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Dave Olesen

Dave Olesen

Photo: Stefan Goodman

Born 1957 Illinois.  Grew up in Crystal Lake Illinois. Educated at University of Montana, Missoula and Northland College, Ashland Wisconsin.  Graduated Northland College 1979, B.A. Humanities / Northern Studies.  Commercial Airplane / Floatplane Pilot since 1985.  Outward Bound Instructor 1979 - 1985.  Immigrated to Canada 1987, Canadian Citizen since 1991.  Married to Kristen Gilbertson Olesen 1989.  Two daughters.  Professional dog musher since 1979.  Iditarod race finisher 8 times 1986-1996.  Yukon Quest finisher 1998 and 2000.  I continue to run dogteam expeditions with university and tourist groups. 

Since moving to Canada in 1987 I have lived year-round at the mouth of the Hoarfrost River on McLeod Bay of Great Slave Lake, 165 miles northeast of Yellowknife.  I work for a living as a bush pilot and wilderness guide.  I continue to write and read and explore this vast home territory. 

Hoarfrost River
Northwest Territories


Kinds of Winter -- Four Solo Journeys by Dogteam in Canada's Northwest Territories. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014
A Wonderful Country -- The Quetico-Superior Stories of Bill Magie. Raven Productions, 2005
North of Reliance. NorthWord Press, 1994
Cold Nights, Fast Trails. NorthWord Press, 1989


NorthWords Prize for Kinds of Winter, 2015
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: