Europe: Saas Fee, SwitzerlandFondue, fraulines, and freshies.

Okay, so no fraulines (if that’s even how you spell it), but it started with an “f.” Man, when the sun comes up in Saas Fee you’ll be blown away. By Sunday (the 20th) the storm finally cleared and a foot or so of new snow made all the difference in the world–probably still gonna have to retire my 67 after last week’s off-piste excursions, though. The first sunny day in a while, and pow everywhere!

Saas Fee (pronounced “sauce fay”), a cool little town that’s now how Zermatt might have once been, wrapped up our tour of the Matterhorn State’s resorts–Verbier, Zermatt, and Saas. Narrow streets (also car free), the river, and lots of Swiss mountain-town character make this a sweet place to hang.

Saas is best known by snowboarders for summer riding, really, because of its glacier. The blue ice of the glacier and the jagged peaks of the Mischabel range (Switzerland’s highest) are just insane.

The best riding we found wasn’t on top–it’s flat up there–but off some of the lower gondolas that top-out around treeline. We rode this one tram a bunch, veering just a little off the runs for the untracked; didn’t have to venture far. Deep and bone-free riding, the way we like it.

You know the tram routine, right? Go ahead and let the Euros do their thing–the wedge, squeeze, barge, or whatever. It’s way better to be the last one on the tram, right by the door. That way you’re the first one off– which is a lot more important than being the first one on.

We rounded out the Euro dining experience by trying to fill up on fondue–not sure how or when we were supposed to eat the fruit, or if we were supposed to fondue it or what. Luckily we had lots of pomme frites and rice to fill the void: I guess it’s good to eat slowly.

Saas has some nightlife; it seemed that Popcorn, a “snowboard” bar, is pretty much the spot. Be sure to shave real close so you blend in or you won’t get the time of day from Britain’s finest teenage nugglets. Even though Saas has a younger scene than Zermatt, it’s still more of an atmosphere than terrain-oriented place–not likely to run into too many bros here.

Sorry for the delay in my updates, just consider it like a phone call from Europe (okay, Russia). From Saas Fee we go to Italy by accident, are forced to put the car on a train and to buy a map, and we rally most of the night to get to Laax where double-barreled pipes and more pow await.