Surprisingly Saas Fee is centuries old – surprising, because until the mid-20th century, you could only reach it by donkey. Because of those burro-riding travelers, Saas Fee celebrated 125 years of tourism in 2006. Encircled by mountains this Christmas-card village metaphorically sits at the bottom of a box canyon. At nearly 6,000 feet Nature’s strength is omnipresent with surrounding, snow covered peaks and massive glaciers. All reasons the first road from the valley only opened in the 1950’s. The encroaching Fee Glacier is so overwhelming one can almost reach out to touch it from the hotel’s balcony. The village still peers over the edge to the Saaser Valley. Sunday mornings Saas Fee’s women still attend church in native dress and their men still tend sheep in centuries-old stilted barns.
Saas Fee with no cars is perfect for families. By European standards, its surrounding natural bowl forms a more compact ski area than other European resorts. In 05-06, they built an eight-seat chair on the Kreuzboden-Hohsaas and a quad on the Langfluh. Saas Fee with three freestyle parks is reputed to have Switzerland’s best snow boarding. A dozen mountain restaurants will surely please anyone’s culinary palette. Ski passes can include the lower Saas Valley areas so with the added 18 runs the area increases by a third totaling 36 lifts and 90 miles of trails. Even though it is smaller, Saas Fee’s skiing is not for the faint-hearted. These same pistes are where Pirmin Zurbriggen, former World and Olympic champion, learned his trade!