The alpine passes – Life line of the mountain village Goms

I get in your way. I change your point of view. I force you to take a detour. If you respect me, you stay on course. I you don’t, you will not get ahead. If you are too quick, I am too narrow. If you are too slow, I will get bored. You will leave your footprints here. Ride on, I am the winding road.

The road crossing the Nufenen Pass is the highest pass route in Switzerland with 2478 m. a. s. l. It was opened in 1969. The roads over the Furka Pass (2456 m) from 1865 and the Grimsel Pass from 1895 are much older, though.

HUGE EFFORT TO CLEAR THE PASS

In order to allow motor cycles, cars, postbuses and cyclists to cross the pass in summertime, much had to be done. Dozens of experts with heavy machinery work for three to four weeks to reopen the pass road after every winter closure. In some cases, the mountains of snow and avalanche deposits pile up to a height of ten metres. The crash barriers and road signs are completely removed in the autumn and reinstalled in the spring.

PASSES: CHOSE FROM FOUR MODES OF CROSSING THEM

As a motor bike enthusiast, you will find Goms alpine passes an Eldorado. You will be in raptures at the sight of all the hairpin turns of Nufenen Pass. If you are a cyclist, you will be in good company on weekends, when hordes of bicycles cross the pass and rejoice at their own stamina and conquest.

SOME HISTORY OF THE PASSES

The passes used to be important trade routes in earlier times. As early as 1397, there was an agreement that regulated the trade routes to Italy passing Grimsel and Greiss Pass. Among other, the people from Goms committed themselves to provide infrastructure and enable free trade. Italy and the market in Domodossola received a constant supply of cheese, animals for slaughter, later tobacco, skins, medicine and various tools. The northern parts were supplied with wine, rice, spices, oil and hardware. During the 1800, 45 percent of the «Säumer» (tradesmen crossing the Alps with their pack animals) were from Goms. Around 2500 mules are said to have passed the Grimsel and Griess Passes every year. After the Gotthard railway started operating in 1885, the «Säumer» were no longer needed. Today, the Goms alpine passes are great tourist destinations.

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