Northlander seeks dogsledding adventure

Katie Cordray enjoys being outside climbing rocks, hiking trails and sitting in peaceful places. She is vying for a spot to participate in the Fjällräven Polar 2020, a 300-kilometer dogsledding trek through Norway and Sweden.

KANSAS CITY NORTH — Katie Cordray loves the outdoors. Looking at her Facebook page, there are pictures of her climbing rocks and enjoying the great outdoors.

Now she’s seeking a chance to take that love to the extreme and participate in the Fjällräven Polar 2020. Fjällräven, a Swedish outdoor clothing company, runs a contest every year where people from all over the world compete to win a trip to go on a 300-kilometer dogsledding trek through Norway and Sweden.

There are 11 regions total, North America being one of them, and two people from each region will get to go. The contestant from each region with the most votes gets to go. Company judges then choose the second contestant based on their application, Cordray said.

The former center for the William Jewell College girls basketball team scored 448 votes last year and made it into the top 25 of the competition. She is currently in fifth place for North America, but has some stiff competition from people who live in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

“I came across the trek last year when I was making a purchase,” she said. “I thought it would be cool. Making the top 25 last year was incredible for me and I applied toward the end of the application process.”

Cordray is now hopes people from Clay County will help by voting for her.

“I started campaigning day one,” she said. “I have around 1,140 votes. The support has been incredible.”

If Cordray makes it, she will be part of the five-day expedition in April 2020.

“This would be an event of a lifetime,” she said.

In her biography on the contest page, Cordray said she is an adventurer, outdoor enthusiast and suffers from a case of wanderlust, but above all, is a dreamer.

“I’ve been doing a lot of daydreaming lately, especially of vast snow fields, sled dogs, the Northern Lights and winning this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” her biography continues.

“Several people have asked me if I am crazy to be excited to camp in the Arctic,” she said. “That part intrigues me. I want to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve never thought about dogsledding, but it could be a reality.”

Her biography page also includes a list of her skills and talents.

“I’ve always been a part of a team. I will be a teammate who will cheer you on during important times and cheer you up when it gets tough,” she wrote. “I can contribute endless puns and dad jokes. Three words: impromptu dance parties.”

Cordray, who is 6-foot-3, said she has never heard of a musher her height.

“I believe they are usually a bit shorter,” she said. “That would be another unique thing to add to the list for me, to be a tall musher, something not seen around the Arctic.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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