4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
This is a famous and historical tour with no technical difficulty and minimal objective hazards.
It is possible whenever there is snow on the ground and the road to the Monastery is closed (which it generally is between November and May). Start at the carpark of the now-defunct St Bernard ski area, and simply follow the clear jeep track which winds up to the Grand St Bernard Monastery, on the Col Grand St Bernard.
The climb takes about 90 minutes and takes you through some very dramatic and wild scenery, without requiring too much effort on your part. The Grand St Bernard Monastery is wonderful, with an eerie feel and cold, empty rooms combining with a warm welcome from the monks who live there.
Food and drinks are served at the Monastery and it's suitably simple but delicious fare.
Support the monks and the unique place they run by buying a meal and then take time to explore the various parts of the monastery. From the monastery you can either ski back to your car, or carry on to the far side of the col and embark on a further tour from there.