Last Sunday, we skied in Saas Fee, Switzerland. The views were stunning, when we could see them. Unfortunately, it was cloudy. Each time there was any visibility, I whipped out my camera. Even then, my photos don’t do it justice. Saas Fee has spectacular scenery, here’s someone else’s picture for proof.
At the far east end of the canton of Valais in the back of the valley, it is not the easiest destination to get to. When you arrive, they will treat you well. Everyone working there was extremely cheerful, kind and helpful.
The town of Saas Fee is at 1800 meters (5905.5 feet, 1.116 miles) in elevation. With peaks of 3500 meters (11482.939 feet, 2.17 miles) in elevation, snow in Saas-Fee is guaranteed. It is less expensive and less crowded than nearby Zermatt, making it a perfect destination for families.
One of the coolest things about skiing in Saas Fee was the ice and glaciers. They mean that you cannot go off piste without a guide as there is a danger of falling into a crevice! At first, it was a bit daunting to ski next to them. They were surprisingly blue and just plain magnificent.
I have had issues with T bars in the past. While we’re at it, I’ve had issues with chair lifts too. Saas Fee has lots of them, long ones. It was a bit scary taking them in the clouds, with little visibility, knowing that you were near glaciers and crevices.
We really did try to respect the rules not to go off-piste. Unfortunately, this T bar stopped while we were on it. It didn’t start back up (a rarity because everything in Switzerland seems to run like clockwork). After about 15 minutes stalled on the T bar, we abandoned it and moved to a nearby slope. It wouldn’t be a day of skiing if I didn’t make a fool of myself at some point. I only fell once, but when I did, I lost a ski. It was so steep that I had difficulty putting it back on. I ended up removing my other one and sliding down the slope on my butt while holding on to my skis and poles. I looked such a mess that someone stopped and asked if I was injured. I thanked him and told him the only thing injured was my pride.
While we were in the chairlift, staring at the blue ice in the glacier, we wondered why it was blue. The ice is blue because water is blue (or at least absorbs light at the red end of the spectrum). When water is in other forms, like snow, it is not as compact. Therefore, its blue color is not as visible. When snow falls on glaciers, it compresses the snow and gives it the blue color. Science is beautiful. Literally.
- Snowed under in Switzerland: Saas-Fee is delightful despite an abundance of the white stuff (independent.co.uk)
- 13 Glaciers That Look Like Art (travelsupermarket.com)
- Skiing in Sunny, Snowy Crans Montana (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (calvintimo.com)