Austria – Timmelsjoch
The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is a toll road that connects the Ötztal (Austria) and the Passeiertal (Meran – Italy). The highest point of the Timmelsjoch is 2509 m.
The Timmelsjoch has a height difference of 1800 m. On the Austrian side in the Ötztal begins the Timmelelsjochhochalpenstrasse near Hochgurgl. The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is only open in the summer months from 6 am to 8 pm. In the winter months, the Timmelsjoch is completely closed to motorists. The barrier depends on the prevailing snow conditions, but usually lasts from mid-October to April the following year.
Even in the spring and early summer, you can get an impression of the sometimes huge amounts of snow that fell in winter. Snowdrifts of 6 to 8 meters are not uncommon. The road over the Timmelsjoch winds in many bends on the well-developed Austrian side up to the main Alpine ridge. If you have exceeded this on 2509 m, it goes on the Italian side in tight curves down the valley. The view of the Southern Alps is huge from here up in good weather.
It is not uncommon for the weather to change rapidly at this altitude. So it can happen, especially in the autumn months, that suddenly high fog occurs. Then absolute caution is required. We already had rides over the Timmelsjoch, where one could not see the hand in front of the eyes. Already the ride at walking pace became an adventure with an uncertain outcome.
Even at the end of September and the beginning of October, it can quickly lead to temperature drops and thus heavy snowfall in the higher elevations above 1,500 m. Reversing then usually does not use anything anymore. We had on a crossing such conditions, in which then the rows of cars without four-wheel drive slid off the road in the hillsides.
The high alpine pastures in Timmelstal are especially beautiful in summer and autumn, when there is no snow. The descent to St. Leonhard in Passeier leads over bold serpentine buildings and through romantically old tunnels. In glorious sunshine at the beginning of October was already a 20 cm to 30 cm thick layer of snow. View from the Timmelsjoch on the three-thousanders of the Northern Alps. Look back on the descent into the Passeiertal.