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St. Moritz by car in February possible

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Rodrigowmier
Rodrigowmier
2 posts
new member
Oct 13, 2019 - 2:51 PM

Hi! I’m planning a trip to St. Moritz coming from Livigno in February, stay 1 week and then to Milan.

I will rent a car with winter tires.

I’m from Argentina. I’m used to drive in mountains since i’ve traveled many times to patagonia and andes regions.

Do you think it is possible to do this trip in winter?

Will i need chains in addition to winter tires?

Thank you.

Suzanne
Suzanne
191 posts
active member &
moderator
Oct 13, 2019 - 3:19 PM

Hello Rodrigowmier,

Welcome to MySwissAlps

I do not know your driving abilities nor do I know how much snow will remain during that time as weather conditions can be unpredictable. I find the roads leading to the various Swiss Alps winding and narrow. Please have a look at the link about driving in Switzerland:

www.myswissalps.com/ca rversustrain

Nevertheless, you definitely should have winter chains with you in the car trunk. It also helps that you will be able to put them on and off quickly.

I will attach a link to various important numbers while in Switzerland. Definitely look into downloading the weather app on your phone to have hour by hour weather reports.

www.myswissalps.com/ab outswitzerland/practic al/websites

This app from MeteoSwiss is a great one:

www.meteoswiss.admin.c h/home.html?tab=rain

Best regards,

Suzanne

Last modified on Oct 13, 2019 - 5:15 PM by Suzanne
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6937 posts
expert
Oct 13, 2019 - 9:08 PM in reply to Rodrigowmier

Hi Rodrigowmier -

That is a short drive, and as long as you do not have a storm the day you wish to drive, it should be possible for a driver who is accustomed to winter driving.

Google Maps offers two routes.

www.google.com/maps/di r/23030+Livigno,+Provi nce+of+Sondrio,+Italy/ Saint+Moritz,+Switzerl and/@46.5904359,9.9741 616,11z/data=!4m14!4m1 3!1m5!1m1!1s0x47836dfa 067fe897:0x5b4999f522f 8aacb!2m2!1d10.1357319 !2d46.538636!1m5!1m1!1 s0x478482076dc01a7b:0x 279fdbbd3ec97825!2m2!1 d9.8355079!2d46.490797 3!3e0

The longer one (68 minutes) goes northeast to the Swiss National Park, picks up route 28, and joins the valley of the River Inn at Zernez. Then it proceeds along the relatively easy route 27 along the valley floor until you reach St. Moritz. Maximum altitude is about 1800 meters.

I have driven the Swiss part once y0u reach Rte 28. Those roads do not not take high Alpine passes once in Switzerland, and are good roads.

The other, shorter, route (51 minutes) goes northwest through Italy to Pontresina. Google maps says it takes about three fourths the time for a route that is about 7/10ths as long....thus, a little bit slower roads. It definitely is a higher altitude route, and includes the Bernina Pass at around 2300 meters.

That altitude difference is meaningful, and I don't know if the Bernina Pass is kept open for auto traffic in the Winter.

www.myswissalps.com/ca r/trafficinfo

www.drive-alive.co.uk/driving/al pine-passes.htm

I did a little searching and could not find the website that I usually use for European road pass conditions. My guess is that the Bernina will not be open, but you'll have to find a better information source than I am.

With the limited knowledge that I have, I'd choose the slightly longer, lower route anyway, whether the Benina route is open or not. And, I'd not travel if a storm is forecast.

Perhaps someone with more actual knowledge can jump in.

Slowpoke

PS - I went back to Google maps, and set the "leave now" box to February 1. The route through Zernez is the only one offered. That's a clue.

Last modified on Oct 13, 2019 - 11:21 PM by Slowpoke
1960man
1960man
2332 posts
top member
Oct 13, 2019 - 11:22 PM

The Bernina Pass is one of the highest roads kept open all year, but it is a very high altitude pass (though not relative to the Andes of course!)

If that pass is open on the day your travel then that would be the best route.

The problem is that the Forcola di Livigno pass might be closed

Last modified on Oct 13, 2019 - 11:30 PM by 1960man
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6937 posts
expert
Oct 13, 2019 - 11:30 PM in reply to 1960man

Hi 1960man-

<<"If that pass is open on the day your travel then that would be the best route.">>

You know a lot more about the country than I do, so I certainly respect your opinion. However, I am curious why that route would be the "best." Could you let me know?

Slowpoke

1960man
1960man
2332 posts
top member
Oct 14, 2019 - 11:16 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Not much in it , but slightly straighter roads and shorter, and avoiding the tunnel.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Munt_la_Schera_Tunnel

However I think that the Forcola will be closed so the Zernez route is the only option. Anyway I've done the roads in the Zernez area often and they are beautiful

Rodrigowmier
Rodrigowmier
2 posts
new member
Oct 16, 2019 - 1:36 AM

so I will take the Zernez route and be prepared for a safe trip. Thank you all for such complete information.

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