Did you know that you can make even more out of a visit to Zermatt by taking a husky ride in the shadow of the Matterhorn?
The Legend of the Husky
According to legend, the husky was the result of a love affair between a wolf and the moon – something easily believed by anyone who has gazed into their beautiful ice-blue eyes.
Less romantically, but perhaps more historically accurate, Siberian nomads are credited with first harnessing dogs to sleds as long ago as 4000 BC.
The husky might enjoy the company of humans but it is first and foremost a working dog. Almost six thousand years later, during the gold rush in Canada and Alaska in the 19th century, these athletic dogs were harnessed to sleds to transport vital mining equipment across the snow.
Huskies were a key part of the expeditions that took Robert Peary’s team to the North Pole in 1909 and Roald Amundsen to the South Pole in 1912, as they remain the only animals able to cope with the extreme conditions.
Working as a team
Sled dogs wear X-type harnesses so that they can distribute the traction tension across their backs.
Harnessed in pairs, the dogs are connected by their collars with a neckline and attached to the group at the end of the harness near the base of their tail with a tug line.
Females lead the team
The team leaders are usually females – as they obey orders well – and they lead the team from the front. The strongest dogs – typically the larger males – are located nearest the sled.
Huskies are impressively strong. Each can comfortably pull a load of 50kg for 100km in temperatures as low as -50C!
Their controller is known as a ‘musher’, who needs to be mindful of the dogs’ paws. An injury to their pads can be debilitating and can require rest for up to several weeks.
Sled Rides with Huskies in Zermatt
For guests of Matterhorn Chalets, we can book your husky rides through our concierge service.
You will start by taking the gondola to Trockener Steg where you’ll meet your guide and who will introduce you to the huskies after a short walk.
There’s a chance to meet the huskies before you head out on the groomed 2km circuit, when the musher will give you the chance to drive the sled yourself
Photographs will be provided as well as snacks and drinks during the breaks.
Hiking with a husky
Alternatively, if you don’t want to do a full husky ride you can go hiking with a husky. The costs for this are from CHF80 per person for a hour or CHF120 per person for two hours.
How to book
Guests staying with Matterhorn Chalets can use our concierge service to make your reservation for a husky sled ride.
The cost is CHF240 per person or CHF200 for children up to and including 11 (please note that children under 2 years are not allowed to ride on the sled)