An interesting travel challenge providing a terrific view over Saas Fee and its surrounding peaks.
Saas Fee from the Gsponer Höhenweg:
This walk starts at Gspon, along the Saas valley from Visp towards Saas Grund. In 2017, this started with the 07:42 train from Kandersteg to Visp, the 08:27 from the Bahnhofplatz towards Zermatt, arriving in Stalden-Saas at 08:51. From here, the 2-stage cablecar via Staldenried to Gspon runs roughly every 25 minutes, see http://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_fields/2017/2270.pdf
Follow the path through Gspon Village and past the church. The final destination is Kreuzboden but it tends to be spelled as Chrizbode at the Gspon end of the track. You will be following the Alpenpässe-Weg, long distance path Number 6, for most of the route so watch for those signs. You are walking towards the Mischabel Range of Alps, above Saas Fee, the last bastion that separates Switzerland from Italy around here. The path wanders fairly gently through trees and meadows until it reaches Oberfinilu.
Continue along the Alpenpässe-Weg, climbing through an area that obviously has seen a number of massive landslides, but the path is well made. The path continues through a patch of trees to reach Obere Schwarze Wald, the highest point in the Mattwaldalpa with terrific views of the Balfrin massif above Saas Fee. The path meanders through a mixture of woods and meadows, passes Färiga, and then a bridge over the Mattwaldbach stream, emerging finally at the plateau known as Siwibode where the sign suggests it is 2 hours 30 back to Gspon and 2 hours 30 to Kreuzboden, with Hoferälpi one hour ahead. You are still on the Alpenpässe-Weg. The views are terrific and this may be a good place for lunch.
20 minutes on from Siwibode you arrive at Linde Bodu having passed through larch and the local arven (Swiss Stone Pine) trees. If you choose, you can descend to the valley with Saas Grund signed as one hour and 25 minutes (this is the Alpenpässe-Weg) . Continue towards Kreuzboden (now path number 8), with the ground rising and the views improving constantly. Another 20 minutes brings you to Hoferälpi where there is a small restaurant (the only one we found open along the path in 2017). Paths from here can take you down to Saas Grund or higher to Sattel and Gletscher Seewjine; continue along the Kreuzboden fork (Kreuzboden is signed as 1 hour 30). The path descends into a small ravine to cross a stream and then climbs steeply to the tiny village of Gruebe. You can now look down into Saas Fee on the other side, nestling in its cirque above the valley, surrounded by its 4000m mountains. The path continues to rise and eventually reaches a long boulder field as you cross the base of the Jegihorn to your left. The viewpoint at Hannig at 2445m, is a welcome end to the boulder-hopping and, from the seat, you can look down at Kreuzboden, which is still 20 minutes away on an easy path with a long zigzag. The peaks and glacier above Kreuzboden are to your left with the second stage of the gondolbahn upto Hohsaas clearly visible.
Descend to Kreuzboden with it's lake, gondolbahn station and restaurant. The panorama of peaks above Saas Fee are to your right.
From Kreuzboden the gondolbahn ( http://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_fields/2017/2310.pdf
) takes you back down into the valley at Saas Grund, 5 minutes walk from the bus stop (turn right at the main street). Take the 16:32 bus 511 ( http://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_fields/2017/12.511.pdf
) to Visp bus station (17:12) and the 17:18 bus 522 ( http://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_fields/2017/12.522.pdf
, Mondays to Fridays only) from there to Ausserberg, arriving at 17:34 in time for the 17:48 train back to Kandersteg (at 18:12).
This is a fairly long walk with the hardest, bolder-hopping part towards the end. Beware that the gondolbahn from Kreuzboden down to Saas Grund stops at 16:45. The transport connects well but doesn't allow much time for changes.
|| Height (m)
|| Top of the cablecar
|| Obere Schwarze Wald
|| 20 minutes rest and view
|| Rest for 5 mins - ideal plateau for a picnic
|| Linde Bodu
|| Saas Grund signed 1 hour 25 mins down
|| Restaurant here
|| Kreuzboden 1 hour
|| 5 mins rest at end of boulder field
|| Gondolbahn runs until 16:45
- 02 Oct 2017 - 18:56