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Question Driving to Hotham this Tuesday in the blizzard

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Wardy, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    As stated earlier in the Hotham forum we are driving from Melb to Hotham this Tuesday for our first ever visit to the mountain. Staying in Dinner Plain, driving an early model Prado. It looks like we'll be up and over the mountain around 1-2pm. Two adults three kids 10-13. Is there anything in particular we should be aware of regarding safety on this drive? Chains in Bright or Harrietville by the looks of it. Have plenty of experience driving in winter conditions on various continents, but I never take anything for granted... Thanks for any tips.
     
  2. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Where are you driving from?

    Omeo approach might be worth it if possible. Especially staying in DP. Only to eliminate risk of them closing the road.
     
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  3. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Driving from Melb
     
  4. Slalom

    Slalom A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agree. It's almost a given isn't it that they'll close the road or at least do convoys from the Harietville approach.
    Omeo way is longer but far easier especially for DP as you say.
     
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  5. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Make sure to keep the correct side of the orange poles!!! ;)
     
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  6. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Exactly.

    Snow to 400m, I'd be thinking it's going to close or be convoy.
     
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  7. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Convoy? Does an authorised vehicle lead a group up?
     
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  8. Snowy Joey

    Snowy Joey One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Omeo is the reliable approach in bad weather.
     
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  9. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Sounds like Omeo takes out the risk
     
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  10. Snowy Joey

    Snowy Joey One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Little bit longer, but nice drive up beside the Tambo river and more of a gradual ascent, a lot less chance of having to put on chains.
     
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  11. cookieman

    cookieman One of Us

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    In blizzard conditions Omeo way is about same time from Melbourne to DP and far safer especially with a car full of family.
    You can also observe the aftermath of the recent gippsland floods which should be all good by then?
     
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  12. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Definitely melb via Omeo to Dinner Plain in a blizzard.
    Could even be quicker. If you have a 4WD, chains unlikely to be required.

    Even if Harrietville is open, could be very slow going.
     
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  13. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Cheers all
     
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  14. Slalom

    Slalom A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I believe so.
     
  15. PG2736

    PG2736 Hard Yards

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    Harrietville side in a blizzard will be slow going and can be pretty hairy as the road is very exposed. If you feel comfortable following nothing but a set of iced up orange poles then you will be fine. Snow level doesn't typically dictate whether or not they close the road - comes down to amount of snow, visibility, wind and no of accidents! They will make all vehicles irrespective if have 4wd or not chain up on the Harrietville approach.
     
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  16. NewTurns

    NewTurns One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mt Blowhard convoys in Blizzards....only done once. Scared the $#!+ out of me...full on.
     
  17. stansi

    stansi One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love that road. Accept the challenge.
     
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  18. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Challenge of finding accommodation in Harrietville if they do close it?
     
  19. NewTurns

    NewTurns One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good Point. I just recall being a 20 year old (way back when) impoverished student wishing I had done something about the balding back left tyre on my XC GS 4.9 Wagon and gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles and trying not to look flustered in front of my mate!
     
  20. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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  21. dossa5

    dossa5 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive led convoys many a times on the GAR and yes a few spooky exposed areas. If you are asking the question and have weather forecast you know the answer- you have family in the car. It only takes one mishap and everyone is impacted.
    Leave an hr earlier and go cobungra way.
     
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  22. jungfrau

    jungfrau One of Us

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    Snow to 300mt.. I'm thinking DP way for sure.. Does that way ever close? I know there are gates just out of Omeo..
     
  23. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    It could but it would have to be biblical.

    Way less exposed, straighter road, no ridgeline driving.
     
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  24. jungfrau

    jungfrau One of Us

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    Snow plough truck last time for me.. Could hardy see anything but white! Even poles and car lights were Very hard to see
     
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  25. weerab

    weerab One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    snow to 300 metres means snow all the way down to Harrietville!
     
  26. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Happy days.
     
  27. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Happy days.
     
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  28. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you are going the Omeo way (always wise if there is a big front coming in). It's a much easier drive and sheltered for the whole drive up. It is a bit windy from Bairnsdale to Swifts Creek though (if the kids get car sick).

    Just double check with Vic roads before you go. Last week the Tambo river was in flood, the Mitchell river was in flood and some roads out of Bairnsdale were closed.

    You can look online at road closures here: http://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au/

    Forgot to add... If the Prado is a Diesel, make sure you have Alpine Diesel. Easy to get caught out in those as the fuel tank is so big.
     
    #28 FatBoyDave, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  29. Azz

    Azz One of Us

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    The river is down to normal again, so no worries there.

    You CANNOT buy Alpine diesel in Bairnsdale anymore, you have to top up in Omeo. :)
     
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  30. FlatLander

    FlatLander Addicted

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    Good point Azz, also no fuel at all in Harrietville. Bright outlets have Alpine diesel in all pumps, although I would recommend anyone up there now or traveling up that just a top up of Alpine diesel wont be enough, definitely buy a bottle of diesel additive and put that in as well. You cant have too much in these conditions
     
  31. cookieman

    cookieman One of Us

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    My family did the dp - omeo - melb last night.
    No problems.
    I wouldn't be surprised if Harrietville - Hotham would close today.
     
  32. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Been caught out a couple of times over the years... The large (170 litres) fuel tanks on the Prado means I don't need to fill up on the way there (or back), so often don't even think about fuel issues until I'm on the hill and it's too late..
     
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  33. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Is that one tank or main with sub? :eek:

    The sub tank is perfect for snow driving. fill it with alpine diesel for your trip.
     
  34. FlatLander

    FlatLander Addicted

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    snow to 300m means snow to Bright, although I think it will be a little hit and miss, and doesn't look like a 50-70cm storm the way the media is talking it up. I am thinking 20-25cm up top, wide spread snowfalls although mostly flurries at lower altitudes
     
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  35. FlatLander

    FlatLander Addicted

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    Yes its pretty easy to forget, and its just not worth mucking around with, fill as much as you can with Alpine mix, and then add at least 1 bottle of diesel additive, and have one extra in the car. There is no harm in putting too much in, and it saves sooo much time :mad:
     
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  36. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Comes standard from the factory with 2 90ish litre tanks. It's a pain to fill with Alpine diesel as it has 1 filler for all tanks. It auto switches from 1 tank to the sub tank when the first one empties, so you never know what the actual mix in the tank is.
     
  37. Cuppa

    Cuppa A Local

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    Convoys are in place at the moment. With the wind the drifting, the road around The Cross would be wicked.
     
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  38. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah. Would be keeping you on your toes.
     
  39. dossa5

    dossa5 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep you come around that corner and its oh wheres the road.
    very spooky windscreen staring to ice and you realise need more rainX.
     
  40. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    if u cannot get diesel additive then get a bottle of kero...put in about 3% by vol and give it driving time to mix....when u leave vehicle put newspaper/woollen blanket over engine block but not over battery terminals...suggest u cover grill all together at front of vehicle once on climb to village from Harrietville.....on rodeo after trip with 75litre tank to Bright from Melb I add about half a litre of kero to tank..don't go to snow without Alpine Diesel or additive or kero:last two need time to mix in and thin mixture..make sure your glow plugs are given the required time to preheat the cylinder before attempting a start...:thumbs:

    make sure u have jumper leads as back up always....o_O

    not all servos have alpine mix in Bright so ask is it Alpine Diesel...

    if u get stuck just stay in vehicle cos u will not achieve anything at all with a spade except to get hypothermia very quickly...wait till snow plough comes along to pull you out..

    please take care on Hotham Road as its possible to run off road at 4km/hour even following in convoy the tail lights of vehicle ahead.....when its a bitch like now its a trip u will not forget..:eek::eek:
    at other times remember drifts are lenticular thin at side(outside of road way near poles )and thick towards the bank...avoid tendency to stay in centre of road which one does as drifts build up in centre and on inside...so stay closer to poles...which is hard to do..for vehicles coming up hill particular on final section past Diamantina Hut.....
     
    #40 Ubiquitous Steve, Jul 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  41. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Drive up from Omeo side to DP was snowy and blowy but safe enough. It did require proper caution though. Plenty of snow accumulating on the road surface. Didn't put chains on until we parked the car. That was 2pm. Plenty of snow on the ground this morning :)
     
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  42. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good call.

    Imagine what the other side was like!
     
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  43. cookieman

    cookieman One of Us

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    a local hothamite who has done the harrieteville run many hundreds of time reported to me that yesterdays drive down in the afternoon was one of the worst he has done.
    i believe they closed the road not long after.
     
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