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Skiing Today - 9-16-07 - in Saas Fee, Switzerland

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I had a spectacular day skiing in Saas Fee, Switzerland, today. It was my birthday, it was the tenth anniversary (month # 120) of my ski-all-year streak, and the day couldn't possibly have been any nicer.

For any of you who don't know, Saas Fee is a very high mountain valley in southern Switzerland. It's the next valley east of Zermatt and there are 13 peaks surrounding the village that are higher than 4,000 meters (approx 13,200 feet). There are massive glaciers hanging above the town and there are lifts and hiking trails going off in every direction.

The town itself is small enough to be easy to walk from end to end. The people are super-friendly and there are great restaurants.

The summer skiing takes place on three T-bars at the high end of the valley (Vallais). You ride two very large (capacity something like 20-25 people) gondolas way up above the valley and then ride an UNDERGROUND train to the the 3,500-meter elevation level. From there, you ski over to the slopes and the T-bars. The summer skiing isn't anything that's going to scare the socks off Tyronne Shoelaces, but it was great snow and incredible scenery. I mean, how can you beat making ski turns in September in this kind of setting:

Here's the view from where you load the T-bar:

Saas Fee is a very popular place for summer race training. Just that I know of, the following ski teams had people here training today; Switzerland, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia, and Germany. Here's the scene at the bottom of the main T-bars:

And here are a few random shots of racers. I have no idea who any of these people are because there were literally hundreds of them running gates.

The snow on the race courses was super-hard and the turns became rutted very quickly. I've done a tiny bit of low-level racing and I know that I probably couldn't have stayed in these courses for about six gates. I don't know who this guy was, but he was REAL dam# fast...

Another thing that impressed me about this place was the whole attitude. I mean, there were probably hundreds of REALLY good skiers, all going about Mach 12, and I never even saw the slightest near-collision.

You also have to really love a place that has a crevasse running right across a main run. This hole was deeper than my ski pole, smaller parts of it extended about fifty feet across the run, you can see where the corduroy groomers go right OVER it, and nobody seems to care. It's a glacier, right???

And speaking of glaciers, here's a photo of an ice fall that we watched yesterday. Ruth and I were doing a Via Ferrata across the valley from the ski runs and she just happened to see this huge fall. The face that ice is dropping off is probably around five hundred vertical feet. We were far enough away that the sound didn't reach us for about twenty seconds, but it was a major roar when we heard it.

Saas Fee is a very cool place.
post #2 of 24
Hey Bob,

Looks and sounds fantastic. Happy B Day, happy ski streak day, and say hi to Ruthie.
post #3 of 24

Happy BD

Here it is your birthday and you're giving us a gift!

Thank you!!

Hope you're enjoying your special day....
post #4 of 24
great thanks for the report. Happy Birthday too must be great to ski right now. The diminishing sunlight has me craving it.
post #5 of 24
You and Ruth sure do enjoy life together.......Good for you!!

Congrats on the 120th.....It's becoming Ripken like. Awesome!!!
post #6 of 24
Looks like a fabulous way to celebrate, Bob. Well done. Does Saas Fee have the look of an "ultimate" European ski destination?
post #7 of 24
Very cool. I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.
post #8 of 24
Nice, thanks for sharing the birthday goods with us. Love those pics.
post #9 of 24
Was the revolving restaurant at the top open ?

If yes, was it any good ?
post #10 of 24
Awesome!! Thanks for sharing!!! Happy birthday!! I am so jealous.
post #11 of 24
Bob, you never cease to amaze me with your trip reports!
post #12 of 24
Wow, that looks amazing! Happy birthday! You've givem me a serious case of the ski "jones"!
post #13 of 24
Very, very nice.
post #14 of 24

yeah but

did they have turkey chili?
post #15 of 24
SWEET..... I love the Alps
post #16 of 24
Felicidades, and thanky!
post #17 of 24
that would be a nice birthday.
post #18 of 24
Nice TR! Happy BD!
post #19 of 24
Good for you!

I am a bit jealous
post #20 of 24
Ohhhhh awesome. Congrats.
post #21 of 24
More than a bit jealous... awesome.
post #22 of 24
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post
More than a bit jealous... awesome.
Yeah, that! That's AWESOME. Happy birthday!
post #23 of 24
I did not stumble on this TR until today. Very nice. I like the crevasse "feature"...
post #24 of 24
Looks like this was a good day for you. I was out at Verbier over the weekend but still far too icy at the base of Mont Fort (3400 meters) to get a decent edge into anything.
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