01-Aug-2015 -- One of the things that has surprised me the most since I started participating in this project is that so many Degree Confluence Points lie quite close to roads. It’s rare, however, for these points to be located exactly on a road, and rarer still for points in alpine regions to be located on a road. Before today, I’d seen this only once before - at [45,-114] in Idaho, USA. [47,11] is another rare alpine Degree Confluence Point that lies on a road. (Actually, to get ‘all zeros’, I had to step about 1m off the road, but my GPS error was 2m, so I’ll still count this point as being ‘on the road’.)
I visited this point while driving from Innsbruck to the “Timmelsjoch” mountain pass (in the Tyrolean Alps, between Austria and Italy). I turned off highway 186 onto a narrow, steep paved road that switch-backed up the northern side of the valley.
At [46.99968,11.00428] there’s an alpine guest house/restaurant. At this point, a gravel double-track branched left off the paved road towards the confluence point. Although my 4-cylinder 2WD car had no trouble climbing on the initial paved road, it was not able to make the very steep climb on the gravel double-track; it started slipping backwards and got stuck against a bank. Fortunately a family of hikers were nearby, and were able to push my car back onto the road. Chastened by this, I gave up trying to drive up the gravel double-track, and instead continued on foot. Fortunately the remaining hike up the steep double-track was very short - just a few hundred meters.
As I noted earlier, the confluence point lies on - or just off the western edge of - this gravel double-track. Like the adjacent confluence point to the west - [47,10] - that I had visited the previous day, an alpine holiday house lies close to the point.
After crossing the “Timmelsjoch” pass into Italy, I continued eastward along the crazy steep narrow winding roads across another pass (“Taufenpass”), with hopes of reaching [47,10]. After running into a couple of traffic jams, it became clear that I wouldn't have enough time to reach this point and then continue onto my next destination (Salzburg) before dark. So I gave up on trying to reach [47,10]. Thus, [47,11] was my last Degree Confluence Point during this European trip.