4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
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.