Mountain jobs in the Vaud Alps - Musher at Glacier 3000
Let's meet Charlotte and discover a 100% mountain job that requires patience and, of course, an unfailing love for sled dogs!
A new adventure every day
Ever since she was a little girl, Charlotte has always loved dogs. She has been a musher, or sled dog driver, for 16 years now, and always with the same passion. The advantage of working with sled dogs in her opinion? You have to have a lot of them, and spend the whole day with them. A dream come true when you love dogs!
A typical day for Charlotte, who comes every day from Savièse to Glacier 3000 in Les Diablerets with her dogs, starts very early in the morning. “Just like farmers”, she explains. When she wakes up, her first job is to give the dogs half of their daily food ration.
Charlotte then loads the dogs into the vehicle, depending on the number of clients and the itinerary of the day. The old dogs, which stay in the kennel, get their dose of affection. Charlotte then leaves for Glacier 3000, for a new day of strolls and meetings with her clients.
At the end of the day, Charlotte returns to Savièse, but not without having given some well-deserved snacks to her dogs in the car. Back home, she takes care of the dogs that were left in the kennel. She makes sure that they get a lot of affection before taking them for a walk. Then all the dogs receive their second ration of food of the day.
Adapt to the needs of the dogs
Dogs like to come and run, but Charlotte reminds us of the importance of constantly adapting to their needs, wants and dislikes. To be able to work in harmony, musher and dogs must establish a relationship of total trust. If one of the dogs gets old, Charlotte makes sure she reduces its work load, i.e. less sledding, so that it can stay in top shape for as long as possible.
Charlotte also explains that the Nordic sled dogs operate in a very hierarchical fashion, and they obey their leader, Harry Potter. However, just like humans, some dogs are less inclined to obey their hierarchy, and “prefer to rebel a little”, smiles Charlotte.
A unique workplace: Glacier 3000
For Charlotte, the major advantage of working with dogs at Glacier 3000 is having snow almost all year round. Between 10 and 11 months in the best years. A disadvantage? Be dependent on the weather. In case of strong wind, you simply have to put everything away and stay inside.