Hotham / DP brickbats and bouquets

FatBoyDave

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And..... yet again.
At least this guy brought his own shovel.
 

snowgum

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Bright side:

...at least its a different car.
...could even be a different dude?? ( ;-/)
 

FatBoyDave

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Actually my winner for the weekend was a guy who drove up to unload at the back of the Arlberg. Got Bogged, when I told him it was bogged and he'd need to dig it out, got out of the car to inspect...

While the car was left in drive!!!!!
 

hongomania

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Yeh no worries; don't even bother to move.

Also is the RMB cereal? 20km zone between bus stop 2 & 3, come on. Even 40 is too slow; unless it's dumpurings and busy. Might as well ditch the car and tour from DP every day; would be faster

Might as well complain about village Carpark while I am at it. Get rid of the buildings; it shouldn't be hard to find a car park mid week early season. Yes it's an ugly car park in the main village; a building doesn't hide that fact

20190628_152016.jpg
 

rowdyflat

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Considering that the RMB and Vicroads are both mad anything is possible.
I agree that Hotham is becoming a driver's nightmare.ie poor parking, bus "service' , Hotham roads .
 

Hermannator

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Not on this occasion according to the RMB member I spoke to
While you’re whacking vicroads, give em a wallop for going nanny on ski racks for the buses. Stupid bureaucracy deemed the buses to be a “wide load” if ski racks fitted and would have needed escort vehicle with flashing lights and max 20km/h. What a joke!
 

FatBoyDave

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While you’re whacking vicroads, give em a wallop for going nanny on ski racks for the buses. Stupid bureaucracy deemed the buses to be a “wide load” if ski racks fitted and would have needed escort vehicle with flashing lights and max 20km/h. What a joke!
Would not surprise me if true.
 

rowdyflat

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Yes Vicroads are the pioneers of the nanny state.
Dumb as can be, too much money ,telling everyone what is good for them.
The ski rack thing is typical.
Recent debacle at Wooragee between Beechworth and Yackandandah they went postal with those cable barriers and had to pull some down.
School buses couldnt stop, people couldnt get in + out of driveways properly.
Also worth mentioning that unbroken cable barriers in the event of a bushfire cause cars to be herded like cows in a cattleyard and no one can get away if someone stops due to poor visibility.
Can see a class action in the making during the next bushfires.
During December on the Hume , cars were swamped in a flash flood near Barnawartha cos they could nt move to higher ground.
Vic roads get on a band wagon , put barriers and ugly signs everywhere= people might get hurt.
A great career for those with tunnel vision and no commonsense.
 

dr80

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Yes Vicroads are the pioneers of the nanny state.
Dumb as can be, too much money ,telling everyone what is good for them.
The ski rack thing is typical.
Recent debacle at Wooragee between Beechworth and Yackandandah they went postal with those cable barriers and had to pull some down.
School buses couldnt stop, people couldnt get in + out of driveways properly.
Also worth mentioning that unbroken cable barriers in the event of a bushfire cause cars to be herded like cows in a cattleyard and no one can get away if someone stops due to poor visibility.
Can see a class action in the making during the next bushfires.
During December on the Hume , cars were swamped in a flash flood near Barnawartha cos they could nt move to higher ground.
Vic roads get on a band wagon , put barriers and ugly signs everywhere= people might get hurt.
A great career for those with tunnel vision and no commonsense.

Anglesea Rd - Gt Ocean Rd, Waurn Ponds to Anglesea
Totally f***ed. Massive waste of money.
And the actual problem, the road surface, is still shite.
 

travelislife

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While you’re whacking vicroads, give em a wallop for going nanny on ski racks for the buses. Stupid bureaucracy deemed the buses to be a “wide load” if ski racks fitted and would have needed escort vehicle with flashing lights and max 20km/h. What a joke!

Is this actually serious??
 

skiflat

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While you’re whacking vicroads, give em a wallop for going nanny on ski racks for the buses. Stupid bureaucracy deemed the buses to be a “wide load” if ski racks fitted and would have needed escort vehicle with flashing lights and max 20km/h. What a joke!

Wondered why buses has wide load on them, and the flashing light

So the outside ski racks have been removed?
 

Timmossy

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Chains to all vehicles after 4cm of snow on the Harrietville side. Seriously wtf is going on...……….
 

PG2736

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They have completely lost the plot up there at the moment. Two weeks ago they were making everyone fit chains and the road was basically clear. They seem to be catering to the lowest common denominator of "tourists seeing snow for the first time"
 

Timmossy

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They have completely lost the plot up there at the moment. Two weeks ago they were making everyone fit chains and the road was basically clear. They seem to be catering to the lowest common denominator of "tourists seeing snow for the first time"
Would be good if all Vic Resorts had a complete review of their policies so it was something consistent and based off substantial evidence / research. Each resorts has their own take based on their own internal nufty knowledge.

Like those M+S designated tyres which are required to get around the village at Buller are really going to make a difference.....there's no performance standard which an M+S tyre needs to achieve. Somebody at the RMB found out the S stood for snow and had a brain wave that these tyres would be the solution to their village woes......
 
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Timmossy

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Good luck with great tyres, you'll be made to fit chains rgardless.
Would be nice when they get with the times and recognise winter tyres.

I laughed when I read that the chains have to be made from “hard high strength steel.” I wonder to what standard and minimum grade of steel that is? I’m sure the RMB have no NFI but thought the statement sounded good.....

Ok rant OVER
 

Hully

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They have completely lost the plot up there at the moment. Two weeks ago they were making everyone fit chains and the road was basically clear. They seem to be catering to the lowest common denominator of "tourists seeing snow for the first time"
Same at Falls Creek, this morning fitting to 2WD (recommended AWD) at Howman's Gap because there was rain on the road!!!! Admittedly 5km up the black road there was some wet brown slush on the edge of the road when you entered the village.
 

currawong

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Same at Falls Creek, this morning fitting to 2WD (recommended AWD) at Howman's Gap because there was rain on the road!!!! Admittedly 5km up the black road there was some wet brown slush on the edge of the road when you entered the village.
:headbang: :headbang:
 

fenrir

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Brickbats to whichever ******** decided we needed to fit chains in the mud when the first 10km were either snow free or covered in light slush that any awd could safely navigate.
 
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N0frilz

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If only the lift co could design lift lines to enable singles to fill the chairs up as required. A 1/3 of chairs today weren’t filled and the token effort to manage the lines lasted maybe 2 hours.
 

Ozgirl

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On village chair today a poor line single gal was caught out. Even she admitted she didn’t know why she was told to come out. Chairs ahead and behind were full of fours. No idea how she ended up alone.
 

Hully

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Would be good if all Vic Resorts had a complete review of their policies so it was something consistent and based off substantial evidence / research. Each resorts has their own take based on their own internal nufty knowledge.

Like those M+S designated tyres which are required to get around the village at Buller are really going to make a difference.....there's no performance standard which an M+S tyre needs to achieve. Somebody at the RMB found out the S stood for snow and had a brain wave that these tyres would be the solution to their village woes......
Same at Falls where somebody has decided that AWD vehicles have less traction on snowy roads than 4WD, without any definition of what is the difference beyond a body badge or empirical evidence that a real traction difference exists.
 

N0frilz

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On village chair today a poor line single gal was caught out. Even she admitted she didn’t know why she was told to come out. Chairs ahead and behind were full of fours. No idea how she ended up alone.

The single line needs to stop and merge at the end of the line after groups have formed. The existing setups are just a joke.
 
Would be good if all Vic Resorts had a complete review of their policies so it was something consistent and based off substantial evidence / research. Each resorts has their own take based on their own internal nufty knowledge.

Like those M+S designated tyres which are required to get around the village at Buller are really going to make a difference.....there's no performance standard which an M+S tyre needs to achieve. Somebody at the RMB found out the S stood for snow and had a brain wave that these tyres would be the solution to their village woes......


The Alpine Resorts Act wheel chain regulations for Victoria are currently being reviewed.
Updated Victorian wheel chain regulations will come from VicRoads and will include a requirement that wheel chains comply with the European ON-V5117 Standard. Ladder chains will not be approved.

There is also likely to be a special classification for AWD & 4WD vehicles fitted with identified winter/snow tyres in relation to wheel chain fitting.
Winter/snow tyres will be required to comply with ECE 117.02 snow test and identified by the 3PMSF ‘snow flake’ alpine symbol. All-terrain tyres, off road tyres & tyres with only the M+S marking are not likely to be identified as a winter/snow tyre in this new wheel chain classification.
 
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Hully

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The Alpine Resorts Act wheel chain regulations for Victoria are currently being reviewed.
Updated Victorian wheel chain regulations will come from VicRoads and will include a requirement that wheel chains comply with the European ON-V5117 Standard. Ladder chains will not be approved.

There is also likely to be a special classification for AWD vehicles fitted with identified winter/snow tyres in relation to wheel chain fitting.
Winter/snow tyres will be required to comply with ECE 117.02 snow test and identified by the 3PMSF ‘snow flake’ alpine symbol. All-terrain tyres, off road tyres & tyres with only the M+S marking are not likely to be identified as a winter/snow tyre in this new wheel chain classification.
What is the technical difference between an AWD and a fulltime 4WD that will be used in this legislation? ......a body badge?
Is this change in legislation really likely or just your wish based on commercial interest? Can you provide the statistics that cars badged AWD are involved in significantly more snow covered road incidents than 4WD?
All the incidents that caused delays or potential incidents on the road to Falls that I witnessed today involved vehicles with wheelchains fitted.....
 
Vehicle related legislations or regulations do not differentiate between 4WD and AWD.
This info link from Subaru explains the difference between AWD & 4WD

https://www.subaru.com.au/car-advice/awd-vs-4wd

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) vs. Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)
What is the difference between an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) car and a Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) car? Both cars drive all four wheels so in one sense there is no difference except that AWD has become an accepted description for a car that drives all of the wheels, all of the time. 4WD is generally accepted as a car or more typically a larger SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) that uses a driver selectable system that mechanically engages the drive to all four wheels.

15subout36r008.jpg


4WD is normally used on large SUV Four-Wheel Drive (4x4) vehicles designed to use the extra traction of 4WD in off road situations. These vehicles are predominately truck based platforms with large wheels and off road tyres that combined with a manually selected and a locked 4WD driveline enables the vehicle to venture off-road and negotiate very difficult terrain.

A locked 4WD driveline means that there is direct mechanical link between front and rear axles with no mechanism to allow any difference in the number rotations of the front and rear axles. This means that when the 4x4 vehicle turns a corner because the radius of turn is different for front and rear axles, the tyres on the axle with the smaller radius of turn must be able to slip on a loose slippery ground surface. If the ground surface is not slippery and the tyres do not slip, then the driveline (axles and propeller shaft etc) will twist and stress will be induced. This is known as ‘wind up’ and ultimately if the twist cannot dissipate the vehicle will no longer be able to move as it becomes ‘locked up’. This will generally only happen at lower speeds on ground surfaces with no slip. At higher speeds or on slippery road surfaces, the tyre is able to slip and the ‘wind up’ is released. This means that when 4WD vehicles are driven on normal road surfaces, 4x4 must be deselected and the vehicle driven in two wheel drive.

As stated in the first paragraph, an AWD vehicle drives all of the wheels all of the time, so the system must include a mechanism that is generally a limited slip differential or an electronically controlled clutch to allow a rotational difference between front and rear axles.

15subout36r006.jpg


Crossover small or medium SUV All-Wheel Drive cars such as Subaru Forester that are designed for normal road use with occasional dirt or mild off road use generally use permanently engaged AWD systems. This has the active safety advantage of always having twice the grip of a driver selectable 4WD system. This means that in the unexpected situation where the corner is more slippery than expected or when immediate traction is required to move safely into merging traffic, All-Wheel Drive is already engaged and the required level of traction is available to safely negotiate the situation.

The best SUV, therefore, from an active safety point of view is an AWD vehicle that does not require driver selection to drive all four wheels. This is because twice the level of traction is always available to get out of that difficult situation when a split second can make the difference between life and death.

However, to be a true All-Wheel Drive vehicle the system must be one that does not require any driver intervention to select drive to all four wheels. Any system that normally runs in 2WD and only engages Four-Wheel drive when loss of traction occurs or requires driver selection is not a true AWD system because it is not driving all of the wheels, all of the time. With these systems, by the time 4X4 is engaged, traction is lost and a potentially dangerous situation has occurred.
 

MHzMe

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That is still a massive oversimplification, as there are big differences between AWD systems. Subaru uses systems that generally engage all wheel all the time, but other manufacturers have AWD systems that generally engage only 2 wheels and then engage the other 2 when slippage is detected. Honda CRV (as I understand) has used this system. This is very different to drive as they (in my opinion) tend to "kick" when the additional traction when engaging all 4 wheels occurs. Quoting Subaru marketing materiel as indicative of AWD systems generally is not particularly enlightening.
The accurate statement from snowtyres is that:
Vehicle related legislations or regulations do not differentiate between 4WD and AWD.
However beyond this, AWD describes a multitude of systems, that range from 2WD with occasional (automatic) engagement of the additional 2 wheels based on loss of traction to constant engagement of all 4 wheels via mechanical differentials. You cannot even use the availability of low range as a guide - I had a Subaru Impreza hatchback with manual transmission, that came with a low range transfer case.
So any discrimination between 4WD and AWD by traffic control is crap, unless they have a full and detailed knowledge of the implementation of AWD on every vehicle model. Which is the discussion I had with the chap from Hotham RMB who used to hang out at the resort entry hut on the Harrietville side on Friday nights, who conceded that they had no basis for discriminating between AWD and 4WD vehicles for chain fitting purposes.
 
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Hully

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Vehicle related legislations or regulations do not differentiate between 4WD and AWD.
This info link from Subaru explains the difference between AWD & 4WD

https://www.subaru.com.au/car-advice/awd-vs-4wd

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) vs. Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)
What is the difference between an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) car and a Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) car? Both cars drive all four wheels so in one sense there is no difference except that AWD has become an accepted description for a car that drives all of the wheels, all of the time. 4WD is generally accepted as a car or more typically a larger SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) that uses a driver selectable system that mechanically engages the drive to all four wheels.

15subout36r008.jpg


4WD is normally used on large SUV Four-Wheel Drive (4x4) vehicles designed to use the extra traction of 4WD in off road situations. These vehicles are predominately truck based platforms with large wheels and off road tyres that combined with a manually selected and a locked 4WD driveline enables the vehicle to venture off-road and negotiate very difficult terrain.

A locked 4WD driveline means that there is direct mechanical link between front and rear axles with no mechanism to allow any difference in the number rotations of the front and rear axles. This means that when the 4x4 vehicle turns a corner because the radius of turn is different for front and rear axles, the tyres on the axle with the smaller radius of turn must be able to slip on a loose slippery ground surface. If the ground surface is not slippery and the tyres do not slip, then the driveline (axles and propeller shaft etc) will twist and stress will be induced. This is known as ‘wind up’ and ultimately if the twist cannot dissipate the vehicle will no longer be able to move as it becomes ‘locked up’. This will generally only happen at lower speeds on ground surfaces with no slip. At higher speeds or on slippery road surfaces, the tyre is able to slip and the ‘wind up’ is released. This means that when 4WD vehicles are driven on normal road surfaces, 4x4 must be deselected and the vehicle driven in two wheel drive.

As stated in the first paragraph, an AWD vehicle drives all of the wheels all of the time, so the system must include a mechanism that is generally a limited slip differential or an electronically controlled clutch to allow a rotational difference between front and rear axles.

15subout36r006.jpg


Crossover small or medium SUV All-Wheel Drive cars such as Subaru Forester that are designed for normal road use with occasional dirt or mild off road use generally use permanently engaged AWD systems. This has the active safety advantage of always having twice the grip of a driver selectable 4WD system. This means that in the unexpected situation where the corner is more slippery than expected or when immediate traction is required to move safely into merging traffic, All-Wheel Drive is already engaged and the required level of traction is available to safely negotiate the situation.

The best SUV, therefore, from an active safety point of view is an AWD vehicle that does not require driver selection to drive all four wheels. This is because twice the level of traction is always available to get out of that difficult situation when a split second can make the difference between life and death.

However, to be a true All-Wheel Drive vehicle the system must be one that does not require any driver intervention to select drive to all four wheels. Any system that normally runs in 2WD and only engages Four-Wheel drive when loss of traction occurs or requires driver selection is not a true AWD system because it is not driving all of the wheels, all of the time. With these systems, by the time 4X4 is engaged, traction is lost and a potentially dangerous situation has occurred.
I rest my case..... so your proposed legislation having different tyre requirements for 4WD and AWD; and Falls Creek RMB's differentiation between 4WD and AWD, are bull shyte as there isn't a defined definition. My Defender would be recognized as a 4WD but based on the above is an AWD. Do I, or do I not, fit chains?
 
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Rover

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my observations last week was that on the Harrietville side they were fitting to all vehicles just above the meg on the Saturday and the Sunday, when all vehicles would have been able to make it to the 1st official chain fitting bay. This created a very dangerous situation. In my opinion 4WD and AWD did not require chains to the village. On the Monday the approach from Omeo they were fitting at Flourbag only to 2WD. Considering the "blizzard conditions" and road closure on the harrietville side only 12 hours earlier I was surprised. The ride down to Harrietville on Monday arvo I had to fit chains...IMO these were not required and if anything the road was better than the Omeo side of the morning, I dropped chains when I got to blacktop at blowhard and the official take chains off here sign was at olive branch!!!!!!. .....
There seems no consistency on how/when/where the decision is made about chain fitting and I suspect the RMB is getting involved with the decision when they shouldn't. If the RMB is serious about the guests safety they should be directing the Omeo approach for all buses ex Melbourne and strongly encouraging the same for cars ex Melbourne.
 
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Timmossy

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my observations last week was that on the Harrietville side they were fitting to all vehicles just above the meg on the Saturday and the Sunday, when all vehicles would have been able to make it to the 1st official chain fitting bay. This created a very dangerous situation. In my opinion 4WD and AWD did not require chains to the village. On the Monday the approach from Omeo they were fitting at Flourbag only to 2WD. Considering the "blizzard conditions" and road closure on the harrietville side only 12 hours earlier I was surprised. The ride down to Harrietville on Monday arvo I had to fit chains...IMO these were not required and if anything the road was better than the Omeo side of the morning, I dropped chains when I got to blacktop at blowhard and the official take chains off here sign was at olive branch!!!!!!. .....
There seems no consistency on how/when/where the decision is made about chain fitting and I suspect the RMB is getting involved with the decision when they shouldn't. If the RMB is serious about the guests safety they should be directing the Omeo approach for all buses ex Melbourne and strongly encouraging the same for cars ex Melbourne.
So f*cken dumb getting people to fit chains on a random spot in the road. The risk of this having people standing / parking on the road far outweighs getting people to drive up 5km further to the first official chain bay.

Makes NO SENSE.
 
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Rover

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So f*cken dumb getting people to fit chains on a random spot in the road. The risk of this having people standing / parking on the road far outweighs getting people to drive up 5km further to the first official chain bay.

Makes NO SENSE.
Agreed, not sure how much training in risk assessment these people have but it would seem very little.
Similar with the restrictions at the coral carpark. Close off all the carpark (crown land) and sell off the carparks that sit empty, erect some containers that don't get used, then force families to road side carparking with kids standing right next to buses rushing past on a slippery road...... No risk assessment done or if one done the person doing it has no idea...... I hope no-one gets hurt or worse.
 

Monsta

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So f*cken dumb getting people to fit chains on a random spot in the road. The risk of this having people standing / parking on the road far outweighs getting people to drive up 5km further to the first official chain bay.

Makes NO SENSE.

Yep. We got stuck fitting chains down there on the Sunday. Was raining, trying to fit chains in the mud in a little alcove on the side of the road on a sharp S bend corner that was blind from both directions. Craziness!

Then got to drive up to the first chain bays on predominantly blacktop.....

Only positive was it slowed us down enough that we got caught behind the first bus to go off the road. We were second car stopped. Road was held for convoy for a good 45 mins and then they let the buses go first which resulted in two more buses off the road and the road being closed for 20+ hours. We were commuting from Bright so just turned around and went back down. If we'd got up and got to Hotham it would have been the long way around to get home...

Whole situation was handled so poorly it's not funny.

Why the hell are they letting buses up that road when it's blowing 100 km/h+ across the ridge?
 

snowgum

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Some very interesting points /observations raised here Monsta & on thread above.

I dont make excuse for Hotham’s access logic or lack there of.

However, after some 3 decades of driving up the hill I’ll reiterate a tip I think I provided earlier in the thread.

If bad weather is predicted (wind, snow & poor vis) before you travel or if it will be dark and you live anywhere near central Melbourne & more so SE Suburbs.

Always drive via Omeo! Always!
(No I dont make any money from diverting people!)

In bad weather its only slightly longer in duration. And the time difference pales into insignificance when OH&S and convenience is considered. Consider potential costs of a prang or having to pay for an unexpected night in Bright or Harrietville?

Dont just take my work, do your own research.

Pass the word on to your friends - ones that only drive up the Hume!

Just dont say that you ‘weren’t warned’ next time.

I pity all on this weekend. Such a debacle!!

I sometimes wonder if all the travel & parking stress is worth it on short 2-day weekends?
This is why I make them 3 or 4 dayers where possible and generally go via Omeo if it will at night or in bad weather.

Cheers
SG
 

Echo Base

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Posted this over at Snow, but a brickbat, idiot. Lucky nobody got hurt.
There was a similar incident I witnessed at the bottom of Snake Gully a couple of weeks ago. Luckily, when the runaway reached the crowd waiting at the Heavenly load, all it did was smash a skier's heel binding completely off the ski!
No Matter what type of plank you ride, if you don't have brakes or leashes, don't take them off on the run
 
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FlatLander

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The Alpine Resorts Act wheel chain regulations for Victoria are currently being reviewed.
Updated Victorian wheel chain regulations will come from VicRoads and will include a requirement that wheel chains comply with the European ON-V5117 Standard. Ladder chains will not be approved.

There is also likely to be a special classification for AWD & 4WD vehicles fitted with identified winter/snow tyres in relation to wheel chain fitting.
Winter/snow tyres will be required to comply with ECE 117.02 snow test and identified by the 3PMSF ‘snow flake’ alpine symbol. All-terrain tyres, off road tyres & tyres with only the M+S marking are not likely to be identified as a winter/snow tyre in this new wheel chain classification.

This will be pointless as all the Chinese manufacturers will just stamping the "snowflake" symbol or a slight variant, is old mate beside the road going to check database of approved tyres ? LOLLOL
 
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FlatLander

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This extract from “2017 Winter tyre & Studded Winter Tyre Test Report” by Glenn Billman of Mt Hotham Road Patrol explains.

"Wheel Chains or similar types of traction methods have been used on vehicles for well over 100 years and have had many changes in design in that time but the principle has remained the same, to provide traction to rubber tyres in slippery icy conditions. It should also be noted that when wheel chains first came on to the market place, vehicles of the day had less torque, less horsepower, narrow wheels and a majority of roads were still greatly unpaved and chains therefore gained traction from the compacted snow as well as the surface of the road. In order for wheel chains to work effectively the chain links must penetrate in to a compacted surface that has enough integrity to prevent the wheels from spinning when power is applied to the drive wheels of the vehicle."
"Good quality Wheel Chains should be constructed from high quality steel and in a diamond pattern configuration across the entire tread width of the tyre. Wheel chains provide traction by being fitted around the tyre of the drive wheels of a vehicle to act as an aggressive tread that is able to gain leverage in compacted snow and ice and be able to clear itself of snow as the wheel turns. It also needs to be appreciated that as mentioned, the vehicles in the past had less torque, less horsepower compared to the vehicles on the road today. Modern vehicles have a lot more torque, horsepower and are heaver and this in turn places a lot more stress on the wheel chains and this can contribute to the chains breaking, damage to vehicles and vehicles being left incapacitated on the road waiting for assistance. In Australia due to the lack of regulations and official standards a multitude of inferior and inappropriate products are on the market and these products can and do cause problems for motorists. Wheel chains should only be purchased or hired from a reputable dealer that expertly fits and demonstrates fitting to the vehicle in question and always consult the drivers’ manual in regard to correct wheel size and correct wheels to be fitted with chains."

The full report can be downloaded from this link https://snowtyres.com.au/learn/mount-hotham-tyre-trial/

what a crock of s$%#

1. thinner tyres are better in the snow, as the tread doesnt fill with compacted snow as much, or is more easily expelled
2. in the good old days, with poor quality cars, wheel chains and actual snow, we all seemed to make it to Mt Hotham
3. modern cars may have more torque/horse power, yet they apply that to the drive train much more evenly than the old manual 3 on the tress holden with a dodgy clutch and ladder chains
4. No they are not heavier, do your research, I would bet that the average weight of vehicles has come down considerably
5. The alternative products are not inferior, as many of them have been used in Europe and Nth America and work a treat
6. Its all about the driver 100%. And the simple throwaway line "drive to the conditions" eg not fast, even/light breaking etc etc.

It doesnt matter what 4wd system you have, what tyres you have or what chains you have, if you dont drive to the conditions you are in trouble. And if you start sliding, then your $500 snowflake tyres and $300 set of diamond chains made of hardened steel aint gonna help
 
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