When I first experienced how easy the strong dogs raised in Qaanaaq are pulling the 500 kg sledge up to the top of the glacier (in good weather), I was thinking about the work of Eivind Astrup (1871-1895). He learned how the Greenland dogs and the sledge outrange any other transport vessel in the polar Arctic. Astrup crafted sleds for the Peary expedition – copied from the nearby Inuit families, families related to our expedition members. His writings reveals a deep respect and understanding of the local Inuit culture.
From his second expedition, Eivind brought back to Norway with him four Greenland Dogs. These were the first in Norway and he raised them on a small island in the Oslo Fjord. When the dogs were old enough he trained them on the iced sea outside Oslo. The ash sledge they pulled was his own native-inspired design and built by experienced Norwegian sledge carpenters.
Read more about Astrup in the biography, or use this link to the article by Jonas Warme Moe: