Grossglockner High Alpine Road

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Road closed for winter until beginning May 2017
 
Snow clearence with rotary snow ploughs

The Snow clearance

Snow clearance on the Grossglockner

Tirelessly in action since 1953: the System Wallack rotation ploughs

Heavy snow covers the Grossglockner High Alpine Road for almost six months. Snowfall, wind-driven transport and ravines cover the road with up to 20 m of snow. Snow clearance at this great altitude is and has been a challenge ever since the opening of the mountain road in August 1935. While 350 men had to shovel for around 70 days to clear 250,000 m³ of snow from the road in the early days, efficient rotation ploughs manufactured at the Voest steel works in Linz have performed this task ever since 1953. These ploughs were developed by none other than Franz Wallack, engineer of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

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A special vintage car at Großglockner Hochalpenstraße
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Snow clearence by workers

Efficient ploughs for snow clearance

A simple comparison shows how the System Wallack rotation ploughs make it possible to drive on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. In 1932, the road was fit for traffic on 132 days in the year; by 1963, this rose to 276 days – more than double the number! Nowadays, twelve full-time snow clearers remove 600,000 to 800,000 m³ of snow from the 48 km alpine road in around 25 days. The efficient machines eject the snow up to 40 m wide; snow depths of up to 12 m are worn away in layers. Today, the popular mountain road at the heart of the High Tauern National Park is open for individual traffic from late April/early May to late October/early November.

Wallack rotation ploughs: proven to this day

Until this day, there have been no better devices for clearing snow on the Grossglockner than the ploughs that have been in use since the 1950s. They are ideal for use on gradients of up to 60%, as well as for clearing roads, turns and car parks thanks to their performance and dimensions. The ploughs are constructed to ensure that they don’t damage the road and can dig themselves out themselves even on uneven terrain. Franz Wallack not only realised the vision of a great mountain road, he also developed a unique machine!
Snow clearence with a rotary snow plough
Wallack Rotation Plough

Snow clearance on the Grossglockner: impressive feat

Since snowfall is also possible in summer, the ploughs patiently wait along the road in case they are needed. The large blue machines with their crawler track chain links and imposing milling wheels aren’t just appealing to technology-savvy visitors. If you’d like to find out more about the ploughs, simply take a look at the performance description of the manufacturer, Vereinigte Österreichische Eisen- und Stahlwerke in Linz, Upper Austria!

System Wallack rotation ploughs detail and performance description for download!

Safety on the road with Grossglockner snow clearance

There are other traffic disturbances in the mountains beside snowfall; ravines, mudslides and rockslides can make it impossible to navigate the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. This helps you to get at least a vague idea of the strains and logistic feats that the snow clearance and street maintenance staff have to endure every season in order to ensure that around 900,000 visitors can enjoy an unforgettably beautiful experience beyond compare!

Prices and opening hours of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road 2016
Experience the unique Grossglockner High Alpine Road “live” soon: enjoy yourself and drive safely!