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Driving into Lech?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
We are going to ski in Lech during the first days of March. We are flying into Munich, renting a car, and wandering through Bavaria and Salzburg on the way to Lech and back.

Is there anything about the roads driving into Lech itself that we should know about, specifically, winter conditions? I see that winter tires are required, but info about chains is somewhat contradictory. Are the passes in winter anything that native Colorado drivers haven't seen?

I've searched over at Snowheads and didn't really find anything. I'm guessing that means the roads aren't too hairy .... but I'm still curious.
post #2 of 23
You may very well need chains on the Arlbergpass and the Flexenpass. Last time I drove in was right after a huge storm, we were a few cars behind a monster snowblower (big enough to eat cars if they got in it's way) and the surface right behind this ting was a very slick icy slush. The road is incredible, hopefully, you'll go up in daylight and be able to see it. You'll love it.
post #3 of 23
I drove in there in a pretty good storm, and they kept the road well plowed. I had chains and did not have to put them on, and got to the lifts in time for a full day. Good parking in Zurs right by the lifts.
post #4 of 23

about Lech in March

we did the drive last year in March. snow was not heavy so no problem. be sure to get a sticker for the highway in Austria as soon as you cross border, they check/ticket. once out of Munich, there's lots of beautiful countryside/small towns as you approach Lech, including "mad ludwig's" castle if you're up for a short side trip. suggestion: don't take the 12 mi. Arlberg tunnel(as we did), turn off just before it and drive through St.Anton. the Lech/Zurs sits in a valley with peaks and runs rising on either side. When it's sunny and mild, it's fine in the morning, but you basically ski where the sun does not hit directly and the snow holds up. it gets mushy by midday around Oberlech but on the opposite side above Lech and Zurs it's fine. take the big gondola that runs from the center of Lech right to the top. there's a nice cafe, beautiful views, and you can make your way down to Zurs or take one of the lifts that bring you back up to other points along the way. the runs on the other side of Zurs are also nice, and of course, you must do the "White Ring".
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
THanks
post #6 of 23
Snow chains are obligatorily by law in Austria!
I don't think you wil encounter any big obsticals on the road, be aware though that the Arlberg region is notorious for its snowstorms as other repliers have already statet.
Have fun and feel free to ask any futher questions.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QmQ View Post
Snow chains are obligatorily by law in Austria!
But when? Obviously you don't have to use them when the pavement is dry, and probably not every single time it snows an inch ... or do you, even with winter tires?
post #8 of 23
we drove from Munich to Lech in March and did not have chains. while we were ticketed for lack of highway sticker the police said nothing about tire chains. Also, spend a day at St.Anton.
post #9 of 23
Depending on conditions they usually flag out at the bottom of the twisty Flexenpass road whether chains are required. As soon as they do they're mandatory although we went up at night during a big storm without getting stuck or caught.

That said in case you disregard the signal, try getting up without them and you end up caught blocking the road you'll be in for a big fine without pardon. So at least make sure you have chains aboard.

Be aware that the rear door access thru Warth is mostly closed during winter season so the Flexenpass road is the only remaining gate to Zürs and Lech. Also bear in mind that Salzburg is in the opposite direction from Munich than the Arlberg.
post #10 of 23
The road on the left is the Lech access road from Stuben (toward bottom right)

http://www.stantonamarlberg.com/wint...ama3_Sirio.jpg
post #11 of 23
here s picture of the lech access road in the summer

http://www.alpentourer-bilder.de/pics/flexenpass9.jpg
post #12 of 23
Looks like it's better to have the chains, for sure!!!!
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanton View Post
here s picture of the lech access road in the summer

http://www.alpentourer-bilder.de/pics/flexenpass9.jpg
Thanks very much ... well, it looks like a great place to die, if necessary!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post

Be aware that the rear door access thru Warth is mostly closed during winter season so the Flexenpass road is the only remaining gate to Zürs and Lech. Also bear in mind that Salzburg is in the opposite direction from Munich than the Arlberg.
Yes, we learned our lesson in Switzerland a couple of seasons ago. Did one of those computerized route planners from viamichelin, which drove us right into this:



It was definitely a "duh" moment. But luckily the tunnel was just a couple minutes back down the road.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
Thanks very much ... well, it looks like a great place to die, if necessary!
Its a busy well maintained road. The Public Bus service goes up & down here all day long.
post #16 of 23
Segbrown: It's obligatorily to have chains with you! Ofcourse you only put them on when neccesary, or when it's demanded by roadsigns.


post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QmQ View Post
Segbrown: It's obligatorily to have chains with you! Ofcourse you only put them on when neccesary, or when it's demanded by roadsigns.
That's what I was wondering. Thanks.

And thanks for the stoke! We're getting excited to go.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanton View Post
Its a busy well maintained road. The Public Bus service goes up & down here all day long.
I'm sure it is ... it's no worse than many roads here in CO ... I was just being silly. It's very beautiful in summer ... we'll have to come back.
post #19 of 23
Here's some more stoke on Lech, with links for St Anton too: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=449&mode=search
Here's some stoke on Salzburg: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=445&mode=search
Here's a nice online road map for scouting the area: http://encarta.msn.com/map_701510379/Austria.html
post #20 of 23
info on winter tyres & chains in Austria

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewt...161&highlight=
post #21 of 23
Try the following site; www.lech-zuers.at
Lech has an excellent underground car park in the centre. You can reserve your parking bay by mobile phone on your way to the resort.
post #22 of 23
Winter tires are mandatory. Same in Germany, so the rental car company should outfit your vehicle with regular winter tires as opposed to flimsy all season tires. Check on that ahead of time though. The extra few bucks for chains are a good idea in case the signs go up. One pair for the drivetrain wheels suffice. Don't drive through town when it's clear with chains on unless you want to look like a dork. And noone (noone) will want to know you if they see you driving around like that.
The highway sticker is called "Pickerl". They are valid 10 days or more, up to a year, I believe. So get what suits your trip.
Also, some funky vest is required to carry on and wear if you have to tend to a vehicular breakdown or put chains on.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warnweste
Finally, the ultimate tourist trap... the road between Warth and Lech has a winter closure. Don't plan a tour that leads you up the Lech valley.

Edit. Are you going to see something you're not familiar with from Colorado. Not really. Subis (and Audi quatro's) zipping around. Favorite mode of transportation if you're local. Towns elect not to clear the streets with salt. Protects the environment, is easy on the budget. Deal with it, I like that approach. This means you might find town streets with snow cover when the highway's clear. So, take it easy when entering town and especially in those rarely travelled side streets. They are slippery guaranteed. Parking in town can (will) be a problem, but the hotels all have ample parking for their guests.
post #23 of 23
Skied Lech last year in powder snow up to my hips and regularly over my knees........sensational, never seen anything like it. Road from from Lech down in to St Anton has one steep pitch that I remember......our taxi driver swore in German as his taxi followed the laws of gravity and headed towards the roadside sideways.
After dumping snow for over a week the roads were easily traversed however.
Have lunch in the 'Rud Hutte' on the slopes of Lech or go back there for the hot spiced apple drink after skiing and the party atmosphere. The place rocks.
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