Stage 4. Switzerland. Pontarlier to Aosta

Many if not most people going to Jerusalem and the Holy Land will not walk through Italy, but Via the Danube Valley – and perhaps it is the better route for those not too interested in Rome.  We are however taking the route to Rome and then South on the Via Appia and then on the other side of the Adriatic,  the Via Egnatia.

I am glad to leave the North East of France, and begin to crossing of Switzerland into Italy. After Pontarlier, the climbs are bigger and harder (the official route, more senseless) and the feel of the Swiss plateau more real.

However, at Pontarlier, Regula appears for the first time, and we cycle over the border into Switzerland and then past St Croix, Lausanne and Martigny.  There is a history of Martyrdom and early Christianity in this narrow Swiss Valley which leads to Orsierres and ascent of the St Bernard Pass.

This pass is something which we have deliberately left to winter when the pass is closed and snow bound. There is an account of the crossing here.  http://www.pilgrimroads.com/category/via-francigena/

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3 Responses to Stage 4. Switzerland. Pontarlier to Aosta

  1. Charles Beach says:

    Hey Guys!

    So how suitable to you think the St Bernard’s pass is in winter for someone who is new to winter hiking? I’m a fairly experienced hiker with some snow and alpine experience but have never hiked in winter. I was planning on doing the pass mid to late February next year. What do you reckon?

    Charles.

    • Hi Charles

      With all of the usual caveats aboout safety, and darkness it is possible. Make sure you have a booking in the Hostel in advance and all of the euipment needed. Let them know when you will arrive. Allow longer – even double what you would expect and check the weather. Snow shoes are advisable.

      The route can be hard to find in fog or in heavy snow dark, so good to have a GPS. There should be a few others on the route, despite the Swias state making it illegal to walk on mountain roads in winter!

      • Charles Beach says:

        Thanks for the reply! It sounds like a challenge I’d really like to try. I will carry on researching it for now

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