When I was twelve, my parents got me my first dog, an Irish
setter; there soon followed a second setter, and then a German
shepherd cross. In 1979 my childhood dream came true when
I bought my first Siberian huskies. After that I trained with
a 10-dog team in summer and winter through the forests and
moors of the hilly landscape of the southern Netherlands -
the Dutch Mountains!
I first studied business law, and then worked for a Dutch
insurance company. The flexible working hours allowed me to
have more time for training and taking care of the huskies.
In spring 1988 I turned my hobby and passion into my profession.
Together with my dogs I moved to Switzerland. For more than
11 years since then I have been in charge of the polar dog
colony on the Eiger Glacier, at 2320 m above sea level, and
taking visitors from all over the world on sled trips in summer
and winter on the Jungfraujoch (3454 m). In that time I have
participated very successfully in long-distance winter races
or stage races lasting 4 to 12 days. Teams from 12 to 22 Greenland
dogs and Siberian huskies have run in harness together from
victory to victory.
Highlights include taking part in the Alpirod race in 1988,
one of the very few European mushers in the midst of all the
famous mushers from Alaska and Canada, such as Rick Swenson,
Libby Riddles, Joe Runyan, Joe Redington senior, Jerry Austin
and Tim White. A race right across 4 alpine countries, the
longest non-stop stretch of 220 km in Asiago. Or my victory
with a 12-dog team in the Transalpine in 1990, the highest-altitude
sled dog race ever organized: a crossing of the French Alps
from south to north, involving 8 days in high alpine bivouacs.
In 1991 and 1993, Loschadej's team of 12 dogs won the Pirena,
a race over 12 to 14 stages right across the Spanisch and
French Pyrenees. We also won the Trophée du Savoie,
a sprint race over 7-8 days in the Savoy Alps, six times,
as well as many other races.
After I left the Eiger Glacier I founded Loschadej's Huskypower,
together with my then partner Verena Linder. For many years
we successfully organized a range of sled dog activities,
such as tours, rides lit by flaming torches, events, passenger
sledges, in summer and autumn on Glacier 3000, in winter and
spring mainly in the Gstaad-Saanenland region.
After Verena Linder and René Minartz separated personally,
the original Loschadej's Huskypower became two independent
firms on 1 July 2006:
Huskyman Loschadej's Sleddogteams, René Minartz
Huskypower and Shop, Verena Linder