In good summer weather conditions the path over the summit is long but progressive and should not offer a great challenge to hikers in good physical shape.
The greatest risk to walkers arises from the weather. Click download for a 30 year norm of monthly weather for the col, but daily conditions will vary from this with the risk of a sudden change.
The road to the col, beginning at the Swiss entrance to the tunnel, is nominally open from the beginning of June to the end of September. However, in recent years there has been a variation of as much as 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the normal opening dates. In the open period snow clearance takes place on the col road.
The footpath has a number of access points to the road. However, the road below the tunnel entrance can be busy with many heavy trucks and with a number of walled avalanche “galleries” including the a section of 7km immediately before the tunnel. The road is extensively used by cyclists but remains very dangerous in this section.
In the event that the col is closed or that you choose to bypass it, a bus service (211) via the tunnel connects Martigny and Aosta via Orsieres, Liddes, Bourg St Pierre and Etroubles.