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Suisse to Col St. Bernard

kmccue

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
I'm having fun planning my stages from Aigle to probably Pontremoli or a bit beyond. Question. Should I go Orsieres to the Col in 1 day, or break it in 2 with a stop in Bourg St. Pierre? September traveling
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I'm having fun planning my stages from Aigle to probably Pontremoli or a bit beyond. Question. Should I go Orsieres to the Col in 1 day, or break it in 2 with a stop in Bourg St. Pierre? September traveling
Although there was never a possibility of me making the climb to the Col when I did the VF in 2019 (arrived these parts early May...heavily snowbound), I would still recommend you break the stages with an overnight in BSP...at least as a contingency plan. There could be all kinds of factors in play, foremost including the weather but also how you're feeling...tired, injuries, etc (you didn't mention your actual starting point). You don't want to be under pressure or rush the climb if things haven't gone to plan.
BSP is small but I enjoyed wandering around & taking in the various viewpoints. I stayed at Hotel-du-Cret with a view to take your breath away, cosy room & a hearty meal in the reasonably priced restaurant. What better way to go before tackling whatever the next day holds?
I'm sure @timr will weigh in here...he's a font of knowledge & has posted numerous contributions on this area.
Overall, if you have the time, take the time!
Best wishes.
👣 🌏
 
Last edited:

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Hi @kmccue (and @kazrobbo)
I would agree with Kazrobbo. If you have the time, I would split it. You have already seen my account I think.
It is possible physically to cover the ground in one day, but by September you will definitely need to be paying attention to the weather and taking advice from the Hospice. You can phone them and you should phone them before making plans at that time of year- you will need a little French if possible.

The Bivouac de Napoleon hotel is on the left at you come into BSP. I stayed there. It is not cheap. But then there is nowhere cheap in Switzerland! I got a comfortable room - I think they have some cheaper hostel accommodation as well. I got marooned there for an extra night because of snow and it was a nice break.

But even if you don't stay, they will give you advice on the road. I think the 'man of the house' is involved in working on road clearing.

Remember that for the first part onward from BSP you MUST cross the river and walk up the right side of the valley on the footpath as far as Bourg St Bernard at the top of the dam, and the entrance to the tunnel. From here on you have a choice between the road and the footpath. If the weather is good and you are fit, the footpath is more attractive - I think it is a bit shorter too (because it is straighter and steeper).
I hope it works out well for you. I think your initial plans were delayed - like everyone this year!
I walked on as far as Thessaloniki in 2019 and had hoped to reach Jerusalem before last Christmas.
I am still hoping.......!
Tim
 
Last edited:

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
Early Sept 2019 I staged as follows.
Lausanne to Montreux (Youth hostel).
To Aigle (tented with another pilgrim).
To St Maurice (church accom).
To Martigny (Campground Dorm).
To Orsieres (Church accom).
To Bourg St Pierre (Dorm - Hotel Restaurant du Cret).
To Col du Gran St Bernard (Hospice)

You could combine the last two stages but you'd better be fit and trail hardened. Weatherwise, I phoned the priests in the Col du San Bernard Hospice and they said plan to arrive no later than mid Sept.
Regards and good travelling.
Gerard
 
Last edited:

kmccue

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
Hi @kmccue (and @kazrobbo)
I would agree with Kazrobbo. If you have the time, I would split it. You have already seen my account I think.
It is possible physically to cover the ground in one day, but by September you will definitely need to be paying attention to the weather and taking advice from the Hospice. You can phone them and you should phone then before making plans at that time of year- you will need a little French if possible.

The Bivouac de Napoleon hotel is on the left at you come into BSP. I stayed there. It is not cheap. But then there is nowhere cheap in Switzerland! I got a comfortable room - I think they have some cheaper hostel accommodation as well. I got marooned there for an extra night because of snow and it was a nice break.

But even if you don't stay, they will give you advice on the road. I think the 'man of the house' is involved in working on road clearing.

Remember that for the first part onward from BSP you MUST cross the river and walk up the right side of the valley on the footpath as far as Bourg St Bernard at the top of the dam, and the entrance to the tunnel. From here on you have a choice between the road and the footpath. If the weather is good and you are fit, the footpath is more attractive - I think it is a bit shorter too (because it is straighter and steeper).
I hope it works out well for you. I think your initial plans were delayed - like everyone this year!
I walked on as far as Thessaloniki in 2019 and had hoped to reach Jerusalem before last Christmas.
I am still hoping.......!
Tim
Yes, You are right. I WAS hoping to go in May of 2020. And I still have notes with "Father Tim" pencilled in next to them. Sounds good and yes, thank you too for clarity of the route. I read somone's post today about being on the wrong side and having to go over a dam or something, definitely having to retrace steps. I believe it will be Orsieres and then BSP and then the Col. That sounds better and as you say...gives time for any eventualities. Thanks so much for wisdom. We hope to start in Aigle and likely walk 3-4 weeks. If yiu had to pick a "stopping point"...what would it be?
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
We hope to start in Aigle and likely walk 3-4 weeks. If you had to pick a "stopping point"...what would it be?
Three weeks from Aigle saw me reach Berceto/Passo della Ciso. An extra week would put you in Tuscany...say, around Lucca. Can highly recommend a side-trip to Firenze (Florence) if you have the time...I did that & absolutely loved it!
All of the above worthy 'stopping points'.
👣 🌏
 

Harington

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Although there was never a possibility of me making the climb to the Col when I did the VF in 2019 (arrived these parts early May...heavily snowbound), I would still recommend you break the stages with an overnight in BSP...at least as a contingency plan. There could be all kinds of factors in play, foremost including the weather but also how you're feeling...tired, injuries, etc (you didn't mention your actual starting point). You don't want to be under pressure or rush the climb if things haven't gone to plan.
BSP is small but I enjoyed wandering around & taking in the various viewpoints. I stayed at Hotel-du-Cret with a view to take your breath away, cosy room & a hearty meal in the reasonably priced restaurant. What better way to go before tackling whatever the next day holds?
I'm sure @timr will weigh in here...he's a font of knowledge & has posted numerous contributions on this area.
Overall, if you have the time, take the time!
Best wishes.
👣 🌏
Definitely stop at Bourg St Pierre. There is local knowledge there about the state of the Pass/snow/avalanche risk - though that's minimal in September.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I read somone's post today about being on the wrong side and having to go over a dam or something, definitely having to retrace steps.
That would be my post.
And you read it wrong.
A re-reading will inform you I was not on the wrong side. I was exactly where I wanted to be.
Definitely had to retrace my steps?
Where did you get that from? I only ever went back maybe 5 steps to a ladder.
Pay attention.
 

kmccue

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
That would be my post.
And you read it wrong.
A re-reading will inform you I was not on the wrong side. I was exactly where I wanted to be.
Definitely had to retrace my steps?
Where did you get that from? I only ever went back maybe 5 steps to a ladder.
Pay attention.
I apologize. I'll read it more closely...but thanks for clarity.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
I'm having fun planning my stages from Aigle to probably Pontremoli or a bit beyond. Question. Should I go Orsieres to the Col in 1 day, or break it in 2 with a stop in Bourg St. Pierre? September traveling
We stopped in bourg st pierre at the napoleon place, it was the right decision for us. An early start the next day got us to the col about lunchtime and we stayed the night there to take time to mark the achievement, not that theres much there but we didnt want to arrive then just leave. Next day went down to etreillers. We did it mid june. Take your time, you will be glad afterwards you didnt rush the experience, imho.😁
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

evanscl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
Yes, You are right. I WAS hoping to go in May of 2020. And I still have notes with "Father Tim" pencilled in next to them. Sounds good and yes, thank you too for clarity of the route. I read somone's post today about being on the wrong side and having to go over a dam or something, definitely having to retrace steps. I believe it will be Orsieres and then BSP and then the Col. That sounds better and as you say...gives time for any eventualities. Thanks so much for wisdom. We hope to start in Aigle and likely walk 3-4 weeks. If yiu had to pick a "stopping point"...what would it be?
21 days after Aigle we were in costamezzano, a couple of days slower than kazrobbo! If you can get beyond the Po valley before it gets to warm weather then you will be quids in but being able to walk over the pass requires you entering the po valley in summer . We stopped in vercelli as one of us had to return to work and returned again in late september to walk to rome - but even then the mosquitoes were awful. We walked up to the col on 18th june and the pass had been open a few days and the last bit of the path was under snow so we walked on the road the last mile maybe, Our last walking day, only 9 days later, was santhia to vercelli on 27th june , in 38 degrees, and nearly did for me, so be prepared for heat.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
I'm having fun planning my stages from Aigle to probably Pontremoli or a bit beyond. Question. Should I go Orsieres to the Col in 1 day, or break it in 2 with a stop in Bourg St. Pierre? September traveling
If you plan to stop a night in chatillon i can recommend Le Lierre b and b, the most lovely people, Ada and Rinaldo , run it, jst a couple of rooms they let in their home. They were so welcoming and Rinaldo walked the first hour with us the next day.
 

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