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Austria's most beautiful panoramic roads

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16 The famous rotatary

16 The famous rotatary snowploughs clear the road: The first visitor of the year may enjoy the metre-high snow wall along the road.

FLAIR FOR SNOW One who likes snow, will love the Grossglockner High Alpine Road: From May onwards, one passes through metre-high snow walls and before Hochtor, summer snowball fights can be held. Their names are Paul, Jörgen, Ander, Oskar and Eisbändiger, they are equipped with 3 engines with 125 hp each and are – even though outdated – operational anytime. The rotary snowploughs of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road are considered by themselves as an attraction and are therefore under monument protection. They were developed and built by Franz Wallack at beginning of 1950s; they do an excellent job year in and year out. GROSSGLOCKNER HIGH ALPINE ROAD 17 The snow-clearance work on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road lasts between two and three weeks: Two troops with a total of twelve men go to work – a troop starts from south, the other from north. It is not a safe job as there are numerous avalanche spots along the road. Therefore there is always an experienced mountain guide within the lot: He knows the snow conditions at best and has experience of many years. If the situation gets tricky, snow slabs must be blasted and the avalanche must be triggered artificially. The “cutting” is a big event every year: Then both the troops meet at the peak of the Hochtor. In this way, more than 600,000 cubic metres of snow is cleared from the roads every year. If these masses are piled up on a 120 m x 90 m big football field, the snow blocks would be more than 50 metres high. There is sufficient snow, also to “give away” some: If there is lack of snow in the major sporting events, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road helps them out. Video: Snow clearance on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.