FAQ

FAQ Summer Glacier Dog Sledding Tour
Alaska Heli-Mush Glacier Sleddog Tour
Era Helicopters Flightseeing and Dog Sled Tour - Juneau, Alaska

"It’s Not About How Many Breaths You Take.
It’s About How Many Times Your Breath is Taken Away."

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FAQ - Summer Glacier Dog Sledding Tour

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FAQ

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Dog Sled Tour FAQ

Absolutely and up close and personal!  Mushing sled dogs is our love, life and passion. We love sharing these incredible dogs with you. You will find these dogs to be affectionate and wanting to be petted. If sled dogs are new to you, we will bring one to you by itself so you can enjoy their gentle nature. Hint – A scratch behind the ear goes a long way with a sled dog.

The dogs will start their run extremely excited to “go”. You’ll see them jumping up and down and howling to take off. At first it is noisy with the whole kennel barking. Can you imagine 200 sled dogs howling to go all at once?  We’ll get you positioned in the sled and then your guide will give the command to the dogs to pull.  Once you are out on the trail all gets quite except for the sound of your sled runners sliding on the snow and the rhythmic sounds of dog’s feet pulling you across the glacier.

Contrary to movies, sled dogs don’t bark while mushing! For us it is an addicting experience that has drawn us to this country and sport. After the “mush” we’ll pet each dog to say “thanks” for a job well done and give you a chance to know them up close.  Many times we have puppies on the glacier and you might be able to hold a future sled dog in your hands as well!

We will teach you how to drive your very own dog sled! Many people like to simply ride in the sled with their guide so they can take every thing in. Others like more adventure. For those folks, we will get you driving one of the dog sleds with a little help. We’ll show you how to use the brake, how to lean on corners, and how to make a “snow angel” if you fall off into the snow!  Either way, be prepared for the fun of a lifetime.

Some mobility is needed for you to get in and out of a helicopter as well as walking on the uneven snow on the glacier. You’ll find that if you need a little help getting around that our staff will be more than happy to give you a supporting hand. We have had guests in their 90’s come mushing with us as well as people who are blind or with one leg.  All of these guests made their once in a lifetime memory for not only them but for us too!

This amazing experience is very doable for most folks. We simply ask that you know your own limitations. If you have specific questions please call Era Helicopters directly at 800-843-1947.

Your time with us actually helps keep the dogs in shape for what they love to do in the winter, which is MUSH, MUSH, MUSH! We mush our dogs all over the state of Alaska in the winter. Once “freeze up” happens all the rivers, wet lands and lakes are frozen and become highways to travel with dog teams. It is not unusual to travel a hundred miles in a day with our dogs! Some of our best dogs race in the 1000 mile Iditarod.  Some older dogs are on what we call our 401K plan which is to help train puppies the ins and outs of being a sled dog.

All of our dogs have a special place in our kennel. Although we have been very involved in racing our dogs in the winter, it is the love of this sport and the companionship of these wonderful animals that has kept our family in mushing for over 30 years.

You are going to fly into the remote outback of Alaska so expect the unexpected! A typical summers’ day on the glacier can be from 45 degrees to an amazing 80 degrees! Sometimes we get up in the morning and it’s chilly and by noon we are Mushing in t-shirts! The weather is just as dynamic as our lifestyles, and it’s not uncommon to experience all these elements in the same day. To be best prepared, dress for the colder side. You can always take a layer off if it turns warm.

Temperatures on the Norris Glacier are usually 10-15 degrees cooler than in Juneau. We recommend bringing a water/wind proof jacket with at least one separate warm layer (like fleece or wool) worn underneath. Pants or Jeans are your best bet for summertime mushing.  A warm hat and gloves are great to bring along. And, regardless of the temperature or time of day, sunglasses are extremely important. You will want sunglasses even on overcast days to protect your eyes from the intense reflection of sunlight on snow. ERA Helicopters will provide you with a rugged glacier boot that is worn over regular street shoes or boots. So bring your foot wear that is comfortable and we’ll keep them dry.

We are fortunate to be able to spend summers introducing our guests to a lifestyle and sport that we love. Gratuities are not expected. However, if you feel your musher has provided exceptional service, gratuities can be given and are very much appreciated by our crew.

 

 

Glacier Flight Trip to “Dog World” FAQ

Alaska Heli-Mush, Inc. partners with ERA Helicopters, the oldest and safest helicopter company in Alaska. You’ll board ERA’s Eurocopter AS-350B2, more affectionately known as the A-Star, to depart Juneau for your glacier mushing experience.

No!  Our sled dog camp is only accessible by helicopter! In fact it takes about 25 minutes by air just to reach us.  The flight to and from our dog mushing camp is simply a “life changing experience”. No matter how often we fly it ourselves we are always kept in awe of its beauty. Again, please bring lots of film. You won’t believe what you are going to see!

Our aircraft are designed with flight seeing in mind. Windows in all directions will surround you. No matter were you sit you’ll enjoy being able to take in all the magnificent and spectacular views of the glacier back-country on your way to our sled dog camp.  You’ll see several glaciers in your flight and your pilot will point out what makes each glacier special.

On you flight to our dog camp you’ll be able to see one of the very last glaciers in the world that is still ADVANCING! This glacier is called the Taku Glacier. It’s the largest glacier in the Juneau Icefield, and it’s advancing up to 100 feet a year! WOW!!! On your flight you also see “receding ” and “hanging glaciers” that create their own beauty as they carve out the valley floors.

Glaciers are in constant movement as they change their world around them. The flight route we have chosen to dog camp is designed to give you the opportunity to see the Icefield at it grandest, with one of the last advancing glaciers left in the world! TOO COOL!!!

Absolutely!  Photography is strongly encouraged and the A-Star is the perfect helicopter for taking pictures of the breathtaking Alaskan glaciers you will see.  Motion cameras as well as digital stills work great. It’s a good idea to bring extra batteries on your dog mushing adventure.  And a tip for those shots taken inside the helicopter –  be sure to turn your flash “OFF” so you will not get glare of the flash from the window of the helicopter.

No. Locals think of the Mendenhall Glacier as the “drive-up glacier”. It is located just 20 minutes by car from downtown Juneau and you can take a taxi our bus to see it. There is a visitor’s center there, which provides viewing from about a mile away. The glacier itself is not accessible by foot. The Mendenhall Glacier has made its notoriety by being easily accessible. We highly recommend you see glaciers from the air as well as walk and mush your dog team on them!

Most Alaskans, especially dog mushers, don’t let the weather hinder their drive to enjoy the outdoors. In Southeast Alaska we do get  our fair share of rain, but we never let it stop us from being outdoors and doing what we love to do. The quality of your experience is important to us. We will fly if it is raining, provided that the quality of your experience is not compromised. We want you to have fun!

One interesting fact is that often it will be raining in Juneau and sunny on the glacier at dog camp. We have constant radio communications from the glacier to let Era Helicopters know the weather conditions on the glacier. If we are flying it will be fun to be with us!

Our pilots are the best there are bar none. They are experts in flying Alaskan weather and making sound conservative “weather calls”. Simply put, your safety and the safety of our crew is our number one concern. We will not fly if it is not safe. Our second concern is the quality of your tour. We would rather refund your money if it were not going to be a quality tour. We have put our personal name on this tour and our reputation means quality.

Era Helicopters is only 4 miles from downtown Juneau. We will be more than happy to pick you up and provide round trip transport at no charge to you. Wow!!!  You’ll have a cheery Alaskan face greet you and pick you up from any of the local hotels or cruise ship docks.

 

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