Saas-Fee is a gorgeous old village set in a stunning location in southern Switzerland. With its high altitude glacier, the resort offers riding nearly all year round. Rising from 1800m to 3500m, Saas Fee is usually very snow-sure, with top to bottom riding available well into April. It’s only ten miles from Zermatt as the crow flies, and the villages do share a lot in common. As well as their general look and setting, both are car free. There are giant multi-story car parks on the edge of the village, so you either have to walk with your kit to your hotel, or jump on one of the many electric taxis that creep up behind you without warning!
- Highest Point: 3600m
- Descent: 1800m
- No. lifts: 22
The first large settlements in the area were created during Roman times, and the valley started becoming a tourist destination as early as the nineteenth century. Many of the old buildings still exist, along with quite a few grim-looking apartment blocks. Don’t be put off though – for a relatively small village there is quite a lot going on.
The Parks – 4/5
The main terrain park is located in the Morenia area at a height of 2600m, so having enough snow to build features is rarely a problem. It tends to have two separate kicker lines, a rail line, a quarter-pipe and a few other jib features. The pro kicker line features some 18m kickers, and they host various competitions during the winter.
Alongside all of this is a well-shaped halfpipe, and they have a full-time team to keep everything maintained. There is a small beginners’ park located in the Stafelwald area on the edge of the village, which usually has three lines of increasingly larger features. In the summer the park up on the glacier opens and they don’t cut corners here either – the perfect halfpipe is even larger than the one they build in winter and is accompanied by about fifteen other features including a few mighty wedges.
Pre-season is arguably the ‘parkiest’ time of year, where The Stomping Grounds crew takes over the shaping duties and crafts one of the sickest pro parks going. This year there’s a long rail garden with a gentle incline that turns right into either a mini pipe, more rail features or the monster summer halfpipe, with the former opening up to an insane set of two Olympic sized booters. This is where most of the international elite choose to spend chunks of the autumn, so don’t be surprised if you see the likes of Danny Davis, Sven Thorgren and Halldor cruising these jumps as you hit the more reasonable sized ones nearby.
“The summer halfpipe is even larger than the one they build in winter, and is accompanied by about fifteen other features including a few mighty pro-sized wedges”