driving in Canada

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
Snow-caused mayhem on the roads of the Okanagan this morning with the first major snowfall of the year, 15 cm in Kelowna to as much as 30 cm in Penticton, Summerland and further south. Coincidentally, I stayed in Revelstoke last night and left before sunrise to get a decent start on the day. Just 1 cm had fallen at 5:30 am and it was barely snowing on the crossing of Eagle Pass to Sicamous. I was surprised then to find the roads getting worse rather than better as I headed south into the generally low-snow Okanagan. Numerous accidents, trucks spun out or chaining up in city parking lanes, cops and tow trucks in several places along the 60 km run from Kelowna to Penticton.

A week and a half ago, I left home a day early to beat a storm and got across the mountains ahead of it. Yesterday, I stayed the night with friends in Revy, thinking that limiting myself to a 2.5 hour drive after a day on skis was a sensible plan. In hindsight, I should have checked the weather before calling it a day. Would have had to weigh up between driving at night on bare roads, or heading into a dump of snow in daylight. I may well have made the same decision anyway, but I didn't look at the forecast and took away an option as a result.
 

main street

Doing what I want.
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2006
74,634
18,821
3,000
Kelowna, BC
Snow-caused mayhem on the roads of the Okanagan this morning with the first major snowfall of the year, 15 cm in Kelowna to as much as 30 cm in Penticton, Summerland and further south. Coincidentally, I stayed in Revelstoke last night and left before sunrise to get a decent start on the day. Just 1 cm had fallen at 5:30 am and it was barely snowing on the crossing of Eagle Pass to Sicamous. I was surprised then to find the roads getting worse rather than better as I headed south into the generally low-snow Okanagan. Numerous accidents, trucks spun out or chaining up in city parking lanes, cops and tow trucks in several places along the 60 km run from Kelowna to Penticton.

A week and a half ago, I left home a day early to beat a storm and got across the mountains ahead of it. Yesterday, I stayed the night with friends in Revy, thinking that limiting myself to a 2.5 hour drive after a day on skis was a sensible plan. In hindsight, I should have checked the weather before calling it a day. Would have had to weigh up between driving at night on bare roads, or heading into a dump of snow in daylight. I may well have made the same decision anyway, but I didn't look at the forecast and took away an option as a result.

Sorry I was busy with back to back conference calls online.... A coffee at our place would have been a welcome break methinks,..... Doggus would have been very pleased to see you too !!
 

Chalkie

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 1, 2002
6,937
15,526
563
Vancouver, Canada
Reported on Global News tonight: repairs to the Coquilhalla may be sufficiently completed by January to allow re-opening to commercial traffic only, so that the 99 and 3 can be opened to non-essential travel. Here's a link to an article about it: https://www.castanet.net/news/BC/35...-to-open-to-essential-travel-in-early-January.

I am in awe of the engineers and construction workers who can make this happen!
 

gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
54,038
25,872
1,563
58
Canning Vale, Perth
Reported on Global News tonight: repairs to the Coquilhalla may be sufficiently completed by January to allow re-opening to commercial traffic only, so that the 99 and 3 can be opened to non-essential travel. Here's a link to an article about it: https://www.castanet.net/news/BC/35...-to-open-to-essential-travel-in-early-January.

I am in awe of the engineers and construction workers who can make this happen!
LOL in australia, our bureacrats would still be arguing about whether there is at least 50% of the contractors being female LOL
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
Amazing work by the contractors and highways ministry. They've announced that the Coq will open for commercial vehicles only by the end of the day of December 20. Within 24 hours of that, they'll lift the essential travel order on the Hope Princeton and the Duffey. This of course means that all the punters can cross the mountains for the Christmas gatherings they've been advised not to have.

From the pictures I've seen online, the crews have used zillions of lock blocks to rebuild and reinforce bridge abutments and retaining walls, and Bailey-type prefab bridges have been dropped in to replace damaged spans. The ministry says 20 structures were seriously damaged by the flood.

Official advice to users of the Hope to Merritt sector is to allow up to 45 minutes more than normal; ie, 50-70% slower than normal. No doubt there will be numerous places where the four lane road has had to be constricted down to two lanes due to missing bridges. Proper rebuilding of this road will be ongoing for several years to come.
 

main street

Doing what I want.
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2006
74,634
18,821
3,000
Kelowna, BC
267956052_4413317305444736_6134784663001261274_n.jpg
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
... and it's open. Won't be perfect by any means, there will be ongoing work for many months before it runs at full freeway level again.

I'll be staying far away from hwy 3 for a while. Same problem as when it was truck only: an entire generation of Kelowna and Vancouver drivers who've never driven the Hope Princeton. Add in the always mad Christmas traffic plus a topping of zero non-essential travel for five weeks and you have the Festival of Crunch about to begin. I shouldn't be too flippant because a few people will die. Winter conditions, unfamiliar mountain road, holiday crowding and impatience will be lethal.
 
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Nov 14, 2000
389
226
113
Australia
... and it's open. Won't be perfect by any means, there will be ongoing work for many months before it runs at full freeway level again.

I'll be staying far away from hwy 3 for a while. Same problem as when it was truck only: an entire generation of Kelowna and Vancouver drivers who've never driven the Hope Princeton. Add in the always mad Christmas traffic plus a topping of zero non-essential travel for five weeks and you have the Festival of Crunch about to begin. I shouldn't be too flippant because a few people will die. Winter conditions, unfamiliar mountain road, holiday crowding and impatience will be lethal.
Is the road East of Princetown an easier section of road ?
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
Until leaving the Okanagan Valley east of Osoyoos, yes. The road follows the Similkameen River for almost all of that section, so there is little elevation change. Even so, it's about to be slammed with more traffic than it was ever designed to handle, and most of those drivers haven't used a two lane highway in ages.

Beyond Osoyoos is a twisting mess of hairpin corners that climbs from lake level at 290 m to Anarchist Summit at 1230 m, followed by the steep descent into the Kettle Valley at Rock Creek. If you're heading to Red or Whitewater, there are five summits to cross beyond Princeton. If your destination is Fernie, Kimberley or Panorama, you'll have three additional passes to climb.

The highway 1 route transits serious avalanche zones and gets a lot of snow, but it is also highly developed and funded as it's a federal highway and the major cross-country truck route. Highway 3 climbs and descends and twists a lot more. It lacks the extensive sections of multi lane development that the Trans Canada has, and is a slower drive as a result. Normally, the payoff is less traffic and a more relaxed feel. That will be lacking this holiday season, at least on the Hope Princeton section. Many will turn north in Princeton and take 5A to reconnect them either to the main hwy 5 and hwy 1 route, or 97C to Kelowna.
 
Nov 14, 2000
389
226
113
Australia
Until leaving the Okanagan Valley east of Osoyoos, yes. The road follows the Similkameen River for almost all of that section, so there is little elevation change. Even so, it's about to be slammed with more traffic than it was ever designed to handle, and most of those drivers haven't used a two lane highway in ages.

Beyond Osoyoos is a twisting mess of hairpin corners that climbs from lake level at 290 m to Anarchist Summit at 1230 m, followed by the steep descent into the Kettle Valley at Rock Creek. If you're heading to Red or Whitewater, there are five summits to cross beyond Princeton. If your destination is Fernie, Kimberley or Panorama, you'll have three additional passes to climb.

The highway 1 route transits serious avalanche zones and gets a lot of snow, but it is also highly developed and funded as it's a federal highway and the major cross-country truck route. Highway 3 climbs and descends and twists a lot more. It lacks the extensive sections of multi lane development that the Trans Canada has, and is a slower drive as a result. Normally, the payoff is less traffic and a more relaxed feel. That will be lacking this holiday season, at least on the Hope Princeton section. Many will turn north in Princeton and take 5A to reconnect them either to the main hwy 5 and hwy 1 route, or 97C to Kelowna.
Awesome - thanks very much ! (Sounds fortunate therefore to be coming down the 33 to Rock Creek rather than the 3)
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
DriveBC is full of closures and advisories this morning. After three weeks of cold and snow, another atmospheric river is directing moisture at the lower mainland like a fire hose. Avalanches everywhere, either expected or already happened. As much as 150 mm of rain forecast to fall on valley bottoms that are covered in snow.

This warning is rare, but it appears several times on the site today:
"Heavy rain. Winter driving conditions. Expect delays due to congestion. Avoid non-essential travel due to winter driving conditions, subject to closures on short notice. Be prepared to shelter in place, carry extra food, water, and warm clothing."

Not the day to be driving far.
 
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scottski

A Local
Ski Pass
Sep 7, 2004
7,001
7,170
563
Homebush NSW
Sly, explain driving in Canada for me.
I’m in Canmore. Driving highway 1 to Banff and up to Lake Louise also back to Calgary .
Why when the road is covered in snow, visibility is 200 m or less, snowing heavily, wind blowing across the highway, speed limit signposted is 90, trucks pickups and Audi’s defy the laws of physics and drive at 120. They pass you in the heavily snow covered centre lane spraying snow and small rocks. Further reducing visibility.
I’m driving 80 to 90 and feeling my way as the road grip is noticeably limited.
Yesterday, 7 degree plus in Canmore, had rain. Road to Banff is clear of snow, everyone is driving at 80 ? I seriously felt guilty overtaking at 90.
I don’t get it.
 

cookieman

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 7, 2013
1,810
2,023
363
Melbourne
DriveBC is full of closures and advisories this morning. After three weeks of cold and snow, another atmospheric river is directing moisture at the lower mainland like a fire hose. Avalanches everywhere, either expected or already happened. As much as 150 mm of rain forecast to fall on valley bottoms that are covered in snow.

This warning is rare, but it appears several times on the site today:
"Heavy rain. Winter driving conditions. Expect delays due to congestion. Avoid non-essential travel due to winter driving conditions, subject to closures on short notice. Be prepared to shelter in place, carry extra food, water, and warm clothing."

Not the day to be driving far.
Yep, Apex freestyle group driving to Red Deer yesterday. Our daughter made it to canmore, others I belive had to stop at revestoke.
Long slow drive reported.
 
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gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
54,038
25,872
1,563
58
Canning Vale, Perth
DriveBC is full of closures and advisories this morning. After three weeks of cold and snow, another atmospheric river is directing moisture at the lower mainland like a fire hose. Avalanches everywhere, either expected or already happened. As much as 150 mm of rain forecast to fall on valley bottoms that are covered in snow.

This warning is rare, but it appears several times on the site today:
"Heavy rain. Winter driving conditions. Expect delays due to congestion. Avoid non-essential travel due to winter driving conditions, subject to closures on short notice. Be prepared to shelter in place, carry extra food, water, and warm clothing."

Not the day to be driving far.
On our last trip, we stayed in North Vancouver for a week before heading for SP. It was a realtavily wet week, but on the night before departure, the rain set in so hard that all the ferries were cancelled, the roads were almost at a standstill and it took us 2.5 hours just to get from North Van over the bridge to start our trek. and it rained heavily until we hit Hope, where stuff started to get a bit whiter
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
A normal fall/winter sees an average of seven atmospheric river events. We've had eight so far this season and there's another ten weeks to go. Eek.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
23,034
18,109
1,063
Penticton, BC
Sly, explain driving in Canada for me.
I’m in Canmore. Driving highway 1 to Banff and up to Lake Louise also back to Calgary .
Why when the road is covered in snow, visibility is 200 m or less, snowing heavily, wind blowing across the highway, speed limit signposted is 90, trucks pickups and Audi’s defy the laws of physics and drive at 120. They pass you in the heavily snow covered centre lane spraying snow and small rocks. Further reducing visibility.
I’m driving 80 to 90 and feeling my way as the road grip is noticeably limited.
Yesterday, 7 degree plus in Canmore, had rain. Road to Banff is clear of snow, everyone is driving at 80 ? I seriously felt guilty overtaking at 90.
I don’t get it.
I'm more confident of grip at -10 or colder than when it's above freezing and packed snow is melting. Not sure if that fits the conditions you observed.
 
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scottski

A Local
Ski Pass
Sep 7, 2004
7,001
7,170
563
Homebush NSW
I'm more confident of grip at -10 or colder than when it's above freezing and packed snow is melting. Not sure if that fits the conditions you observed.
I thought about that, Used to driving the Alpine way regularly. The road was clear, no snow, temp was 3 degrees C. Lots of grip.
I’m still blown away by the speed they drive in the fully snow covered centre lane. Physics is different up here, or they all had studded tyres.
 

SnowRabbit

One of Us
Feb 13, 2017
415
592
263
Sydney
On our last trip, we stayed in North Vancouver for a week before heading for SP. It was a relatively wet week, but on the night before departure, the rain set in so hard that all the ferries were cancelled, the roads were almost at a standstill and it took us 2.5 hours just to get from North Van over the bridge to start our trek. and it rained heavily until we hit Hope, where stuff started to get a bit whiter
It's always wet in Vancouver isn't it?LOL
 

AWJ

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 8, 1999
2,027
1,245
363
Canberra
I don’t know about Albertans in general however, have you ever been to Hinton ?
Just spent two days there buying out the conveyors and plant from a disused coal mine.
Seriously, there are two types of people. I met most of the other ones.
Country or western?
 
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