Ketil ReitanHometown: Kaktovik, Alaska
Ketil Reitan, 57, was born in Trondheim, Norway. He received his Master’s Degree in Fisheries Science from the University of Tromso. He came to Alaska in 1986 to work on his Master’s thesis about Inupiat whaling and to mush from Ambler to Alelavik. He met his wife, Evelyn, in Kaktovik. Since 2010, he’s been taking people out by boat to photograph the polar bears around Kaktovik. When he was in high school in Norway he became a member of the mushing club. He ran the Finnnmark race in 1986. Now he is the only musher to have finished the five longest sled dog races: the Iditarod six times, the Yukon Quest, La Grande Odyssee, the Hope Race from Nome to Anadyr, Chukotka, and the Finnmarksløpet. Ketil says, “I am the only musher that trains my Iditarod team on the north coast of Alaska. In the summer, I train dogs with a four wheeler on the gravel roads and beaches by the Arctic ocean in Kaktovik. In October and November, I use my dog team for hunting caribou on the tundra and hunting Dall sheep in the Hulahula Mountains in the Brooks Range. The dogs get used to running through blizzards, ice and overflow. Our sons, Vebjorn, 21, and Martin, 20, also help train the dogs.” After last year’s Iditarod, Ketil and Martin went from Nome to Kaktovik with Martin running the dog team and Ketil on the snow machine.
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