Swiss Review 4/2022

STÉPHANE HERZOG She was an HR manager for the Directorate of Public Works in the canton of Uri. He worked in a power station in Nidwalden. Since February 2021, Uri natives Daniela Bissig and Erich Furrer have been living in a different world altogether. Their new job? Custodians and facility managers at the Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station, a scientific platform perched 3,454 metres above sea level. “When we got the job as caretakers or ‘facility managers’, I called my two daughters to tell them that we had some important news. They thought we were going to emigrate to Norway!” laughs Daniela. When her children and the couple’s former employers found out about the new job in the lofty heights between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, they weren’t surprised. These two love the mountains and the snow. Daniela even has a snowflake tattoo on her right arm. And there's certainly plenty of the white stuff here on this spur between the northern and southern Alps. “In winter, we go out at 6am, before breakfast, to shovel the snow that has built up during the night,” explains Erich. This daily task begins in front of the residential building and continues 100 metres higher up, on the Sphinx, the name of the rocky promontory where the station's observatory is located and which the custodians access using an old-fashioned lift. They start by clearing two large terraces, The ‘highest’ paid job in Switzerland? Custodian! In February 2021, Daniela Bissig and Erich Furrer landed the job of a lifetime: custodians and facility managers at the Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station. Their days spent at an altitude of 3,500 metres are marked by five weather observations. A report. which can be exhausting after a heavy snowfall, and then have breakfast. Weather-watching rituals Their second task is dedicated to weather observations. Either Daniela or Erich ascends the Sphinx five times a day to monitor the skies for 15 minutes. In summer, the weather vigil starts at 8am and ends at 8pm. Perched on a terrace at the station, overlooking the large platform for tourists arriving on the Jungfraujoch train, Erich or Daniela report on the weather conditions. Their observations are used by MeteoSwiss as a basis for weather forecasts. What is the snow quality like? Is it raining – someHigher, farther, faster, more beautiful? In search of somewhat unconventional Swissrecords. This edition: The absolute top job in Switzerland. 10 Report