Col du Grand Saint Bernard via Col Ouest de Barasson.

An ideal beginner ski tour that makes a day of going to the Grand Saint Bernard Hospice.

Also in Valais, Switzerland

Ski Touring Easy

Distance
8.3 km
Ascent
885 m
Descent
343 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.6 km
Gradient
32˚
VIEW ON MAP
Col du Grand Saint Bernard via Col Ouest de Barasson. Map

Description

This is an excellent extension that enhances the already enjoyable journey to the Grand Saint Bernard Hospice. It's great for beginner ski tourers looking to get more out of the day with a few turns. The day is all on mellow terrain but the valley up to the Hospice has steep slopes either side and is exposed to sizeable avalanches on high risk days. Navigation in the Combe de Barasson is straightforward and in poor visibility there are a number of electricity pylons which can help give some definition.

Start from the parking at the now deserted Super Saint Bernard ski area and follow the summer road, where you are unlikely to be on your own! On the way you will pass by one of the ventilation towers for the road tunnel before turning off the track to the Hospice and skinning into the Combe de Barasson. If you can’t see the pylons you will hear them buzzing as you journey up the valley towards a steepening before the Col. One or two kick turns may be needed to pass this, before gentle terrain takes you to the Col Ouest de Barasson. You are now on the Swiss-Italian border and can see the magnificent views down into the Aosta Valley.

After transitioning, enjoy your turns skiing down the wide valley below on mellow terrain. Then, keeping some height, turn into the Combe des Morts where skins go back on for the final ascent to the hospice.

Follow the track (which has marker poles) to the Hospice itself. As ski touring huts go, this is unique! Enjoy the hospitality and the magnificent building.

Difficulty

Easy

Wide gentle slopes at around 20 degrees or less.

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April

Features

  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area