The summer before the Winter Olympics

At last! 2021 - we’re off again! While many may still be reminiscing about the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, over 100 top athletes from all over the world are preparing in Saas-Fee for the Winter Olympics. This year, the outstanding preparation conditions on the glacier in the summer and autumn have attracted no fewer than 41 Olympic medal winners to Saas-Fee. If we have learnt anything from 2020, then it ...

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Grubenalp-Rothorn-Gletscherseewini: A Hidden Gem in the Saas Valley

Located above Saas-Balen, the Äusser Rothorn is a place to take in the wonder that is the entire Mischabel Group. The panoramic view from the summit stretches from Allalin to the giants Alphubel, Täschhorn, Dom and Lenzspitze, on to Nadelhorn, Stecknadelhorn and Hohberghorn, and down to Dürrenhorn.  Getting Up ThereFrom the Gruben Alp to the 3’147 meter summit it’s a 2-hour hike which isn’t too strenuous. To get to the Alp ...

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“When we arrived at the top, we chilled for a bit to take in everything around us.”

My father was a mountain guide here in Saas-Fee, and so was my grandfather. They guided adventure seekers up the towering mountains of the Saas Valley – eighteen of which reach heights of over 4,000 meters with thirteen surrounding the town itself. I think these mountains must have called to them, as they do to me, to venture up, to see life from a different angle, and to experience the ...

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Stress and hectic stay in the valley

Maria Anthamatten wouldn't change her job for the world. No wonder: as the warden of the Mischabel Hut, wonderful sunrises are part of the daily routine for the woman from Saas-Almagell. There are probably not many sinks in the world with such a view. When Maria Anthamatten's team washes the dishes in the evening, the evening sun bathes the surrounding four-thousand-metre peaks in a red light. Then the 38-year-old from Saas-Almagell ...

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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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“The meaning of life is love”

Bibian Mentel is dead. Her legacy lives on. On 29 March 2021, the snowboarder died after 22 years of fighting cancer. She inspired countless people with her optimism. She gave many people with disabilities new perspectives and courage. A great personality has passed away at the age of 49. Rarely have I shed so many tears while writing an article as I did with this one. Bibian Mentel moves beyond death. Me too. ...

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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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