The most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence. Join us on our Wild Women Wilderness Retreat and discover the explorer within. Mush with an all-female crew of accomplished mushers & guides. Share stories, tackle obstacles and build a confidence so great, it shines as bright as the Northern Lights.
The Dates are set!
March 26th - April 1st 2020
April 1st - 7th 2020
Maximum of 6 mushers per trip
The retreat begins and ends in Cantwell and traverses the Denali Highway. Each guest drives their own 5-6 dog team and will have the same group of canine athletes every day to establish a bond between musher & team. No prior mushing experience is necessary, but we do ask that guests are active and relatively fit. Guests should be prepared and able to stand on the runners for 4-5 hours each day with intermittent stops for snacks, lunch and photo op's. The trail is on the Denali Highway, which is unmaintained in the winter and becomes a perfect place for winter activities. Each night, enjoy specific classes covering all topics mushing- veterinary care, racing gear, trail food preparation, and more!
Two of the nights will be spent in Arctic Oven tents--Our version of winter "glamping". The tents are heated by wood stoves and exceptionally warm. We provide sub-zero rated sleeping bags, pads, and cots. Even though it's an adventurous trip, we know it's also your vacation, so we want our guests to be comfortable too! The other two remote nights are at Alpine Creek Lodge, which is a quintessential Alaskan lodge with all the amenities- showers, beds, home cooked meals, the works! The only way to reach Alpine Creek Lodge in the winter is by dog team, snowmachine, or skis!
Though we may be roughing it in the backcountry, there's no reason why your tummy should suffer! Satiate your ravenous LumberJill appetite with our Backcountry "fine-dining" menu.
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Day 1: Drive from Fairbanks to Cantwell (approx 3.5 hours). Visit Squid Acres Kennel, meet the crew, get an overview of mushing. Stay the night at Backwoods Lodge in Cantwell.
Day 2: Mush 25-30 miles to our remote camp for a warm night in Arctic Oven tents.
Day 3: Mush 35 miles to Alpine Creek Lodge. Stay the night at Alpine Creek Lodge.
Day 4: Free Day! Mush for a day trip or relax reading your favorite book. This day is up to you!
Day 5: Mush back to our winter camp.
Day 6: Mush to Cantwell. Stay the night at Backwoods Lodge, reliving experiences the trip, sharing photos, and prepping yourself for a return to civilization.
Day 7: Leave in the morning for the 3.5 hour drive back to Fairbanks.
The Denali Highway is not only a great location to learn how to mush but also has spectacular views of the Alaskan range and a plethora of wildlife viewing possibilities--Caribou, moose, ptarmigan, wolves and fox! And let's not forget about our other lady friend who might grace us with her presence, Aurora Borealis!
All-Inclusive Retreat Package
We'll provide you with everything you need to thoroughly enjoy your Alaskan adventure--Round-trip transportation from Fairbanks to Cantwell, gear, meals & lodging over the duration of the expedition!
Ryne Olson // LFMC Founder
Originally from Durango, Colorado, Ryne was given a dog sled ride for a thirteenth birthday present from her parents; however, no one realized the long-lasting impact. Seven years later, Ryne still remembered her mushing experience. After racing in Montana and Michigan, Ryne moved north to train and race with SP Kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska. In 2012, she ran the SP Kennel's Red and Black Team in the 1000-mile Iditarod Race, solidifying her next step: starting her own kennel. Three years later, Ryne and the team completed the 1000-mile Yukon Quest as well as placing in the top three in multiple mid-distance races throughout the season. Ryne and her husband, Derek, now own and operate Ryno Sled Dog Kennel, where Ryne and the canine athletes compete in long distance races like the Yukon Quest, Iditarod, and several mid-distance races, including 2017 Copper Basin Champions!
A glutton for adventure, when not mushing, Ryne enjoys hiking, backpacking, fishing and hunting. In 2012, Ryne earned her private pilot license, further opening up the wild Alaska frontier to exploration. Later that year, Ryne returned to finish her undergraduate degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Paige Drobny // Squid Acres Kennel
Paige was born with a love of animals. Her parents couldn’t keep the frogs and crickets and small animals out of the house. She got her first pet, a cat, at 3 and there were a slew of house pets and barn animals that came after that. Paige went to college at Virginia Tech and received a Biology degree. After lots of traveling and various jobs, Paige bought a camper van and she and Yogi, the black lab team manager, hit the road to Alaska. They landed in Seward and that is where they ran into another like minded pair, Cody and Keetna. Paige got her masters degree in fisheries biology at UAF and has since started her own company, Spearfish Research, doing biological consulting. Paige and her husband, Cody, own and operate Squid Acres Kennel.
Paige’s mushing career includes the 2019 Iditarod- 7th, 2019 Yukon Quest- 6th, and so much more bad-assery that it’s too long to list.
Kalyn Holl // LFMC Guide
Kalyn was raised in Minnesota, where her love of nature in the Northwoods began. She could often be found wading through swamps to find salamanders and frogs, attempting to sail across flooded forests on mighty sea-faring vessels (I.e., whatever floated from the neighbors junkyard), or climbing trees as high as she dared. Her love of critters began at birth with a Cocker Spaniel who became her guardian and adventure buddy. Her parents were subjected to a slew of lizards, frogs, rabbits, and loose crickets over the years until they finally said “let's just stick with cats and dogs.” Kalyn grew up training and working with dogs, and it was only a matter of time before she made her way into the sport of mushing. She first hopped on a dogsled during a visit to Alaska in 2012, then began training and racing sled dogs a few years later at a kennel in northern Minnesota. Kalyn has mushed with both Siberian and Alaskan huskies and run in races including the Beargrease Mid-Distance, the UP 200, and Copper Basin 300. She's currently based in Two Rivers, Alaska, where she trains and mushes dogs at Ryno Kennel in the winter.
During summers, Kalyn works as an outdoor guide in southeast Alaska, leading kayaking, bushwhacking, hiking, and other outdoor activities. She is also an avid photographer, the proud caretaker of one of the world's laziest pet dogs, and enjoys playing video games. She has an undergraduate degree in sociology from University of Minnesota.
May Rose Huntley // Guide & Wilderness Stretching instructor
May Rose is a-MAY-zing! Originally from Wyoming, May ventured to Alaska to try her hand at mushing. After working on a glacier in Juneau, Alaska, she moved farther north to train and race with Matthew Failor’s 17th Dog Kennel. May focused on training young dogs and helping them mature into future rockstars. She raced in the Knik 200 as well as took the youngsters on many of their first camping trips. May’s other passion is yoga. She’s a professional yoga instructor and owns Wilderness Stretching Yoga.
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A refund will be issued if the cancellation is received more than 60 days prior to the booking. A 10% processing fee applies for all cancellations. No refunds will be issued if the cancellation is less than 60 days before the trip start date. A 50% deposit is required at the time of the booking. Remainder is due 60 days prior to the date of the booking. No reimbursement is provided for trips cancelled or shortened due to weather. For this reason, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND travel insurance.
We highly recommend Travel Insurance for your Mushing Excursion. This will ensure that weather or emergencies won't cost you your vacation.
Alaska is at the mercy of Mother Nature & she doesn't always cooperate. Tours (specifically expeditions) can be postponed or cancelled due to inclement weather and unsafe conditions. We apologize if this happens to your highly anticipated mushing vacation, but we want to make sure you get properly reimbursed for your inconvenience and receive a refund to re-book your tour! Travel insurance will provide that reimbursement.