The Great St Bernard Pass is the third highest road pass in Switzerland, at an elevation of 2,469 m. It connects Martigny in the canton of Valais in Switzerland with Aosta in the region Aosta Valley in Italy. 

During winter, the pass is closed to road trafic. Usually, the pass opens during June. But this year (2023), the Giro (cycling tour of Italia) had planned to go through the pass. Needless to say, they had to reroute the tour twice, as the pass couldn’t be opened for the 20th of May.

As of 23rd of May, the pass is still closed. On the summit, there is still about 500m of road completely covered by packed snow (1-2m high).

I rode up to the pass from the Swiss side on bike, and had planned to visit the Italy side a bit. Unfortunately, as mentionned above, there was still much snow to cross. I could have done it on foot, carrying the bike, albeit being not fun, but there were snow miling machines working. So I decided it wasn’t a safe option.

Here are some pictures of the tour, and a ND filter which didn’t play well.

And the video:

The fun part was to watch cars and motocyclists trying to go up the pass. At the bottom, there was a gate, with a clear sign explaining the pass is closed. Nevertheless, thousands of cars drove as if the road was opened, most had to even do emergency brake in front of the gate.

One week earlier, I visited the Great Saint Bernard area on foot.

And the video: