Swiss Review 4/2022

military man, so the story goes. The station is akin to working on a ship. Is there a risk of arguments? “We each work on our own for most of the day,” says Erich. The couple are reunited for meals and at night, and they also carry out the morning and evening weather observations (the most beautiful of them all) together. At high altitudes, meals are large and the need to keep hydrated is imperative. The menus are put together in Erstfeld, and the food is then ordered from a shop in Wengen and arrives by train. “We spend less here because we order exactly what we need,” Daniela points out while offering visitors little chocolates in the shape of the Jungfrau. The custodian couple are well aware of the physical effects the altitude can have. “On our first day back, we make sure we move slowly. The first night we don’t sleep very well, but after that, we’re completely acclimatised again,” she explains. Solitude during the pandemic It was in 2020 that our two hosts came to an instant agreement that they both wanted to apply for the job. “The only thing that worried us a bit was the financial side, since we would be losing about 30 percent of our income,” comments Daniela. Thankfully, in the end, the foundation that employs them (see box on the left) increased their working rates slightly. Erich, who accompanied one of Daniela's two daughters up the nearby Mönch, is in his element here. “This is the job of my life,” he declares. At the height of the pandemic, the two custodians sometimes found themselves completely alone at the station. “It was like being in a bubble,” recalls Daniela. A job in the sky The Jungfraujoch research station offers the ‘highest’ annual paid job in Switzerland. The two couples who work as custodians at the station are employed by the International Foundation for High Altitude Research at the Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat (HFSJG). Founded in 1930, it represents scientific institutions from six European countries and China. The Swiss members of the foundation include the municipality of Zermatt, the Gornergrat and Jungfrau railway companies, the Swiss Academy of Sciences and the University of Bern. An average of 1,000 working days are carried out each year at this research site. The experiments conducted from the rocky outpost are now focused on the environment and climate. The station is home to approximately 50 experiments in fields as varied as meteorology, glaciology, biology and medicine. (SH) © swisstopo ist ein Portal zur Einsicht von geolokalisierten Informationen, Daten und Diensten, die von öffentlichen Einrichtungen zur Verfügung gestellt werden Haftung: Obw hl die Bundesbehörden mit aller Sorgfalt auf die Richtigkeit der veröffentlichten Informationen achten, kann hinsichtlich der inhaltlichen Richtigkeit, Genauigkeit, Aktualität, Zuverlässigkeit und Vollständigkeit dieser Informationen keine Gewährleistung übernommen werden.Copyright, Bundesbehörden der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft. 4 6km 2 0 Massstab 1: 200'000 Gedruckt am 10.06.2022 14:39 The trip back down to the valley first leads through solid rock – a reinforced tunnel connects the research station with the summit stop of the Jungfraujoch railway. Photos: Franziska Frutiger A quiet evening spent in solitude with true rustic charm. Reading is a preferred hobby since the nearest entertainment is rather a long way off. © Swisstopo 12 Report