Photo by @katieorlinsky // Captured #withGalaxy Note8, produced with @samsungmobileusa // Blair Braverman @bravermountain.mushing nears the finish line of the Kobuk 440, known as Alaska’s toughest sled dog race above the Arctic circle. The race route begins and ends in Kotzebue and travels through the Inupiaq native villages of Noorvik, Selawik, Ambler, Shungnak, Kobuk and Kiana. While the race is one of the premier sporting events in Alaska, it is also an opportunity to bring people together to celebrate Inupiaq culture, way of life, heritage and respect for nature.
For the last four years I have been documenting how climate change impacts the traditional way of life in the Alaskan Arctic. And for just about that same amount of time I have been photographing my one and only favorite sport- dog mushing. I have always dreamed of following this race that brings the two together, and this year I was finally able to do so. For the last four days I have had the opportunity to photograph the Kobuk440 and follow the entire race trail by snowmobile, traveling through some of the most beautiful, fragile wilderness in Alaska. It was quite the adventure, and you can follow along behind the scenes on my Instagram stories at @katieorlinsky!