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Old 20.12.2011, 13:19
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Winter Driving Julier Pass

Hi I will be arriving from the uk in the end for a midweek break. Im arriving in basel and want to take a car to st moritz.
This will take me over the julier pass. Does anyone have any experience of going over it in the winter? What is it like? Iv seen somewhere that it closes during the night, I havent seen this officially confirmed. Can someone enlighten me?
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Old 20.12.2011, 13:32
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

Do you have winter tyres??

If not - do us all a favour and leave the car in Basel
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Old 20.12.2011, 13:42
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

Lol Thanks. Yes of course! Im hiring the car in the swiss side so winter tires are a must. Iv checked that out already.
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Old 20.12.2011, 13:46
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

JUst make sure it comes with chaines. otherwise the only other thing is to drive safe
Note: safe does not mean slow all the time ; just watch the conditions .... Nothing worse than a tourist holding up allllllll traffic
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Old 20.12.2011, 13:49
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

How will I know when to use the chains? And do i have to fit it?
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Old 20.12.2011, 13:49
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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JUst make sure it comes with chaines. otherwise the only other thing is to drive safe
Note: safe does not mean slow all the time ; just watch the conditions .... Nothing worse than a tourist holding up allllllll traffic

Because under normal conditions one can drive dangerously? Surely one should always "drive safe".
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Old 20.12.2011, 14:04
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

I've crossed the Julier a number of times in the winter. It is an essential connection to the Engerdine and so all efforts are made to keep it open.

Unless it is actually snowing, or just stopped, the surface is usually not snow covered and chains are not necessary. If it is snowing the pass is kept open by continuous ploughing and cars follow the ploughs in convoys. But in that case chains will be required and you will be required to mount them by the police in Bivio (assuming you make it that far without).

The Swiss put their cars on the train if there is the slightest hint of poor weather...
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Old 20.12.2011, 14:08
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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How will I know when to use the chains? And do i have to fit it?
The police won't let you up the pass if chains are required. Take no notice of the Germans who fit chains prematurely. The are a stop-gap solution for getting out of trouble.

Instructions for fitting are in the box. Or in Bivio locals haunt the chain fitting areas seemingly keen to help, but then ask CHF20 once they have fitted them...
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Old 20.12.2011, 14:09
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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How will I know when to use the chains? And do i have to fit it?
Believe me, it'll be fairly obvious when you need them.....and yes, you'll need to fit them yourself.

Here are the latest weather conditions for the mountain passes,so you can check this before you depart.
http://www.tcs.ch/main/de/home/verke...e_tunnels.html
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Old 20.12.2011, 14:17
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

Yesterday Gotthard was closed which is I think quite normal for December and the tunnel was running freely but there was packed snow on the right hand lane at 1000 being ploughed
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Old 20.12.2011, 14:43
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

Be sure the pass is still open before you drive past the Vereina Tunnel exit. Otherwise you can get to the pass and be turned back, and you'll have to return to the Tunnel and queue with everyone else. Big detour.
If it's raining on the way down there, take the tunnel anyway as it'll be a blizzard up top.

I came back over the pass the Easter before last, and it was pretty treacherous with a number of cars in difficulty. The police had closed it by the time I made it down. It was hard work, and no fun.
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Old 20.12.2011, 18:29
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

Thanks all for replying. I think il just go by train lol! Its longer and a pain in the wotsits, (cause i got a 5hour wait on the way back.) But just am not looking forward to skidding and sliding and have all the pps behind giving me exasperated looks!
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Old 20.12.2011, 18:37
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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Thanks all for replying. I think il just go by train lol! Its longer and a pain in the wotsits, (cause i got a 5hour wait on the way back.) But just am not looking forward to skidding and sliding and have all the pps behind giving me exasperated looks!
With the happy advantage that you can get trolleyed on the train. Can't do that if you're driving, can ya..?
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Old 20.12.2011, 19:09
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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The police won't let you up the pass if chains are required.
...unless your car has AWD/4x4.
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Old 20.12.2011, 19:50
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

You should be ok with just the winter tyres, but just in case it might be a good idea to fit the chains and remove them again at least once in the car park of the hire car place.

1) To know how to do it.

2) To check they are the right size for your wheels

3) To check they are not broken, because finding a broken chain when you need to use them isn't ideal...

They are easy to fit, and once you've done them a few times it only takes a minute or so each wheel.
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Old 21.12.2011, 09:20
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

Does a rental car come with chains?
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Old 21.12.2011, 09:32
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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Does a rental car come with chains?
at a price, no doubt.

I would take the train from Vereina with your car. It's much more relaxing and not actually that pricey.
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Old 21.12.2011, 11:19
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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at a price, no doubt.

I would take the train from Vereina with your car. It's much more relaxing and not actually that pricey.
40chf a way aint that cheap.
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Old 21.12.2011, 11:25
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Re: Winter Driving JulierPass

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40chf a way aint that cheap.
You're going to St. Moritz, home of the CHF 40 pizza slice, for a midweek break, and complain about a CHF 40 train ride that saves you hours of "fun" on an alpine pass in the middle of winter with no previous experience driving in these conditions? Really?
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Old 21.12.2011, 11:45
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Re: Winter Driving Julier Pass

Point taken!
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