Petit St Bernard pass. France-Italy


From Bourg Saint Maurice up to 7200 feet and the Italian border.

With another scorcher into the 30’s promised I headed out early from camp released from the load and headed up the D1090 to the Italian Border and the summit of the Petit St Bernard pass. It’s a 19 mile climb and starts zig-zagging through the trees to start with before opening out with superb open views of the stunning vista, especially against a clear blue morning sky.

The two Egli framed Joe-bar Ducati riders I’d befriended in the camp site “rumba-ed” by as they went on their way to an Italian specials rally, for the second time this trip I yearned for my street triple. The climb was great though and I was enjoying the freedom of riding lighter, easily 3 gears down the block for the same speed. Once through La Rosiere you can see great lengths of the road ahead, and stunning views to Borg below making you realise how high you’d come. Naturally there were targets ahead to chase and soon the summit arrived.


It’s interesting looking back at the strava details; I seem to be happy climbing at 9mph and it took me 2 hrs to summit, steady Eddie. It would be great to return with speedy to have a good go at some of these climbs one day.

There were plenty of English voices around so an American girl waiting for friends to summit took a few rare riding shots of me before the descent back down. The top section is a flat out aero TT and the stability of no bags was superb, before the disc smoking hairpin section fun. The cool breeze of the descent and the lack of altitude suddenly hitting me back in Bourg. The supermarket cafe beckoned for a leisurely lunch and more ice cream.

I could quite easily have retired there and then, but memories of mountain bike exploits here many years ago had me back up the other side of the valley to ride to the Les Arcs Ski resorts. A great days climbing of 11,000 feet.
Time for a solo traveller night in the sun with food and a throw away novel