The trials and tribulations of an ice master

Saas-Fee boasts one of the most beautiful natural ice rinks in the world. Otto Zengaffinen has managed the rink for decades. But what happens when the weather turns? Even on Christmas day, Otto Zengaffinen can often be spotted at the edge of Saas-Fee’s ice rink watching the tourists and locals skate. A group of teenagers laugh, sliding curling stones over the rink. Another plays ice hockey. The ice is an impressive ...

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The decathlete of adventurers

He has stood on glacial ice looking down onto lush jungle and run a marathon in the most isolated country in the world. For his latest challenge, Saas-Fee’s Lothar Supersaxo plans to swim across 80 Swiss lakes. Many episodes in the life of Lothar Supersaxo read like something out of a collection of Tintin comics. Before turning 18 years old, he and a friend cycled to Paris. His bicycle journeys continued, ...

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The warrior and her dream

Her countrymen may number 82 million, but as a ski racer, training on the glacier pistes of Saas-Fee, Özlem Carikcioglu is a curiosity. However, she doesn’t let that get in her way. It’s spring in Istanbul, but no ordinary one. The markets are empty and nearly all of the shops are closed. This bustling metropolis of over 15 million people is only just beginning to return to normal. The COVID-19 pandemic ...

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“Now, we are the target”

In 2020, under head coach Tom Stauffer (51), the Swiss Alpine Ski Team achieved a historic victory. For the first time in 30 years, they won the FIS Nations World Cup. Tom Stauffer, 51, is rarely at his home in Unterlangenegg, Bern. His life is lived out of a suitcase. “I'm on the road for about 200 days a year,” says the man with the trademark moustache. Stauffer has been on ...

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Death? Not an option

On 21st December 2018, Canadian Snowboarder Max Parrot was diagnosed with cancer. Two months after completing chemotherapy, he competed in the X Games and came away with the gold. This is the story of a fighter. Maxence Parrot was born on June 6, 1994, in Quebec, Canada. He opened his bright blue eyes in a town called Bromont, which lies in the southwest of the province. Bromont has its own ski ...

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The summit chaser

The Mischabel Chain, the Weissmies Group, the Felsnadeln in the Mont-Blanc-Massif, the Dufourspitze: Maggi Voide-Bumann is the first female Alpinist to have summited all 82 of the Alps’ four-thousanders. For her, the most important thing is the feeling of freedom, of pushing the limits, of challenging the mind and body. Maggi Voide-Bumann did not set out to climb all of the Alps’ four-thousanders, yet one day, she had done it. Born ...

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A regular around town: Ramon Zenhäusern

The Olympic champion is a true local of the Upper Valais. He has trained in Saas-Fee since childhood, and last year he was made our official summer ski ambassador. Each summer, what he looks forward to the most are the sunrises. When the first rays of sunshine bathe the summits of the Mischabel Chain in orange, and light slowly spills down the steep mountain faces, he stands at Mittelallin, breathing in ...

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“We have an understanding, the glacier and I”

By the time Thomas Zurbriggen has finished his work, the glacier piste in Saas-Grund looks just like any other ski run. But below the perfect corduroy lies ice. This is the story of how Thomas creates an immaculate piste on top of a glacier. The snow cracks under the snowcat’s caterpillar tracks. The vehicle comes to a sudden, jerky halt, shaking the cabin and the driver inside. Thomas pushes the accelerator ...

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Guardian of the glacier

Glaciologist Felix Keller is determined to save our glaciers. It might be an ambitious plan, but he believes it is possible. When Felix Keller talks about his plan, his eyes light up, bright and blue like the glacier. Blue and white have always been his favourite colours. The 56-year-old naturalist and glaciologist has a mission: to protect the Morteratsch Glacier in Sedrun from complete melting. Although in his words, “it’s not ...

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When life gives you lemons

Ski cross athlete Fanny Smith on her life, successes, and how she grew to be a fighter. Or: how to deal with life’s obstacles and find the right mindset. A conversation over a cappuccino. Sunlight bathes the Mischabel Chain in gold as we cross the road. For a split second, she looks up, wistfully almost, at the snow-covered Allalin. She wants to be up there, skis on her feet and ...

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