In this new documentary, wildlife film-maker Gordon Buchanan gets close to seven incredible huskies on a treacherous dogsled adventure through Canada’s spectacular Yukon wilderness.
Inspired by Jack London’s novel The Call Of The Wild (1903) it’s been Gordon’s childhood dream to command a team of dogs out in the Yukon wilderness, following in the footsteps of the Scottish Klondike gold-rush explorers who used this trail over 100 years ago.
Gordon meets expert musher and owner of 29 loyal Alaskan huskies, Pierre-Luc Fortin. He is introduced to his seven sled dog team: Hero, Epic, Vicky, Lucky, Exy, Wookie, and charismatic pack leader Yukon.
Despite Gordon’s eagerness to get acquainted, the dogs give him a cool welcome - they’re not going to make it easy for him. A complete novice, Gordon has just one day to practice before heading off on their journey, starting with an 11km run across a frozen lake.
Gordon has a lot to learn if he is to survive the blizzards, tree stumps and endless branches that knock him off his sled. He also learns the hard way that there is a pecking order for feeding and sleeping arrangements - starting with Yukon the lead dog. Without the respect of Yukon he’ll never succeed in commanding the team.
The Call Of The Wild inspired Gordon’s childhood love of wilderness, but it was of its time, portraying a brutal view of nature where sled dogs and nature were something to be conquered. Gordon begins to realise that this view was mistaken.
Rather than dominating the dogs, he’ll only become a great musher by earning their trust, respect and love. He spends time with the dogs, getting to know their individual personalities and tending to their needs. The question is, will this build a bond between them strong enough for him to take on the toughest challenge of his life: the treacherous Burn Run.
Snow Dogs: Into The Wild airs Sunday 18th December on BBC Two.