A Northern “Dogumentary”

Dog sledding in the north is part of the fabric of the culture. Enjoy this documentary of the Inuit lifestyle. Following another successful Hudson Bay Quest on the heels of the Iditarod in Alaska, this documentary gives good insight into the extent dogs play in northern peoples culture. Everywhere you go in Churchill dog yards or remnants of old ones exist. Over the past decade dog sledding interest in Churchill has peaked. With the way the mushing scene is gaining traction all over the world it can only continue to grow even more.

Qimmit: A Clash of Two Truths by Ole Gjerstad & by Joelie Sanguya, National Film Board of Canada

Hudson Bay Quest wrap-up

11 Teams Prevail in 10th Hudson Bay Quest Dog Sled Race

Written by Tom Terry of Sioux Lookout, Ontario (Team Handler and Father to HBQ race veteran Jesse Terry)

Churchill, Manitoba — Musher Peter McClelland of Ely, Minnesota and his team of ten hardy canines were first crossing the finish line in the 10th Hudson Bay Quest dog sled race, held March 15–18, 2013, with the last of the original 15 mushers and 150 dogs arriving in Churchill, Manitoba after more than two and a half brutally challenging days on the trail from the start at Gillam.

Churchill race organizer and musher Dave Daley. Tony Loewen photo.

Strong north winds (>70 km/h) and cold temperatures (–32° C) accompanying an arctic weather system proved to be the most daunting obstacle for all teams as wind chills exceeded -54° C for almost the entire race on the open tundra.  Teams found little if any opportunities for shelter either on the trail or at the various checkpoints along the way, and race veterans stated the conditions this year were the most challenging faced since a three-day blizzard forced a mid-race cancellation several years ago – that year along the route from Churchill to Arviat, NWT.

Churchill musher Charlie Lundie. Tony Loewen photo.

After slipping away from the Lamprey checkpoint, McClelland maintained an average speed of almost 11 km/h over the remaining 120 km to Churchill, including stops.  A group of four teams followed two and a half hours later, regularly changing places vying for position as the end neared, but McClelland’s team kept their pace and maintained their lead to the finish.

Photo: Here is Peter, safe and sound just waiting for the next racers to get in.  He had to melt his neck warmer off because it was frozen to his beard!

2013 HBQ champion Peter McClelland.

Four teams made the difficult decision to withdraw at the halfway checkpoint at M’Clintock (a mandatory six hour rest with a second veterinary check of all dogs), and several teams made extended stops there and at other checkpoints.  Teams withdrew for a number of reasons, all related to dog and or driver health and well-being.  The fact that more than one of the drivers and teams which withdrew were Iditarod and or Yukon Quest veterans attests to the challenges faced by mushers in the Hudson Bay Quest 2013.

Photo: Look who we found!  Welcome back to Churchill Shawn McCarty!

2013 HBQ runner-up musher Sean McCarty.

In addition to the cash purse distribution to all finishers, a number of awards were presented to mushers at the HBQ Awards Banquet held on Monday, March18th at the Churchill Town Centre Complex.  Troy Groeneveld, of Minnesota, won the Churchill Northern Store Award for the First Team to Halfway Point (M’Clintock Checkpoint).  The Veterinarian Award, presented to the musher selected by the Race Veterinarians as having provided the best care for their dogs, was presented to Jesse Terry, of Sioux Lookout, Ontario.  The Calm Air Sportsmanship Award, along with the Red Lantern for being the last musher to successfully cross the finish line, was presented to Churchill musher Dan DiMuzio.  The Award for the Best Checkpoint, selected by the mushers themselves, went to the Canadian Rangers (Churchill) manning the Lamprey checkpoint.


Final Standings:


1st Peter McClelland, White Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota (37 h, 19 m, 47 s)


2nd Shawn McCarty, White Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota (38 h, 57 m 44 s)


3rd Troy Groeneveld, 10 Squared Racing, Two Harbours, Minnesota (39 h, 01 m, 21 s)


4th David Daley, Wapusk Adventures, Churchill, Manitoba (42 h, 09 m, 30 s)


5th Matt Groth, 10 Squared Racing, Two Harbours, Minnesota (42 h, 15 m, 44 s)


6th Jesse Terry, On the Land, Sioux Lookout, Ontario (45 h, 22 m, 25 s)


7th Hank DeBruin, Winterdance, Haliburton, Ontario (45 h, 24 m, 52 s)


8th Ed The Sled Obrecht, Cayamant Kennels, Otter Lake, Quebec (49 h, 38 m, 08 s)


9th Jim Oehschleager, Ozone Sled Dogs, Newberry, Michigan (50 h, 35 m, 25 s)


10th Charlie Lundie, Charlie’s Tours, Churchill, Manitoba (54 h, 11 m, 21 s)


Red Lantern/11th Place Dan DiMuzio, Sled Dog Energy, Churchill, Manitoba (62 h, 58 m, 20 s)


Scratched: Ryan Anderson, Stefaan DeMarie, Julie Robitaille, Al Hardman.




The Hudson Bay Quest Race Committee and competitors are very grateful to the many sponsors and contributors, without whom this race would not be possible, including the Platinum sponsors (Calm Air International, the Canadian Rangers, The Churchill Mitigation Trust Fund, VIA Rail Canada), the Gold sponsor (Manitoba Hydro), the Silver sponsors (Aurora Inn, Churchill Chamber of commerce, Exchange Petroleum, Hudson Bay Railway, Churchill Wild, Frontiers North Adventures, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Town of Churchill, Town of Gillam) and the many friends of the HBQ!

National Geographic ice bear

Get immersed in the intimate lives of polar bears with National Geographic WILD and Ice Bear. Using stereoscopic 3D camera technology, the complexities of polar bear survival is brought to life as never before with an immersive 3D experience and point-of-view shots that will take you right in to the polar bear’s sensory and physical world.

Through the course of Ice Bear, we follow individual bears and entire families as they make the treacherous journey from the hunting grounds on the winter ice fields, to the highly contested summer pack ice of the Hudson Bay. In the winter, bears can use the ice platforms to hunt seals and fish which provide them with a rich source of protein. With the encroaching summer, the ice begins to melt, leaving the bears to fight for their patches of hunting ground. Opportunistic packs of hungry wolves and a shortage of available prey could mean a bear won’t survive the summer. But when bear meets bear, a whole new set of challenges arise. -National Geographic.

Enjoy this video of a three-year old polar bear out on his own. The Arctic can be a truly formidable place to live…even for polar bears.

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