National Geographic : 2012 Jan
• silently behind them. Shark- n mountains rose out of frozen seas. Icebergs parked offshore looked like bleached battleships. Normal sledding pace is less than ve miles an hour. When Jesper crashed, they were a little more than halfway through the day's goal of 21 miles, part of a looping, month-and-a-half-long, 690-mile expedition north of the Sirius base, the shortest of three trips they'd planned for the year. A day of dogsledding is constant and all- consuming work; Jesper hardly had time to give his throbbing leg much thought. A lunch break was not an option. e men grabbed sips of water, the dogs lapped snow. If the team is not in sync, a Sirius sled can feel like a body with minds. e dogs, tethered in pairs on one long line, sometimes grow stubborn and lie down. ere are ghts, jealousies, love interests---Jesper and Rasmus's team had two females. e dogs can work together beautifully one minute, and the next become a snarling ball of ying fur, the snow dotted with bright blood. "It's like being a cop again, when hell suddenly breaks loose," Jesper says. "You have to get in there and tear the dogs apart." In this modern military age of Humvees and Abrams tanks, there's still no better way than dogsledding to traverse long distances in Greenland, where engine failure can be deadly. Numerous times, dogs have saved patrollers' As the sun sets, the team drives toward an iceberg in Hyde Fjord near the top of Greenland. After two years with the dogs, "you know them better than high school friends," Rasmus says.