Driving above the snow line

familyskiboys

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May 26, 2013
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Hi All,

First time poster, long time viewer.

We've finally moved within driving distance of the snow & plan to drive up to Falls Creek & park there for the first time this year. Has anyone got any useful tips on what I should take or how to prepare the little corolla (obviously snow chains) for it's first snow adventure.

Many Thanks
FSB
 

sfo

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Sep 8, 2009
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Congrats on being close enough to live the dream.

have you got

your car park season pass

anti freeze,

a mat for kneeling on when putting chains on

a rotten jumper that gets dirty when putting the chains on

crappy dirty gloves

don't put the handbrake on

put the wipers up, or put plastic between the glass and the wiperblade

racv roadside assistance for jump starts

jump starter

and turn the headlights off when you leave the car.
 

Hermannator

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1. Do a dummy run of fitting chains at home to hone your fitting skills and ensure they fit (I assume you will own the chains, if not the hirer will show you how to fit).

2. Ensure your car engine has the correct amount of anti-freeze (tell your mechanic you must be equipped for -10 deg C)

3. Take a light, gloves (not your ski gloves you will destroy these fitting chains), mat to keep you off the slush/ice whilst kneeling to fit chains

4. When fitting chains, fit them then drive 50m and check them for tightness. For your car that means fitting them to the front wheels.

5. Don't slam brake or throttle while driving in snow/ice but use them both gently.

There will be 1,000 other things people will suggest but do the above 5 and you should be fine.
 

crackson

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6. Old batteries fail in cold temps. If there is any doubt about your battery, replace it before you go to the snow.


7. If you're coming from the city, leave your tailgating in the city. It's not welcome in the mountains.


8. Be responsible with your high beam. Err to the side of turning it down sooner rather than later.
 

sly_karma

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Get a scraper for the inevitable icy/frosty windscreen and carry it under a seat. An engine in idle takes ages to heat up enough to defrost the glass completely.

Putting wiper blades up is a waste of time, just give them a gentle bump to unstick them when you're scraping the windscreen. Operating the wipers on frosty glass is what shreds them.
 

familyskiboys

First Runs
May 26, 2013
2
0
0
Brilliant - thanks all for the advice, just what we needed. We're not the tailgating kind (family with little boys - 1 year old & 3 year old), so we're not going to add to the 'tool' count up in the mountains ;)

Just one question though, sfo - I take it the handbrake warning is because it will freeze up & be unable to release?

Thanks all.

FSB
 

main street

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Your wheels/brakes will be warm from the drive up the hill,.... any snow/ice flicked up into the underbody of the car then has the potential to melt once you are parked.

handbrake = brakes on,..... so water that gets in there & then freezes later on is ...... ummmm..... not good.
wink.gif
 
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currawong

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In icy conditions, it's all about being smooth and gentle: acceleration, braking, cornering. As far as possible, try to rely on engine braking rather than the brake pedal. If you have an automatic, this means selecting gears as though it was manual.

There are lots of places on the Falls Creek road when you can safely pull off. If someone wants to pass you, look out for one of these and pull off for a moment. Often you don't even need to stop. This is what locals and other courteous mountain drivers do. Only knobs refuse to pull over. With kids in the car you will probably want to take it a bit slow to avoid car sickness.
That's absolutely ok, just don' impose your speed on others.
 

kimberlee81

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sly_karma said:
Get a scraper for the inevitable icy/frosty windscreen and carry it under a seat. An engine in idle takes ages to heat up enough to defrost the glass completely.

Putting wiper blades up is a waste of time, just give them a gentle bump to unstick them when you're scraping the windscreen. Operating the wipers on frosty glass is what shreds them.
And if you don't have a scraper, an expired credit card, (or video library card, etc), works a treat.

A couple of other reasons not to put your wipers in the up position: the previously mentioned knobs that take delight in snapping wiper arms off expensive cars; and, in the event of a major dump while you're on the hill, once the sun comes back out, accumulated snow can slide down the windscreen and damage the arms almost as effectively as said knobs.

Just put a plastic supermarket bag over each set of blades and lower them back into their normal position on the glass.
 
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gareth_oau

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and I thought you put up the wiper blades to help you locate the car after it was buried in 1 metre of powder
woohoo.gif
 
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damian

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kimberlee81 said:
A couple of other reasons not to put your wipers in the up position:

...in the event of a major dump while you're on the hill, once the sun comes back out, accumulated snow can slide down the windscreen and damage the arms almost as effectively as said knobs.

You've got that wrong IME*. Leaving them up allows the snow to flow around the arms. Snow is very viscous as it warms. Leaving them down allows them to form 'dams', and they will get bent. However, this is much more of a problem in vans, rather than cars with hoods.

If you do not want shredded wipers, and wipers which generally work well in snow, get winter silicone wipers. Light years better than normal rubber ones.

Plastic bags is a great idea.

*IME = I get between 9 and 12m cumulative snow fall in my driveway each season, and plenty of warm that immediately follows.
 
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CarveMan

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currawong said:
There are lots of places on the Falls Creek road when you can safely pull off. If someone wants to pass you, look out for one of these and pull off for a moment. Often you don't even need to stop. This is what locals and other courteous mountain drivers do. Only knobs refuse to pull over. With kids in the car you will probably want to take it a bit slow to avoid car sickness.
That's absolutely ok, just don' impose your speed on others.

This.
 
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Crystal

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With the little ones, don't keep the car to warm on the drive up, crack a window and make sure they are looking out. Don't want to be cleaning spew when you should be putting on chains and heading up the hill.

keep a couple of spew bags in the back seat pockets.
 

mr

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i reckon the falls road is one of the spewiest roads we have, not slow, not fast, no real hairpins, no horizons, just evenly windy
 

Claude Cat

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mr said:
i reckon the falls road is one of the spewiest roads we have, not slow, not fast, no real hairpins, no horizons, just evenly windy

Concur. Older son gets car sick, and Falls creek road provokes it really badly.
Buller is ok, as is the GAR. Baw Baw road is also bad for those that get car sick.
 
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Scott No Mates

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Hell, I'm the driver & I've even made myself sick on the drive up (the drive down is worse but only for the passengers). Buckets all round in our car.
 

Sandy

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damian said:
kimberlee81 said:
A couple of other reasons not to put your wipers in the up position:

...in the event of a major dump while you're on the hill, once the sun comes back out, accumulated snow can slide down the windscreen and damage the arms almost as effectively as said knobs.

You've got that wrong IME*. Leaving them up allows the snow to flow around the arms. Snow is very viscous as it warms. Leaving them down allows them to form 'dams', and they will get bent. However, this is much more of a problem in vans, rather than cars with hoods.

If you do not want shredded wipers, and wipers which generally work well in snow, get winter silicone wipers. Light years better than normal rubber ones.

Plastic bags is a great idea.

*IME = I get between 9 and 12m cumulative snow fall in my driveway each season, and plenty of warm that immediately follows.

Just about all of the people at Nozawa Onsen in Japan leave theirs up.
It's an absolute must to put the rear wiper up at the back of my station wagon, as you can get huge pressure on it if you leave it down, because of the reasons Damian mentioned.

Another question is about ice (although the plastic bags would fix that to some extent). Try driving with heavy snow falling, with very fine powder dropping on the windscreen and melting because of the heat from the inside of the car. I had one episode at Shiga Kogen last season, where is was snowing unbelievably hard and my wipers accumulated rock hard ice over just 10 minutes, one cm thick!!! Ok, it was -15C.

So if you leave your windscreen wipers down when you park in that situation, they will be so frozen solid to the windscreen, and no scraping will remove it. Also, if some of the half melted snow slides down into the well just below the wipers, you can end up with the wipers frozen in there, where none of the windscreen demisting air can melt it.





 
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DbSki

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Scott No Mates said:
Hell, I'm the driver & I've even made myself sick on the drive up (the drive down is worse but only for the passengers). Buckets all round in our car.

Need to drive faster.
Nothing cures car sickness like fear, true story.
 
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Vermillion

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DbSki said:
Scott No Mates said:
Hell, I'm the driver & I've even made myself sick on the drive up (the drive down is worse but only for the passengers). Buckets all round in our car.

Need to drive faster.
Nothing cures car sickness like fear, true story.

Now I know why you take the bus. 160km/h would cure any fear.
 
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LMB

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Claude Cat said:
mr said:
i reckon the falls road is one of the spewiest roads we have, not slow, not fast, no real hairpins, no horizons, just evenly windy

Concur. Older son gets car sick, and Falls creek road provokes it really badly.
Buller is ok, as is the GAR. Baw Baw road is also bad for those that get car sick.

Scott No Mates said:
Hell, I'm the driver & I've even made myself sick on the drive up (the drive down is worse but only for the passengers). Buckets all round in our car.
We did it by coach.
I get VERY car sick.
Managed on the way up there but felt gross for a good 10 hours afterward...kinda takes the shine off and makes Thredbo much more attractive.

On the way out a kid projectile vomited in the bus into her sisters hair and onto her brothers lap with zero warning. Poor parents. Getting to the airport without joining her became a real challenge. Tiger Balm liberally applied to sleeve cuffs and breathed through was our saviour.
 
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LMB

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Sandy said:
damian said:
kimberlee81 said:
A couple of other reasons not to put your wipers in the up position:

...in the event of a major dump while you're on the hill, once the sun comes back out, accumulated snow can slide down the windscreen and damage the arms almost as effectively as said knobs.

You've got that wrong IME*. Leaving them up allows the snow to flow around the arms. Snow is very viscous as it warms. Leaving them down allows them to form 'dams', and they will get bent. However, this is much more of a problem in vans, rather than cars with hoods.

If you do not want shredded wipers, and wipers which generally work well in snow, get winter silicone wipers. Light years better than normal rubber ones.

Plastic bags is a great idea.

*IME = I get between 9 and 12m cumulative snow fall in my driveway each season, and plenty of warm that immediately follows.

Just about all of the people at Nozawa Onsen in Japan leave theirs up.
It's an absolute must to put the rear wiper up at the back of my station wagon, as you can get huge pressure on it if you leave it down, because of the reasons Damian mentioned.

Another question is about ice (although the plastic bags would fix that to some extent). Try driving with heavy snow falling, with very fine powder dropping on the windscreen and melting because of the heat from the inside of the car. I had one episode at Shiga Kogen last season, where is was snowing unbelievably hard and my wipers accumulated rock hard ice over just 10 minutes, one cm thick!!! Ok, it was -15C.

So if you leave your windscreen wipers down when you park in that situation, they will be so frozen solid to the windscreen, and no scraping will remove it. Also, if some of the half melted snow slides down into the well just below the wipers, you can end up with the wipers frozen in there, where none of the windscreen demisting air can melt it.





Not a bad problem to have all told
wink.gif
 
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MarkGC

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I use rubber dish washing gloves to put chains on, they cover the cuffs of the jumper/jacket you are wearing and once they get really grotty they are cheap to replace. I usually keep 2 or 3 pairs in the pocket on the drivers side door.

Roof racks means the snow on your skis stays outside your car, rather than melting and wetting your carpet. At the very least take something to put under your gear to protect your car.

Food at the snow can be expensive. We carry a container of snacks so that when the kids get back from the snow, they have a little snack as they are usually starving by then and dinner is not until we return to our accommodation. You can even take drinks, they will keep cool enough in your car on a good winters day, maybe an esky for the sunny spring days.
 
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