The pass has had some of its teeth drawn with the opening of the Great St. Bernard Tunnel, which saves cars and trucks a couple thousand feet of climbing, or so it seems to me!! But the old road, battered and chuckholed in places as are all alpine crossings, still recalls the days when climbing these passes was a major effort and one needed a hospice--food, drink, and a night's bed-- at the top. You can have your picture snapped at the top with any number of St. Bernards, but the smell of the Kennel is staggering. Better to step into the chapel--always a feature of most alpine passes-- and say a prayer to your Lord, especially when you realize the descent that awaits you. Pray for the integrity of your brake cables! If you, as I did, climb the pass from South to North, a long, long, long sheltered descent leads into the swiss Valleys below. The road is in good condition once you get below the final approaches to the pass.