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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Saas Fee
Country: Switzerland
Domain: Sass Valley
Author: Steve Wright
Date: 22/01/06-29/01/06
Our holiday: Competent Skiier, non skiing wife and 4 3/4 year old first time skiing daughter
Website : http://www.saas-fee.ch/en
Basics : Where it is and how you got there
Lift system : Some really good big lifts let down by lots of boring and very cold T-bars. Bottom to top time on Alpin Express / Metro Alpin 35-40 mins no queues. When we were there it was one of the quietest resorts I ever been to never, repeat never queued, even for funicular, maybe some waiting time for it and the cable cars to fill up. Skiied Plattjen many times on my own
The terrain : Huge vertical in main mountain (1800), mainly easy blues / red at top once past middle station far more challenging. Have to say got a little board after the third day, but on the 5th it started snowing and the terrain became more interesting and varied.
The snow : First day rock hard pack and windblown not pleasant to ski on. End of the day walked past a Intersport shop selling last seasons B2's at 30% off. Bought a pair - next day snow was better as less wind blown and new ski's transformed my skiing. Skiied with TO guide on 2 monrings and SCGB lady on 2 mornings. Some of the runs had rocks and stuff showing through, 11a red from Speilboden unpleasant most of week (black above it was great as hardly used) but better than Plattjen red at end of the day when hard pack all week - even after snow - bottom black brilliant most of the time as had snow cannons on all the time. Started snowing on Friday conditions much better nice to try B2's on soft snow. Did the top of the funicluar Friday pm - big mistake could hardly see anything, made way down quickly. saturday morning must have been one of first off Plattjen. Awesome, did 2 runs then tried Spielboden better but still not brill. Alpin Express only open to mid station in morning then shut. After lunch did Speilboden and Langfluh .. black was brilliant. Harldy anybody around. Hannah skiied in nursery garden all week and was really happy could do "pizzas" (snowploughs) by end of week, stop and turn. But she wouldn't ski with Daddy on the Saturday, wanted to play with her friends in the snow club
Off-piste : None "open" to little snow cover
The resort : Incredibly pretty .. Jane and Hannah found enough to do, the town pool was great according to Jane
Food : Ate every lunchtime in the village (prime motivation for going, top - bottom 20mins for me) ate at the revolving resturant one day - lift ticket for Jane cost as much as food - but having said that food was very good value all things considered.
Accommodation : Ski Esprit - Annahof, would have said the best chalet hotel ever stopped in if the basement hadn't been a buidling site for the incomplete leisure facilities .. indeed some of the work practices of the builders left a lot to be desired considering the number of young children around. Having said that food was OK but maybe too much attention to presentation over taste / cooking time. Snow club and staff / kid ratio for everything was great. This was a test of whether I would risk going with some one like Ski Esprit with just me and Hannah next year and I think the answers yes (Jane's a committed non skier).
Costs: All in arrgh how am I goign to afford St Anton in March? Beer / food prices better than expected.
Conclusion: Not some where I'd choose to go for myself, but fitted the bill for family holiday and skiing in truth was better than I expected. Didn't get to Zermatt as I would have liked (Kramer etc thanks for all the advice) - felt I needed to be local to family. As I'm having another this year it'll do! Very Happy

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