not needed but you do need to be reasonably fit and willing to give skiing a try. These trips are grand adventures, sometimes challenging, always rewarding and led by our most senior guides or by Wintergreen director & arctic explorer Paul Schurke. Some participants on these trips are returning Wintergreen "alumni" but new-comers with good fitness and previous outdoor experience are welcome.
Package rates are all-inclusive, per adult. $100 off for ages 12-17. Check-in is 4-6 pm, check-out is 9-11 am.
TO REGISTER: call us at 218-349-6128 to inquire about openings on your preferred trip dates and to receive our registration form. Register with a $100 deposit, balance due 2 months before the trip.
Wintergreen director Paul Schurke leads these special advanced dogsled & ski camping adventures on routes of his choice. Pending snow & ice conditions, it might be the Lac La Croix area (with a visit to the Ojibway village) or the scenic Crooked Lake chain (with some fishing fun), the Kekekabic-Knife Lake heart of the BWCA loop, or possibly even the Rose-Mountain-Moose Chain leading to the Grand Portage Trail on the Boundary Waters' eastern edge. He'll make the route choice by mid-season. But whichever he chooses, you can be sure this trip will be great fun & grand adventure with an added educational edge:
As our "alumni" know, we've garnered a lot of info over the years about the Northwoods and the world of winter that we share on our trips but most of it gets shared very informally and casually. On these special trips, Paul will take a more purposeful tack and prompt campfire chats each morning and/or evening on a variety of topics: cold weather physiology, winter ecology, navigation skills, winter meteorology & climate change, the winter sky. And while we'll be traveling by dogsled & ski each day, we'll also take time on most afternoons for a field trip or workshop to apply this information -- perhaps a snowshoe orienteering course, a flora identification hike, constructing snow shelters or nighttime dogsledding with the stars of Orion as our guide. We'll enjoy a grand adventure together with instruction, discussion & learning-by-doing as the added bonus along the way.
pm Mon Jan 24 - am Sun Jan 30, $1,575 ($100 off for Wintergreen "alumni") 6 nights total, 4 nights/5 days on the trail covering 30 miles, 1st and last night in lodges. Led by Wintergreen director Paul Schurke (his favorite route!)
Enjoy the scenic highlights of the Boundary Waters’ spectacular border route in their winter splendor, including Curtain Falls, the Beartrap River, Table Rock, the Indian pictographs of Sunday Bay, the old airplane &WWII "weasel" in the woods, Warrior Hill and the spectacular Painted Cliffs of Lac La Croix.
Visiting this sacred pocket of wilderness at the height of winter is an annual pilgrimage for us. If you want 'real' winter, this is your trip - January means short days, deep snow, brisk temps & generally clear skies (more chance to enjoy stars & northern lights). And you don't want to miss our annual boot hockey or curling match on "Howlin" Wolf bay! (NOTE: Route option may change pending snow conditions.)
pm Mon Feb 21 - am Sun Feb 27 $1,575 ($100 off for Wintergreen "alumni"), 6 nights total, 4 nights/5 days on the trail covering 40 miles, 1st and last night in lodges. Led by Wintergreen director Paul Schurke -- on a select route of his "choice" pending trail conditions.
Most years, late February still has a "heart of winter" feel to it with crisp temps and snowdrifts on the trees and trails that remain powdery. A daytime thaw is possible but generally travel temps are in the 20s and nights are around zero.
pm Mon Mar 7 - am Sun Mar 13 $1,475 ($100 off for Wintergreen "alumni"), 6 nights total, 4 nights/5 days on the trail covering 50 miles or so, 1st and last night in lodges. Led by Wintergreen director Paul Schurke -- on a select route of his "choice" pending trail conditions.
By mid-March, days are noticeably longer and temps are moderate with occasional daytime thaws. The crusted snow can mean easier travel allowing us to cover a lot of country with less effort, especially on the big lake chains.
1101 Ring Rock Road Ely, MN 55731