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Old 03.11.2011, 19:36
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Which is safest route through the Swiss Alps in December?

Hi, Travelling home to the UK in mid-december, want to know which is the best way to go through switerland, trying to miss to much snow!

Heard about the gottard tunnel pass, will it be open?

Any advice on direction etc? i have no snow chains and my car is onyl a ford focus.

Or should i go via france? mont blanc or fetjus tunnel?
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Old 03.11.2011, 19:46
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

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Heard about the gottard tunnel pass, will it be open?
Can't help you on the route, but the Gotthard Pass will likely be closed due to snow and the Gotthard Tunnel will probably be open, as the snow can't get in there
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:01
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

Hopefully you at least have winter tyres regardless of your route.
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:06
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

then there's also the train or a plane...
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:12
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

Well, flying or taking the train migh not be such a bad idea. But if you insist on driving I'd take the Gotthard tunnel - passes will almost all be closed by then. However, the tunnel is still at around 1500m - so you should REALLY have at least winter tires.

Alternatively, did you know you can put your car on the train through the Simplon and Loetschberg tunnels which would avoid driving over the hills and you have a nice relaxing break from the long drive while riding with your car on the train.
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:15
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

Are you driving a Mini and are you expecting to hook up with a coach on the way home and simply discard the Minis into the valley when you're done?

The Gotthard tunnel approaches are always kept snow free, no exception. I'd also recommend winter tires from October through to March as you never know when the temperatures drop towards zero. Less powerful cars tend to be easier to drive in ice than some overpowered speedster (all the petrol heads will, no doubt, disagree).
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:29
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

This is a very good route planner, http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/

Costs
Total 207.84 GBP
Toll 59.86 GBP | Petrol 128.31 GBP | Road tax 19.68 GBP
Time, 17h18 which 15h46 on motorways
Distance 1,123 miles of which 1095 miles are on motorways

It will take you 9 hours driving to get into France, so maybe you want to plan an overnight stop there.

I second that: you would be wise to fit winter tyres, (not snow tyres) to your car.
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:37
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

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Are you driving a Mini and are you expecting to hook up with a coach on the way home and simply discard the Minis into the valley when you're done?

The Gotthard tunnel approaches are always kept snow free, no exception. I'd also recommend winter tires from October through to March as you never know when the temperatures drop towards zero. Less powerful cars tend to be easier to drive in ice than some overpowered speedster (all the petrol heads will, no doubt, disagree).
I drive a Mini through Gotthard and via Grand St Bernard & have never had a problem. The roads are always kept "spot less". And really I don't go if they are planning a huge storm.

Anyway, let me know where you discard the Mini. I'll go pick it up.
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Old 03.11.2011, 20:58
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Re: Which is safest route to go through Switz Alpes in December

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Are you driving a Mini and are you expecting to hook up with a coach on the way home and simply discard the Minis into the valley when you're done?

The Gotthard tunnel approacheare always kept snow free, no exception. I'd also recommend winter tires from October through to March as you never know when the temperatures drop towards zero. Less powerful cars tend to be easier to drive in ice than some overpowered speedster (all the petrol heads will, no doubt, disagree).
I respectfully beg to differ. I was trapped in my car for 7 hours in Nov 2009 (with my 6 month old baby) about 15 kms from the Northern entrance to the Gotthard. I had winter tires and chains. BUT THE ASSHOLES AROUND ME WITHOUT WINTER TIRES OR CHAINS GOT STUCK AND MADE THE ROADS IMPASSABLE. For 7 hours. With an infant.

So dear friend who is planning on driving through the ALPS in winter with no snow tires or chains. Don't be an asshole.
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