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Saas Fee Report Thread (was:Anyone been to Saas Fee)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all I just wondered if anyone had been winter or summer and what it was like? It looks and sounds great but i read in a ski book that in winter it doesn't get much sun, so it is cold and dark! could anyone confirm this any advice appreciated thanks Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Have skied there at Easter and very early winter when only glacier skiing was available. Enjoyed both trips. Ski there in the spring - maybe late March/early April - and sun won't be in short supply. At that time you should get maximum benefit of accumulated snow covering the runs to the village, which can be bit rocky otherwise.
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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?
I've skied there in the 90s. It's a very pretty resort, with high altitude skiing. The top is at about 12,000 feet. I remember the first time I got out of the underground funicular and being hardly able to breathe. The revolving restaurant at the top station is impressive and the skiing is a combination of reds and blues for most of the way, but I do remember a tricky ice path stuck to the side of a cliff face to link the top with the village. That was a pig!! and definitely black. I don't remeber it being particularly cold when I went in December and January.
I know that Ian Hopkinson went last year and Spyderjohn did a ski academy course there last summer so their information will be more up to date.
I recall getting towed back up part of the glacier by a large piste basher as they couldn't fix a lift to the glacier because it moved. This wasn't covered in the price of your lift pass. It may be different now.
The skiing is a bit limited in length. There's only about 100 kms if I remember correctly. That was the main reason I started going to different resorts, as I needed more available pistes, as you could ski out the resort within three or four days. The transfer time of about 4 hours from Geneva is still a pain, even though it's only the same as the 3 valleys in the other direction. Switzerland can be very expensive - be warned.
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I was there Feb half term this year. It was cold!!

We stayed in Saas Grund and used the ski school there (who were great), but skied several days at Saas Fee. As Peter B mentioned, the top is high...so beware anyone who suffers with altitude. Because it is on a glacier, most of the lifts are drag lifts...but the snow was great when we were there.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
andyarmitage, we were in Saas Fee over New Year 2004/2005. I've seen this comment about it being cold and dark before - I didn't really notice it, anywhere high up and in the winter is going to be somewhat cold and dark! The village is surrounded by flippin' enormous mountains, which can feel a bit menacing. It's probably the most characterful resort I've been to and very pretty. The coach transfer for us was about 3 hours and 2 hours of that is along a main road along a wide valley. The ski=ing is maybe a bit limited for keen skiers, but Saas Grund and Saas Almgell are available on an area lift pass (although these are smallish areas) and Inghams were doing a day trip to Zermatt, which is in the next valley if you want some more variety.

The lift system isn't fantastic, there were quite large queues for the big gondolas up the mountain in the morning, theres one chairlift and the mother of all t-bars up on the glacier. I'd like to go at least once more but not repeatedly.

Might get round to doing a bit more orderly resort report now I've been proded.
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Quote:
Switzerland can be very expensive - be warned.


Yes, Switzerland is trousers down, ass spankingly expensive.....

The 3 Valleys is much much cheaper...

Let all the sheep go to France, whilst those in know enjoy a little secret wink

Quote:
I was there Feb half term this year. It was cold


This season has been unusally cold in that area of the Alps. I was in Zermatt (next to Saas Fee) a few weeks following half term and it was probably the coldest skiing holiday I've ever experienced in Europe. All local shops had sold out of face masks, and fancy ski socks were selling like hot cakes.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
tricydickie, you are sooo right, especially in Courcheval 1850, I don't know how they manage to do it.
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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!
I beg to differ with trickydicky. I went to Saas Fee last Feb and 3V this Feb. 3V is far more expensive.
Saas Fee is a delightful winter wonderland with limited skiing, lovely atmosphere and lots of T-bars. However, the 3V photo card lift pass system is dated and the chair lifts are slow.
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erica2004, I think trickydickie, knows that, he was just trying to pursuade everyone else that the 3V was cheaper so they don't end up in Switzerland, I of course entirely agree with trickydickie, Switzerland must be the most expensive country in the world to ski in, everyone should save their money and go to France.... or Andora Shocked
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I remember New Year 1991/2. I bought 2 large gin and tonics and a beer which came to £20. I vowed never to buy the then OH a G&T again in Switzerland. I shudder to think how much that round would cost now.
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Yeah, stay away from Switzerland, far too expensive, horrid people, unreliable snow, bad accommodation

Twisted Evil wink
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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.
Yeah...it's so bad that I'm only going to Switzerland 3 weeks this season. Horrid place wink
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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
andyarmitage, If you do go, it makes a big difference as to where you stay. It's a long narrow traffic free village, and it's a good 20 minutes walk from the car park end to the lifts (n.b. can leave ski gear in rentable lockers near the lifts). There is no reliable public transport (no buses - just some electric milk float type vehicles belonging to hotels). So you pay more for hotels near the slopes, but save yourself a lot of walking.

My verdict on Saas Fee is it has fantastic scenery - a glacier dominates the view at the head of the valley; lots of character to the village, but skiing is a bit limited. Nothing very challenging, and not very extensive area.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It's awful, absolutely terrible! wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The lockers are well worth the money, especially if you have kids. Staying in Saas Grund, we got the bus up each day, and the walk was less than 5 mins without equipment (it took a lot longer with 80 kids all trying to carry skis/poles/boots!!)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Went with family three years running in the 90s - February half term

Plus points:

Pretty village and car free
Extensive nursery slopes
Hotel Alphubel brilliant for kids

Negative:-

Ski school hours 10-1, mornings only
Piste back to village from main area tricky in poor snow conditions
They seemed to shut the lift system down as soon as it started to snow
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Peter B, we've all got horror stories of being 'robbed' in bars and restaurants all over the Alps.

Your right though, Switzerland has to be the most expensive place on earth for G&T's Shocked

Can I recommend "Piggy's", a nice cheap bar in Courchevel in the 3V's. My mate bought a round of G&T's there once... I'm sure he managed to pay for it out of his loose change. wink

Oh... and for those considering visiting Austria next year... forget it, it's just as bad as Switzerland... terrible, just terrible....

Us Brits should be forced by some kind of law to only ski in the large French Domains... they're the only places that are safe.....

Pssst... andyarmitage, If you're used to France's bargain prices, give Saas Fee ago and don't worry too much about your wallet... I'm sure you'll hate it... but you never know
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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?
Delightful place. Good range of hotels, from basic, but very adequate, bed and breakfast places (such as the Domino) to extremely luxurious, if that's your bag. Plenty of enjoyable skiing for a week, with the odd interesting intinerary. Good base for day ski touring. Zermatt an option for a day.
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Eating recommendation for Saas Fee: Boccolino (next to nursery slopes) an excellent lunch venue, serving pizza, pasta and local dishes. Very friendly and efficient service. Avoid the Rendez-Vous – rude and incredibly slow, even when not particularly busy. We walked out when still not served after an hour and twenty minutes.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've just added my Saas Fee report to the Resort Report section:

Saas Fee (December 2003)

...and hijacked this thread for feedback Shocked
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Thanks for that Ian snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
stevew has added a report to the Resort Report section:

Saas Fee (January 2006)
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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!
Elizabeth B has also added a report:

Saas Fee (April 2006)
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Andy,

I've been three times since 1984. The last time was in March this year. It is very spectacular, arguably one of the most spectacular resorts in the Alps. Its right under the Dom, the highest mountain wholly within Switzerland and has very reliable north facing glacier skiing up to 3,500m. The town is prodominantly traffic and British free with delightful places to eat and drink. The three times I've been there I have had loads of snow. The runs are perhaps a bit limited in variety but plenty long enough. The 'new' Funitel is actually much slower than the 'old' Felskin Cable Car which at 10m/s is still one of the fastest lifts in the Alps. Aassuming there are no queues it flings you back up to 3000m from the village in a very short space of time.

Best time to go ? Probably April or May when the Glaciers are most likely to be open and hospitable.

Unfortunatley it is very prone to avalanche risk closing the runs which did rather spoil our holiday. in March On the plus side I did have some of the best powder skiing of my life on a bottomless base in some insanely rocky terrain, but I would have preferred a week of sunshine.

You''ll will get very fit spending a week there. Expect to do lots of walking. We had a mediocre Chalet with Crystal (convenient Newcastle Flight however) and had to walk a mile to the slopes, although its a pretty mile right through the main traffic free high street. If the weather looks dodgy and the news is that the lifts are on hold, head down to Saas Amagell or Saas Grund for some pleasant albeit limited skiing.
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I went there Easter 2003 with my timid wife who was looking forward to her second weeks skiing with trepidation, which is one reason why I chose Saas Fee at Easter... good for beginners and good weather... surely... Well, the weather was awful with Blizzards and high winds, and the mountain looked quite daunting for early week skiers, surrounded by 4000m peaks. I'd booked her into ski school, which rather stupidly didn't start until the Monday when we'd arrived on the Saturday so I spent the first day on the nursery in the village with her. Day two and the instructor was awful - ignorant, kept skiing off and eventually left my wife on the mountain in a blizzard. Thankfully she had her phone with me and managed to describe which run she was on but when I found her 20 minutes later she was freezing cold, terrified, crying and rooted to the spot. I gently guided her down to the lift which he instructor could have done with ease but he couldnt be bothered to side step 20 metres back up the hill to get her. Needless to say I made a rather large and animated complaint to the ski school who were most apologetic and promptly refunded all the cash. Then, as luck would have it, I saw the little pr**k on the mountain the following day, stading around with his buddies. Well he got the biggest mouthful in English, followed by one in german and one in french just for good measure and to make absolutely sure he suffered total humiliatio in front of his fellow instructors.

A further 4 weeks skiing with private lessons in Austria and my once timid wife is now cruising reds and blacks like a pro (nearly!)... how we'd love to go back to Saas Fee and show him the results that a real ski instructor can achieve. I loved the resort by the way and will definately go back one day soon for a week.
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Hi All,

We are planning to visit Saas Fee next year. We are flexible on dates and would like peoples suggestions on the best date to go. Feb? March? other? early or late in the month?

Our main wants are snow cover and that the snow is nice and dry (but not icey) - we really hate wet snow that piles into moguls on each run. We are on-piste (only) beginner-to-intermediate skiiers

We realise this may mean it's not sunny - and it may be colder - thats ok. We obviously dont want the lifts shut half the time we are there due to weather or avalanche risk...

So if you have been there a few times or worked there - when do you think would be the best time to go and enjoy the best snow conditions?

Thank you in advance!
John & Kellie
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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.
February tends to be busy with UK half term and Dutch holidays. I suggest either the beginning of February or early March.
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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
Does anybody know how much the following costs??
a) 6 Days Lift Pass -Area/Local
b) 6 Days Ski & Boots Hire
c)6 Days Snowboard & Boots Hire

AND are there any saving to be made by prebooking? & If so is there a link to some info pls...

A freind has found a cracking deal for January 09 ,,,, Im just doing my homework on behalf of the group..

Answers on a postcard please!!
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