1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Apr├Ęs topics.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

driving in Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    18,330
    Likes Received:
    14,992
    Location:
    Eastern Subs Syd
    Don't need vis in deep pow [​IMG]
     
    #51 Astro66, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  2. EquatorBunny

    EquatorBunny Addicted

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks Sly_karma, Astro for your tips. Will try to convince him to drive thru Vancouver instead of Lillooet. I will defo be armed with cameras. [​IMG]

    Chunky, was it that bad that they had to close the roads and no skiing for 2 days? They would have to announce this early in the morning too?
     
    #52 EquatorBunny, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  3. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1998
    Messages:
    39,762
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Location:
    brisbane,qld,aus
    We were one of the last to get through Rogers Pass the night before. The BC Road advisory updated throughout the day and night a couple of times and they had a ranger or whatever you call them out on the highway letting you know what was happening. On the 2nd day they allowed people to head west on Hwy 1 but heading east was still closed. Lucky we were heading to Kelowna. And they only opened the west route very late in the day.

    We risked the drive. The ranger office in Lake Louise were saying the short range forecast had heavy snows for a couple of days. The detour on that side of the Rockies around to Kelowna would have been very long and down to the south if Rogers Pass shut so we decided to take our chances.

    Revelstoke the ski area was still open while we were there but not everything was open. It didn't seem like nice weather to be out.
     
  4. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Hwy 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet is a serious road in winter. Although some improvements have been happening of late, it's essentially a logging road that has been paved, was never engineered as a highway. The scenery is off-the-chart spectacular, but wait until more experience is gained.
     
  5. northsail

    northsail One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Location:
    Gods country, Martinsville
    Did the drive from Revelstoke to Nakusp( hwy23) then Lumby(hwy6) a few years ago after talking to a hotel cleaner. I think she is still laughing at our expense. Two ferry crossing and the drive took all day. Made it to Lumby for dinner and many beers. Great scenery but a hell drive on hwy6 in the dark!
     
  6. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    The Duffey Lk road (Lillooet-Pemberton) is another step more serious again from the Nakusp/Monashee Pass route. Although driving it in the dark definitely ups the difficulty factor.

    Not a numbered highway, but a real eye opener is the back road from Apex down to Hedley, some 1100m below in the rugged Similkameen Valley. This was built to service gold mines in the area, the last of which closed down in the mid 1990s. It's gravel and climbs like a billy goat, but locals use it as a quick access to Apex from the west. We have quite a few season pass holders from the Vancouver metro area who own cabins and condos at the resort and come up most weekends; they use this road whenever possible as it cuts 30-40 minutes off the trip. This is a case where 4WD and good winter rubber is a plus! I have driven this in winter in a FWD but I knew conditions were optimal. Some photos below from Google maps, they give some idea of the view when you can first see into the valley proper. Higher up there are sections where this is truly a single vehicle wide, not a lot of fun when you meet someone coming the other way.

    Click
     
    #56 sly_karma, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  7. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,799
    Likes Received:
    613
    Location:
    Townsville and SUN PEAKS

    Doesn't that look like the Queenstown side of the Crown Range Road ? Beautiful scenery indeed.

    Another addition to the must do list.
     
  8. northsail

    northsail One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Location:
    Gods country, Martinsville
    It was a good drive until the bit from upper arrow lake. Snow covered, dark and no end in sight. You would have to time the ferry crossings to make it in daylight. We did ask for the scenic route and that is what we got! [​IMG]
     
    #58 northsail, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  9. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    If the #1 is closed west of Revy for avalanche control, it's usually quicker to wait rather than go through Nakusp. Nice place to go if you have the time though, hot springs are a hoot. And some seriously big rainbow trout in Arrow Lake. I've seen shots of 30 pound beasts taken around Nakusp.
     
  10. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1998
    Messages:
    39,762
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Location:
    brisbane,qld,aus
    Yeah that's what we did though we did venture south to the hot springs for a nice afternoon out. We had the Darth Vader voice on our Tom Tom and we had been hearing the same thing over and over and over but went we got to the ferry he changed and said something like when we board the ferry I want all the passengers - bring them to me alive.
     
  11. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    80,266
    Likes Received:
    53,543
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    OK i've stickied it - happy to move it to the main Travel forum considering it has so much info - would the Canada stalwarts be upset with that?

    I'm pretty sure I can move a thread and leave a pointer at the old location.
     
    #61 CarveMan, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  12. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1998
    Messages:
    39,762
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Location:
    brisbane,qld,aus
    Ok I actually found a clip of the drive across Rogers Pass the night I was talking about. The video doesn't do justice to the difficulties I faced. It was one of the hardest drives I have done over there. Hopefully you will get some idea. They closed the highway later that night.

     
    #62 chunky, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  13. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Chunky's vid shows why you try to avoid driving at night on the passes: you have NFI where the centreline and shoulders are. It tires you out quickly, and a long pass like Golden to Revelstoke (normally 1.5 hrs) will become a death march. I've also driven the Rogers a few times in conditions like the vid above, even in daytime the wall of white is tough on the eyes. Of course we were rewarded for risking the midnight run into Golden: big powder day at KH the next morning.
     
  14. Taipan

    Taipan Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    31,380
    Likes Received:
    4,522
    Location:
    NSW Mid North Coast
    I ran up and down to SP a dozen times while we were there. I remember coming home on the 19th December and it was snowing hard at the time. We had to pick up my niece and the flight was delayed due to the snow and conditions.

    The drive up the mountain was really hard and very mentally exhausting. There is no centre line, no side of the road. Imagine you are driving in torrential rain at night. Only thing guiding you is the centre line and the kerb line. Most know how tiring that is.

    Now do the same thing, but make everything white, no centre line or kerb line - everything is guess work. Then you have oncoming traffic and with the snow falling and everything white - it makes it really hard

    I got home to SP and collapsed on the lounge mentally exhausted - and that was only 1 hour. I was driving an AWD car with winter tyres. Had a few trips like that back from Kamloops. Do not under estimate driving in the snow
     
  15. Taipan

    Taipan Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    31,380
    Likes Received:
    4,522
    Location:
    NSW Mid North Coast
    OK this sounds so obvious and you only ever do it once and you learn quickly.

    When you are on those dual carriage way roads and those snow plows are in the outside lane, throwing snow onto the inside lane - dont over take them on the inside lane. [​IMG]

    I did it once quickly - never ever again.

    Its like driving through a spray of gravel.
     
    #65 Taipan, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  16. Austin powers

    Austin powers Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    26,100
    Likes Received:
    439
    Location:
    over here
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #66 Austin powers, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  17. Taipan

    Taipan Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    31,380
    Likes Received:
    4,522
    Location:
    NSW Mid North Coast
    I see austin has done it as well. [​IMG] Austin could have told you but was probably too embarrassed.
     
    #67 Taipan, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  18. Austin powers

    Austin powers Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    26,100
    Likes Received:
    439
    Location:
    over here
    No just thought it was common sense not to over take something that is chucking stuff into the lane you have to go in to get past.
     
  19. Taipan

    Taipan Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    31,380
    Likes Received:
    4,522
    Location:
    NSW Mid North Coast
    Really didnt look that bad.

    You drive past ploughs every day over there. You get used to them being around and chucking stuff everywhere. Im pleased to just warn others.

    If you knew why didnt you say something? And so you didnt do it?

    Wow you must be extremely risk adverse. Im surprised youve taken up skiing. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #69 Taipan, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  20. Austin powers

    Austin powers Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    26,100
    Likes Received:
    439
    Location:
    over here
    OK Don't drive along beach roads when there is a gale force on shore wind if you want you cars paint to stay on your car.
     
  21. Hacski

    Hacski Guest

    So it wasn't just me who got out of bed out of sorts this morning? I feel better now.
     
  22. main street

    main street Doing what I want. Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    72,062
    Likes Received:
    9,902
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    [​IMG]
     
    #72 main street, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  23. main street

    main street Doing what I want. Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    72,062
    Likes Received:
    9,902
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC

    I had "one of those drives" on the way back to Vancouver from Sly's place last year.

    what would normally take 3 1/2 in summer,... 4 1/2 on a good day in winter,..... ended up taking 7+ hrs.

    Crawling along through the passes at circa 30 klm/hr in near full white out with driving snow & temps pushing into the minus 20's.

    By the time I got home I was utterly knackered & my eyes actually ached from concentrating so hard.
     
    #73 main street, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  24. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1998
    Messages:
    39,762
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Location:
    brisbane,qld,aus
    I was stuffed pulling into Revelstoke. +1 was spending as much time as myself scouting the road ahead watching for obstacles and making sure I stayed on the road. The trucks at times helped lead the way but other times the snow was falling sooo much they sort of just appeared in front of you. Many of you won't really know what I am talking about until you actually do it.

    Then there was the traffic coming the other way...
     
  25. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    A co-pilot is definitely a needed resource when the roads are snow covered and it's dark outside. At times you are pretty much making joint decisions on where the road might be. Rogers Pass is a particularly tricky one, and not just because of the mad quantities of snow it receives. The road passes through two national parks, and in Canada the feds insist on doing their own maintenance inside park boundaries. That makes for differing standards of snow removal and sand application (plus road signs in French and English of course). They have rumble strips on the shoulders of the road, whereas the provincially maintained roads have them on the centreline (but only where deemed necessary).
     
  26. TropicalPow

    TropicalPow One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,799
    Likes Received:
    613
    Location:
    Townsville and SUN PEAKS

    The rumble strips are a good feature. I struck plenty of fresh snow when travelling thru the Fraser Valley and with limited traffic on the road and no tracks to follow, the rumble strips certainly helped to maintain position on the hwy.
     
  27. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    I wish they'd put them on all roads. Reflectors on posts or road surface just don't work, and you sure need something.
     
  28. EquatorBunny

    EquatorBunny Addicted

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Arrived in Whistler last Sunday at about 6ish. Driving is not so bad because we spent most of the time laughing at things and being clueless. Have to get used to call the Canadian left or the Canadian right all the time.

    There is not much signing here at all, not like in oz. we keep have to second guessing things because we didn't pay attention enough. [​IMG]
     
    #78 EquatorBunny, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  29. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    51,563
    Likes Received:
    22,541
    Location:
    Canning Vale, Perth
    well, I havent really had the time, nor need to read this thread so far. but that's now all changed.

    Many thanks Sly, great thread, and thanks also to all those who have contributed.
     
  30. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Thanks Gareth, now I'm working on a future thread on driving in Mexico. Here's a preview: Rule #1: just don't do it. Rule #2: one way streets are advisory only. Rule #3: traffic lights: see rule #2.

    Actually that about covers it!
     
  31. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    The edge of the bell curve
    Great thread; what Gareth said...

    I'm thinking of driving LA to Jackson over 2 days, then a week or so later Jackson to Whistler over 2 days, Jan 2014. Is this overly ambitious? Is it doable? With the missus and three kids... Big SUV, but appears like it will have no snow tyres...
     
  32. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    51,563
    Likes Received:
    22,541
    Location:
    Canning Vale, Perth
    Google Maps shows Jackson to Whistler is 1700kms, via Vancouver.

    2 days seems like a big ask, especially if there's a small chance there might be a bit of snow on the road
     
  33. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    The edge of the bell curve
    A nine hour day followed by an eight hour day. Sounds okay when you break it down. Be interesting to find out the highest point on the route...
     
  34. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    51,563
    Likes Received:
    22,541
    Location:
    Canning Vale, Perth
    3 kids and 17+ hours on the road - they must love you!! [​IMG]

    it'll be way more than 17 hours of course, you won't be averaging 100kph
     
    #84 gareth_oau, Mar 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  35. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    66,462
    Likes Received:
    46,825
    Location:
    Mountains
    I have done Steamboat to Whistler via Jackson n Banff n Vancouver.

    IMHO .. two days is of course possible but its such an amazing drive 4 days to take in some sights would make it a trip worth doing.

    Depending how you go you will cross the Continental Divide multiple times. It ain't no Nullabour out there in the frozen American West.
     
  36. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    66,462
    Likes Received:
    46,825
    Location:
    Mountains
    Calgary to Revelstoke is a very full winter day indeed. Revelstoke to Whistler is another big effort.

    Jackson to Butte would be similar, then up 90 to Seattle ain't no picnic, then to Vancouver and up to Whistler.

    You would be .... Under the pump to family mutiny.

    Don't forget night comes early and holdups will occur
     
  37. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    66,462
    Likes Received:
    46,825
    Location:
    Mountains
    Chamonix to Zell am See is 770kms on pretty fast autobahns and that took 8.5hrs with minimal hold ups.
     
  38. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    51,563
    Likes Received:
    22,541
    Location:
    Canning Vale, Perth
    Actually Wardy, I've changed my earlier position.

    Watching the following Vid, it looks like its a very quick drive, though the speeds they do in Canada actually look a bit scary!!

     
    #88 gareth_oau, Mar 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  39. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    The edge of the bell curve
    I'm 50/50 on this... Car is a chore and wastes skiing days (we've only got 3 weeks; if we had 6, no brainer) but it appears cheaper than flying everyone around. Although with hotels and fuel... I might have another look at it.
     
  40. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    18,330
    Likes Received:
    14,992
    Location:
    Eastern Subs Syd
    I did Vancouver to Jackson in 2 days. Wife 2 kids. Ford Edge FWD with chains.

    Averaging over 100km/h on Nth American winter roads, just ain't going to happen unless weather is perfect.

    With food and fuel stops. It will be 2 X 10 hour days. I stopped in Spokane. Cheap hotels.
     
    #90 Astro66, Mar 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  41. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1998
    Messages:
    39,762
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Location:
    brisbane,qld,aus
    That Jackson drive in snow is hard going. No quick way and can be apart from the last bit coming down towards the coast be all on snow covered roads.
     
  42. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    21,599
    Likes Received:
    13,898
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Wardy, getting the picture? Long distances, short daylight hours, uncertain road conditions, and kids. Not a great recipe for a hardcore road trip. I have no doubt that it can be done and surely has been done, but you know the old saying: just because you can doesn't mean you should.

    Unfamiliar vehicle, unfamiliar roads, probably limited snow driving experience, no snow tyres. Then add all that onto a very heavy schedule that removes the ability to just pull over if conditions get bad. I mean this kindly and respectfully: this plan represents a genuine safety risk to your family and other road users. Strongly recommend you add an extra driving day or two to the schedule, or fly.
     
  43. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    The edge of the bell curve
    Sage advice [​IMG]
     
    #93 Wardy, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  44. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    The edge of the bell curve
    I think I have the solution. Fly in and out of Salt Lake City, hire and drive from there, may even get snow tyres in SLC in Jan. Try and use my Velocity points to fly Delta if I can - definitely should be able to use them on the inbound.
     
  45. tr+h

    tr+h One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,459
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Perth,wa
    From my experience. Once you are at LAX, turn left or right as you exit Tom Bradley and go to a domestic terminal and just keep flying. We tend to plan our trips with the first leg(s) of travel taking us as far away from home as we are going to get. Then whenever you move location, you are always getting closer to home. Better for the soul too!
     
    #95 tr+h, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  46. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    66,462
    Likes Received:
    46,825
    Location:
    Mountains
    Why pick places so far apart?

    SLC, Jackson and Big Sky are all a short days drive apart with more than enough ski variety to keep a whole bus happy.
     
  47. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    The edge of the bell curve
    Too many must do destinations on my list to let pass an opportunity to ski one of them (Jackson). Canadian friends want to meet in Whistler while we're there.
     
  48. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    5,735
    Likes Received:
    4,585
    Location:
    Bouvet Island
    If Whistler and JH are mandatory, stop for a day or two in Big Sky, or Whitefish, or one of those terrible Alberta or BC resorts those Canuckians rave about.
    Break the trip up or fly.
     
  49. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 1998
    Messages:
    39,762
    Likes Received:
    3,797
    Location:
    brisbane,qld,aus
    Car hire in SLC will be with the right tyres for the local conditions and the car hire is significantly cheaper from the right company than from LA, SF or Vancouver.
     
    #99 chunky, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  50. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2000
    Messages:
    11,543
    Likes Received:
    2,292
    Location:
    Rozelle, NSW
    I use arguscarhire.com to rent cars these days. They seem to be about the cheapest and you end up with a car from one of the major rental companies.