Saas-Fee Dream Trip: Die Perle der Alpen (The Pearl of the Alps)

What do you think of when you’re imagining your perfect snowboard dream trip? I bet it involves traveling to some far-off place filled with the promise of deep, steep & dry snow. You probably envision spectacular mountain peaks and alpine scenery. Does it conjure up images of your best friends and family sharing the experience with you? For Fredi Kalbermatten, his snowboard dream trip is exactly like that, except it usually starts and ends in his own bed in the alpine Shangri-La of Saas-Fee, Switzerland. -Saas Fee Dream Trip gallery and story by Tim Zimmerman

The towering Dom and Allalinhorn mountains flow down the Saastal Valley. Their massive glaciers end halfway through the resort, moraines finally reaching their end in the village of Saas-Fee. Fredi grew up here, just a few steps away from the Gondola. The resort is massive and complete. It offers alpine steeps, low elevation pillows, tight tree lines, perfectly manicured parks and features in the glacial ice available only to the knowledgeable and confident.

When our crew arrived in Saas-Fee, Fredi had a surprise for us: a pre-sunrise pass to the top of the Metro-Alpin. We got to watch the sun rise over the Stellihorn peak, looking East into Italy.

Fredi took full advantage of his surroundings from a young age and still reveres them, with no sign of the jadedness that might come from being so familiar with a place for so long. As the glaciers shift and flow, new terrain opens up every season. As his mountaineering skills progress, new peaks become attainable objectives. All the while, Fredi never loses touch with the most important parts of life: family, community.

The groomer runs at Saas-Fee are incredible: wide, perfectly maintained and some very steep. This is not one of them. Kapow!

Even after a full career of traveling to dream destinations like Alaska and the Himalayas, Fredi’s excitement for Saas-Fee remains. If you’re lucky enough to stay with Fredi & family during a storm cycle you’ll feel the stoke like electricity in the air. It’ll be apparent that you’re about to have a dream day. And, while you may have traveled to share it, this dream trip is the Kalbermatten’s every day life.

I don’t remember if the jump had a name, but if I got to pick it’d be called “Perfect.” Fredi Kalbermatten: backside 540 nose grab.

Categories: #roadtoholybowly, Frederik Kalbermatten, Tim Zimmerman