Friday, September 3, 2010

Saas Hiking Day in Saas-Almagell

To celebrate the Year of Hiking, a new event has been created in the Saas Valley. On 18 September 2010 the first Saas Hiking Day will take place in the Saas Valley. The event promises an active day ending with a relaxing raclette among friends, as well as a programme packed full of great entertainment. The first Hiking Day will begin from Saas-Almagell. In the following years, the event will start in a different village of the Saas Valley each time.
For those of you who don’t yet know the Saas Valley... It is an attractive destination for lovers of the great outdoors, featuring over 350 km of hiking routes along scenic Alpine paths and fascinating adventure trails. Look out over the treetops, walk through fragrant larch forests, hike along snow fields and rugged rock faces, or stroll alongside ancient waterways, all the while enjoying magnificent views of the majestic mountains and their snowy white peaks. The Saas Valley is a paradise for walkers of all ages and fitness levels. There are hiking routes and trails to suit everyone. Whether you want to climb up high or enjoy the cool shade of a forest, hiking here is always varied and exciting – just like the first Saas Hiking Day will be!
The first Saas Hiking Day presents three different routes that are sure to please everyone.
The relaxing route (Route 1) is perfect for those new to hiking or for those who simply want to take it easy. This gentle uphill climb takes you through stunning larch forests and along ancient waterways (Suonen) and beautiful streams. The route lasts between 90 minutes and two hours.
If you are looking for a particularly idyllic hike, you will take the romantic route (Route 2). This hike begins with an uphill climb, taking you through a beautiful larch forest, along a rushing river and on up to the Furggalp. From there you’ll enjoy an unobstructed view of the Mischabel massif aboveSaas-Almagell as you carry on to Furggstalden and then back down to the village. The tour lasts two-and-a-half to three hours.
And last but not least, for those hikers who like more of challenge there’s the adventure route (Route 3). Starting with a gondola ride from Saas-Grund up to Kreuzboden, the route continues along the Almagell Alpine Path. Far above the treetops, the route takes you along narrow paths with stunning views over the entire Saas Valley, all the way to the Mattmark reservoir, and of the eighteen 4,000 metre peaks that surround it. Further on into to the Almagell Valley, the cosy Almagelleralp restaurant, which is celebrating its centenary this year, offers the ideal spot for a break. After regaining your strength, it's time to leave the valley and continue onto the next highlight of the hike. Before making your way back down to Saas-Almagell, you can look forward to the challenge of the Almagell Adventure Trail. Its two suspension bridges, which are each over 60 m long, are guaranteed to provide that extra adrenaline rush. The route takes between three-and-a-half and four hours.
The fee for each hike gets you a great selection of goodies, including welcome coffee and croissants, a panoramic map, cableway tickets (Routes 2 and 3), raclette and wine at the end of the walk, and a souvenir gift. Those taking Route 3 will also receive a voucher for a cup of the Almagelleralp’s delicious house coffee.
The organisers are delighted that professional Alpine skier and honorary member of Skiclub Saas-Almagell Silvan Zurbriggen will be joining as a hiking guide for the day. He will also attend the festival on the village square afterwards, where he will be chatting to fans and answering their questions.
When you finish your hike you will all have the pleasure of meeting back on the village square in Saas-Almagell where you can enjoy a delicious raclette and a good glass of wine.
After an active start to the day and a stunning hike through the Saas Valley’s impressive Alpine landscape, you can relax and enjoy a great entertainment programme that includes musical entertainment, performances by village associations, market stalls, Alpine wellness,refreshments and, finally, the inauguration of Saas-Almagell’s recently redesigned village square. This will be an ideal opportunity to reflect on the day’s experiences with friends and to start planning your next hike in the beautiful Saas Valley!

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