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Saas Fee off piste & day tours

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Does anyone have any beta on good off piste lines or day tours around Saas Fee? I’m off in a couple of weeks with a few mates and it’s our first visit (bar a quick trip up the Allalinhorn at the end of a multi day Zermatt-Saas tour a few years ago,) so any info or guidebook suggestions gratefully received. I usually ski around Cham/Espace Killy which both have decent guidebooks to give ideas for day's out, but can’t seem to find the equivalent for Saas or much info on the web? Obviously there are classic tours marked on the Swisstopo map which is a good start, but any extra info from folk who know the terrain and any classic descents would be amazing. Cheers, Rob
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Used to ski Saas-Fee as a kid and was strictly banned from glacier offpiste, BUT lines/areas I remember: (note this is slack-country)

1. Spielboden - top of gondola go round the back of the lift and drop in on skiers right, nice open face, relatively gentle and you can pick your line as you ride up the lift

2. Plattjen - Best place for whiteouts as it has trees. Get to the top of the lift with everyone else. As you head down stick hard skiers right and follow the blue run. It will head towards the top of the treeline where you can drop in. There are a number of routes to be had here but make sure you don't drift too far to the right so you can still catch the cattrack back.....

3. Maste 4 - this time on skiers left, you cant miss it. Big open rollers and natural halfpipes. All this used to be glacier in the 90-00s! Access is to easy it inevitably gets tracked. You can drop it higher, but start running the risk of finding a crevasse.

I'm sure there will be someone offering better tips, but these are my memories from when I was a teen Very Happy Very Happy

Zermatt: loads to be had off the top of sonegga e.g. drop in the 'front' side facing the resort. probably worth getting a guide and the resort really is HUGE.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Awesome - just the sort of recommendations we're after and a great start!
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if you don't already know, there are some pukka routes from the mid-station of the funicular - ask a local/guide, as it's a request stop and proper back-country.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Good knowledge - I didn't know about that, we never used a lift in Saas when there before as we were coming in via the Alderpass. So can you request a stop anytime or is it only first thing in the morning? Looks like it gives a good descent to link into tours south of the Britanniahutte like the Strahlhorn/Fluchthorn etc?

Some specific route queries:

1) There's a tour marked on the map up a west facing gully/couloir on the north side of Jegihorn, starting from the top of the Saas Grund lift system. I don't suppose anyone knows anything about that - I can't even find a name for it.
2) Also from Saas Grund - anyone have any info on the Fletschorn tour from the Weismeishutte and then down to Saas Balen? Worth doing?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@rob84, The mid station of the funicular can only be accessed with a certified guide, who has to sign in the party. It is typically an early morning stop only, as half the regular skiers try and get off there otherwise. Alternatively, you have to ride up to the top in the number 1 train, and then it stops on the way back down. I’ve been out there many times.

There are plenty of options available from there, but it is all snow and weather dependant as you are on glacier for 95% of the time for first part of any tour.

I would start with the official guide office - https://www.saasfeeguides.com/en_GB

I’ve been touring with Andy whom lives in Saas-Fee for the last 10 years, and can recommend him - https://www.bergalpin.com/


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 20-02-19 22:24; edited 2 times in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...

The view from the mid station Cool
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!

The view from the top of the Fluchthorn.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.

Most of the way up the Allalinhorn.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Cheers for the info PowderAddict - we’re not really into the guided scene, all fairly experienced backcountry skiers and alpinists comfortable on glaciated terrain, so prefer to do our own thing. I understand about them only letting guided groups out, but will have to see if we can sweet talk the lifties in that case Very Happy Worst case scenario there’s always a quick skin to the Britanniahutte to access that area although getting a bonus lift assisted descent is always nice!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I hear the glacial terrain in Saas Fee is pretty wicked. Sometimes its wise to let a guide keep you from getting in trouble.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
From my (admittedly limited) experience skiing through the area at the end of our tour, it’s pretty standard glacial terrain. We spent a week skiing (unguided) from Zermatt to Saas Fee bagging peaks along the way several years ago and I wouldn’t say the glaciers in the area are any more gnarly than anywhere else I’ve been like Cham, Verbier, Oberland, La Grave etc.

I’m certainly not against people using guides - do whatever makes you happy and it makes a lot of sense if you’re not experienced travelling in glacial terrain. But for me a huge part of the attraction of skiing, climbing and mountaineering is making your own judgements on conditions and terrain, assessing risk and making your own decisions. It’s an essential part of the experience and makes it all the more rewarding.

Clearly any route recommendations will depend on conditions on the ground, but any suggestions for fun lines/days out are massively appreciated so cheers everyone for all the ideas so far!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@rob84, I understand where you are coming from, and agree with your experience level a guide is probably unnecessary, but I would still recommend dropping into the Guiding office, just to get an update on the current conditions on the routes you are considering (its near the ski school offices on the left hand side just before the church square).

Within the resort boundaries the glacial melting has reduced many of the off-piste runs to shadows of their former selves. Starting from the top 'Make it or break it' was a very steep run which is now largely rock and blue ice. Further down 'Surprise' and the 'Kiwi Wall' drop you back down to the Felskinn side. Again from the top the 'Gletcher Bahn or Glacier Ribbon' runs down the middle of the glacier emerging above Maste 4. Another run from the top is 'Walk About', you ski extreme left of the long t-bar, then skin up towards the left and you get a great run back down to Langfulh. Up until last year you could then ski the glacier tongue all the way down to the glacier lake, but it has now become a protected wildlife reserve.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Amazing - plenty of ideas to consider there and some fun sounding lines. We'll deffo stop by the guides office too and see if they're willing to share any beta. Cheers PowerAdict!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:

One further option which is more in line with your extreme requirements is an abseil/rappel down (30-40m) onto the glacier from the top of the Allain t-bars (top station in centre of picture). This is the view from the glacier side, and once on the glacier you have the same access as the mid-station, except you are 200-300m higher, so you could either tour from here or take a 2000m vertical back into the Saas valley above Saas-Almagell.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Cool - always good to have local knowledge like this. Thanks again!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@rob84, A fun (and long) route you should consider is the Mattmark. Take the Egginerjoch drag to the top, then a relatively short ski then skin to the Britannia Hut. From there you have quite a few options (be careful there are a few terrain traps to consider) all the way down to a path that you can ski into Sass Almagell. This route accesses the same terrain as the mid-station of the funicular, but avoids the glacier and the need to get the train to stop at the mid-station (as others have said you will need a guide for that anyway). In my mind this is the best day tour is Sass Fee. If you are fit you can lap it, choosing different lines, by taking the bus from Sass Alamagell back to Sass Fee. I tend to do it in the morning so I am back in time to meet the kids for lunch.

I woud not tackle the glacier without a guide. It has shifted a lot over the last few years and local knowledge is invaluable.

If I were you I would take a day with Ski Zenit (www.skizenit.ch), by far and away the best ski guiding outfit in that part of the world. A day out with them will definitely be fun and interesting, as well as giving you the opportunity to get an insiders view of the local options.

All that being said, there are better options than Sass Fee for the sort of skiing you are looking for. Happy to recommend some nearby options if you are not 100% locked in to Saas Fee.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
OK... now that I'm back I can speak semi-knowledgeably. I believe anything under Morenia is fair game because glaciers are not an issue. Under Egginerjock is good, too sticking to the right-hand side... there are some nice open bowls and a little colouir or two. I know a lot of folks go down from Plattjen towards Saas- Almagell. That said, I rode Spielboden up with a gentleman who showed me footage of him getting rescued by a helicopter as on his third descent, he picked a line that led to a cliff. He was stuck on the side and had to call for extraction. So, a good idea might be wise if you're not totally familiar with the terrain. We also saw a night rescue last week as two people had to be rescued from Allalin.
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