As part of Alaska's annual winter jamboree, the town of Anchorage stages two events which emphasise its position in the Frozen North -- dog sledge races and a fur auction.
Dog sledge races starting (second day); fur auction in progress; people buying furs (NATURAL SOUND THROUGHOUT.)
SPORT: DOG SLEDGE RACING
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Background: As part of Alaska's annual winter jamboree, the town of Anchorage stages two events which emphasise its position in the Frozen North -- dog sledge races and a fur auction.
The sledge races are run over a three-day period with the competitors covering 25 miles (56 Kms) each day on their sledges pulled by Huskies. The course takes them through Anchorage, out into the country and back into town.
The participants are mainly amateurs -- known as Mushies -- but this year's winner was a professional dog-handler named Bergman Sam, who is a full-time trapper and hunter.
The fur auction in Anchorage provide more local colour than serious business for the salesmen, for most of the business is done with tourists. However, some Eskimos from up-country attend the auctions to buy furs.
The furs on sale are mostly Arctic wolf, fox, beaver, seal and wolverine. There are usually a few brown bear skins about, but they are for display only. These days, the State of Alaska forbids the sale of them.