St Bernard Hospice
Before the temperatures start to drop and the snow arrives, I would like to propose a hike in the high Alps to the magnificent St Bernard Hospice on the Italian border. The hike starts in La Fouly, passes by the three Lacs de Fenetre, and ends at the hospice. The total distance is 16 kms with a total height gain of Protected content , for an estimated hiking time of around 6 hours. This is a challenging hike for confident hikers who have already completed similar hikes, please do not sign up if you do not fall into this category!
We will meet in Protected content departure from the hospice, there are no other buses that day and you will be spending the night with the St Bernard dogs! So please only join this hike if you are confident that you can handle the distance and the height gain at the same pace as an average Swiss hiker.
For the purpose of coordinating transport, arrival timings and other matters, I invite you to send a WhatsApp message to me on Protected content so that I can set up a group for the hike. We can also use the group to share photos after the hike.
I encourage everyone to car pool to the extent that they are able, and ask that drivers willing to accept passengers to post a message in the WhatsApp group, and then send messages directly to the passengers that they are able to accept. Each driver is free to decide on the contribution of each passenger, but in the absence of any particular policy on the part of the driver, I suggest each passenger contributes based on a rule of thumb of 5 centimes per km for the journey there and back, as well as sharing any parking costs.
4. Clothing and equipment
Temperatures in the autumn can vary significantly between the plains and the higher elevations, so warm waterproof clothing and strong waterproof boots are a must. Hiking poles are also a must, as they not only help with steep and slippery conditions, but also help to redistribute the effort involved in the hike across your whole body. For anyone who does not have hiking poles, they cost from 40 CHF and can be ordered online.
5. Food and drink
It is normal to underestimate the amount of water you will consume on a hike, and so I recommend bringing 2 litres each. Please bring a picnic and snacks, as we will not be stopping at any restaurants on the way.
6. Ability levels
We will hike on normal (yellow) and mountain (red) trails, but not on alpine (blue) trails. Within any group, there will be different ability levels, and in case of significant differences in pace, we will split into two groups walking at different speeds. However, in the case of this hike, there is an unusually significant height gain, a one-way route and a limited time window, so please do not sign up if you are not confident of your fitness levels.
In addition to the cost of getting between Lausanne and Orsieres, the bus to La Fouly will cost CHF 4.10 with a half tariff card and CHF 8.20 from the hospice (in each case double the price if you do not have the card).
If your plans change and you realise you can no longer join the hike, please cancel your participation on the Internations site, as the number of participants is always capped and there may be other members who wish to join the hike in your place.
If weather conditions deteriorate to the extent that this hike becomes impractical, I will send a message to participants the previous day.
Please note that by signing up for this hike, you accept full personal responsibility for your own safety. The organisers of hikes are not trained guides, and often have not hiked the route before. Their only role is to coordinate the participants, the responsibility for safety continues to rest with each participant.
10. Mountain rescue
Please note that mountains are dangerous environments, and accidents will sometimes happen, whether or not these are within the control of the individual concerned. I encourage everyone to become a patron of the Swiss mountain rescue organisation Rega at a cost of 30 CHF per year, which will entitle them to free evacuation to a hospital in case of injury.
If anyone has any questions, please message me on WhatsApp
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