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Crossing the Alps

Contents

The section between Martigny and Orsières

The Great Saint Bernard Pass

You need to meet certain requirements in order to be able to cross the Alps. For safe passing, you need to know the following:

The section between Martigny and Orsières

The road is steep and vaguely marked. There is no safety chain and no maintenance. In case of bad weather conditions, this section cannot be used.

  • Do not start in rainy weather. The road is muddy, slippery; it passes steep valleys and ravines. You often have to hold on with both hands.
  • Elderly persons or people with heart problems should consider skipping this section. Climbing here can be physically strenuous.
  • This section can only be completed by pilgrims in good physical condition.
  • Take walking poles with you. Continuous up and downhill climbing is strenuous for the legs.
  • Although the distance may seem short, do not plan walking further than Orsières.
  • Sending your backpack ahead may be a good idea. Balancing with a heavy pack having no security chain on a steep path is difficult.
  • The alternative road runs along a busy main road in the valley. It has no emergency lane and takes a long time.

The Great Saint Bernard Pass

Under good weather conditions, the Great Saint Bernard Pass hospice can be reached within a few hours of steep climb from Bourg-Saint-Pierre. But also note:

  • You can climb the pass from the end of May (sometimes the beginning of June) until the end of October.
  • Do not try passing under snowy weather conditions.
  • When it is foggy and rainy, keep an eye on the signs and walk very carefully.
  • As an alternative, there is a concrete road to climb the pass.
  • If the pass is impassable, take the train from Orsières. For more information, see the links