Schlegeis.The impressive dam and lake in Zillertal
Schlegeis is an artificial lake in the Zillertal Alps. It was built between 1965 and 1971 and the main reason was to produce environmentally friendly electricity. Also important was its contribution in dealing with the floods that created major problems in the villages of the valley. It is probably the most famous man-made lake in the entire Zillertal - if not in the Alps. The picture of the suspension bridge at the Olpererhütte overlooking the glacier has gone viral on social media and many people now want to go there to take an "Instagram picture".
Schlegeis is only accessible in the summer season and only by road via a narrow road, the Schlegeis Alpenstraße. Unlike the famous artificial lakes of Kaprun, you can drive your own car or motorbike (like me), but you can also travel by bus.
The road is particularly impressive due to the extremely beautiful mountain scenery, the crossing of tunnels, and especially the point where you appear opposite the impressive dam. The parking lot is at the top of the lake and parking is generally difficult to find in high holiday season.
The Schlegeisspeicher is located at an altitude of 1800m and from there you can admire the glacier in the Schlegeiskees. If you walk in the direction of the Olperer Hütte (2,388m), you have a very nice view of the glacier in the Zillertal Alps. Another hiking route you can do is from Schlegeis to Pfitscher Joch. On this hike you will reach the border with South Tyrol, Italy. You can also choose the route I followed to the Friesenberghaus (2,498m) and the Petersköpfel peak at 2,679m. altitude
Consider and check the temperatures when planning! Compared to the Zillertal valley, you have an altitude difference of about 1,300 meters. This means lower temperatures than in the valley, but at the same time the sun is particularly intense higher up.
The dam of the Schlegeisspeicher (Schlegeis Reservoir) in Zillertal is 131 meters high.
Water from the lake flows at 300 km/h to the hydroelectric plant 9 km away to drive the 4 meter diameter turbine.
When the Schlegeis Reservoir is 100% full, it will be almost 126 million cubic meters of water. As a rule, however, it is only filled to about 80%.
About 1200 million gigawatts of electricity are generated each year. This means that 500,000 households can be supplied with electricity for one year.
The Schlegeis reservoir is drained every 10 years. This is necessary for dredging the bottom of the tank. as much sand, rock and debris comes through the streams from the mountains. The last dredging took place in 2012.