I stayed in Saas-Fee for a week in mid-September 2016. It wasn’t until day five of my stay that the weather was good enough to go up to Mittelallalin, the mountain-top station just below the Allalinhorn mountain peak above Saas-Fee, but it was well worth the wait!
After days of Mittelallalin being in the clouds, including one day on which the gondolas were not even operating because of the weather, my regular morning check of the webcam on top showed fog with intermittent clear spells. So I decided to take my chances and go up, as I had only two days left before leaving Saas-Fee for Locarno.
Mittelallalin is at an altitude of 3,456 metres, reached by gondolas (either the Alpin-Express or the Felskinn, depending on which one is in service at the time), followed by an underground funicular called the “Metro Alpin”, which is said to be the highest underground funicular railway in the world.
I set off on foot from the youth hostel, where I was staying, to the valley station of the Alpin-Express gondola, along the way crossing the “Panoramabrücke”, an elegant bridge spanning a wild, 300-metre-deep gorge, through which the River Feevispa runs.
The Alpin-Express gondola took me at first over green forests, with views back to the village; then beyond the tree line over steep, rocky slopes with patches of green and coppery low-growing plants; higher still over stony, barren ground and massive rock faces; and finally came the glaciers and snow.
After the gondola rides to Felskinn mid-station, the final stretch in the underground funicular brought me to the top, where it was fantastic to see a snowy mountain landscape under sunny blue skies – such perfect conditions! I couldn’t believe my luck after so many days of poor weather.
Quite a few people were skiing down the slopes, the restaurant was about half full, and around a dozen people were out on the terrace taking in the views and basking in the sunshine. There was also a small group of people trekking in single file across the glacier, leaving a trail of footprints behind them in the snow. I wondered whether they were going to summit the Allalinhorn. I was also interested to see some empty wheelchairs out on the snow-covered plateau below the restaurant, and wondered where the occupants were!
The viewing terrace outside the restaurant was blanketed in snow, but a path had been cleared from the restaurant door to the terrace railing, and around the edge, to make it easier for people to walk around. However, the multitude of footprints in the snow across to the railings made it clear that many people preferred traipsing through the snow! The blue skies disappeared a few times while I was up there, as clouds rolled through, rapidly enveloping us in a dense fog with zero visibility for a minute or two before drifting off again. I took a photo of a bird sitting on the rail during one of these episodes.
After a spending some time strolling around outside, enjoying the view, the sunshine, and taking photos, I had a leisurely meal in the restaurant while it revolved 360 degrees over the course of an hour. This is the highest revolving restaurant in the world, and the views in every direction are wonderful.
On the way back to Saas-Fee, I shared a gondola with an American couple. They only had one more day in Saas-Fee before returning home, and had been disappointed to find that the gondola up to Spielboden was closed for reconstruction. Spielboden is famous for its marmots, and they had been hoping to go up there to see them. I told them about the colony of marmots I had seen a few days earlier on the Hannigalp, another mountain above Saas-Fee, and I hope they managed to get up there to see them before they left!
Getting to Mittelallalin involves taking gondolas to mid-station Felskinn, followed by an underground funicular the rest of the way to Mittelallalin.
If you are not staying in Saas-Fee, the gondolas to Felskinn and the funicular to Mittelallalin are discounted by 50% with the Swiss Travel Pass.
For people staying in Saas-Fee, who have been given a guest pass by their accommodation provider (Saas-Fee Bürgerpass / Citizen’s Pass), the gondolas to Felskinn mid-station are free, and you can use your Swiss Travel Pass (if you have one) for a 50% discount on the funicular to Mittelallalin.
There are snow activities at Mittelallalin, but they only operate from the beginning of July until the second half of August, from 10:30 until 14:30, so they weren’t operating when I was there. These activities are free with the Saas-Fee Bürgerpass.
Another attraction at Mittelallalin is the Ice Pavilion inside the Fee Glacier. Entry is free with your funicular ticket between mid-June and the end of October. There are 120 steps to descend (and later ascend), so it is not suitable for anyone who can’t manage stairs.
There is more information here:
You can also find out more about Mittelallalin at the following link:
I have attached some photos I took that day.