Spider chains are not permitted at Hotham

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Mount Hotham Resort Management Board will not permit the use of any form of "spider chains" because of performance, operational and safety issues.
"Diamond pattern chains are now mandatory for all vehicles entering the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort. Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time. "

refer http://www.mthotham.com.au/travel/road/driving/



In our local market "Spider Chains" (Rud Centrax, Volvo Centrax, Thule K-Summit, Konig K-Summit and Land Rover Spikes Spider) are generally used on summer tyres and wheel/tyre combinations that have insufficient clearance to fit conventional chains and on wheel/tyre combinations applications where the vehicle manufacturer does not approve fitting of any snow chains.

This type of snow chain should only ever be fitted to a winter tyre. There are always issues when this type of snow chain system is used on high performance 2WD or AWD "summer" tyres, this is mainly due to the width of the "traction bars" of the spider chains, as they are only 90 mm wide, maximium 110 mm on the very largest sizes.
The "spider chain" will grip to the snow/ice but the tyre can slip or spin inside the spider chain as there is no way the chain can be "tightened" on to the tyre. The chain is always "loose" by design to provide the automatic-drive away fitting and easy removal features. The problem is compounded by the camber of the road, the weight and torque of the vehicle and the amount of tread on the tyre that is not covered by the chain. The problem is worse when the vehicle has been parked over night, or longer, at the resort because of the low ambient temperature makes the tyres harder and therefore has even less grip to the chain.

There is no warranty/guarantee from the snow chain makers, Rud, Konig and Thule if snow chains are used on a tyre and wheel combination that is not approved for fitting snow chains by the vehicle manufacturer.

Barras, if you post your vehicle make, model and tyre size will check to see what options are available.
 
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Barras

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Thanks Snowtyres, i have a Nissan Stagea M35 tyres are 19x245x45.

Here is the letter i was sent from Mt Hotham when i queried the ruling.


I have attached the Chains Declaration to answer your questions.

Unfortunately these types of chains are not suitable, we have had incidents over the previous seasons where they detach from the vehicle within 100 metres. You wouldn’t believe how many were handed in to our office last season by people who had found them on the side of the road.

Attachment:

Determination pursuant to Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2009


I, James Atteridge as the delegate for the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, (The Board) taking into consideration;

Expert advice from local and other experts; Traffic Police; The elevation, length and topography of the Great Alpine Road; Existing Vic Roads Regulations concerning wheel chains; The Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2009; The protocol agreed on 23 August 2012 between Vic Roads (Benalla); Victoria Police District Headquarters (Wangaratta) and the Board regarding weather events and conditions affecting the Great Alpine Road and road related areas (as defined in the road rules) in the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort; and other factors.

With authority of Part 2, Regulation 8. of the said Regulations;

For reasons of public safety and for other purposes connected with the protection, control and management of the alpine resort;

Determine that:-

1. For the duration of the declared 2013 snow season the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort is a prohibited area for vehicles not carrying or fitted with diamond pattern wheel (snow) chains of an authorised type.

2. An authorised type of diamond pattern wheel (snow) chain is one which is:-

a) The correct size for the tyres fitted to the vehicle
b) Suitable for the wheels, tyres and the weight and construction of the vehicle
c) Constructed of hard high alloy steel
d) Of a pattern and design where some part of the chain will be in contact with the road surface at all times when properly fitted.
e) Suitable for a road of varying gradients and sharp corners
f) Not modified or altered from the original commercially manufactured wheel chain.

3. A driver or person in control of a vehicle must not enter the Mount Hotham Resort or upon the Great Alpine Road and road related areas as defined by Rule 13 of the Road Safety Road Rules 2009 within the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort, in contravention of this determination.


The Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board recommends the use of well constructed high quality wheel chains in good condition. Prior to fitting wheel chains the vehicle owner’s manual/handbook must be consulted. Wheel chains must always be properly fitted and used in accordance with the chain and vehicle manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. The Board, its employees and agents cannot be held liable for any damages, accident, injury, or fatality arising as a result of the use of wheel chains.
 
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Barras, your best option would be to buy a set of smaller diameter wheels for winter and fit a narrower, higher profile tyres, preferable a winter tyre.

This way you can use a conventional diamond pattern snow chain that is OK with MTH RMB

This company may be able to help you with the wheels

http://www.sinergymotorsports.com.au/thumbnails.php?album=187
 
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CarveMan

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Snowtyres - what are the options for a 2009 Golf R32 with the standard 18" wheels?

We have an old 4WD that we keep at the base of Buller, but I might need to go to Hotham or NSW this year.

The owners manual says not to fit chains due to the lack of clearance on the inside with the suspension components, but is there some lower profile option that also meets the Hotham regs?
 

CarveMan

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teckel said:
Why bother asking? Snowtyres will only ever suggest that you buy winter tyres. And of course, that you purchase them from him.

It's a genuine question. And I have no intention whatsoever of buying snowtyres. But even if I did I would still need to carry chains!
 
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CarveMan,
your Golf R32 uses 225/40R18 tyres fitted to 7.5 J x 18 wheel with offset ET 50

Correct wheel/tyre combination for fitting snow chains to Golf R, Golf R32 Golf GTi and Golf GTD
is 205/50R17 tyre on VW winter wheel 6 J x 17 with offset ET 48.5

Using the correct wheel increases the clearance for snow chains by 12 mm.

!7" wheels are required to clear brakes and narrower 6" wheel rim is required for snow chains to clear the suspension.

To check the clearance on existing 18" wheels for the special low clearance 7 & 9 mm. chains call into RCS but remember there is no warranty/guarantee from any of the snow chain makers, Rud, Konig and Thule, if snow chains are used on a tyre and wheel combination that is not approved for fitting snow chains by the vehicle manufacturer.
 
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Barras

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snowtyres said:
Barras, your best option would be to buy a set of smaller diameter wheels for winter and fit a narrower, higher profile tyres, preferable a winter tyre.

This way you can use a conventional diamond pattern snow chain that is OK with MTH RMB

This company may be able to help you with the wheels

http://www.sinergymotorsports.com.au/thumbnails.php?album=187

Unfortunately due to larger brakes i can't put a smaller wheel on.
 
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teckel

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I hope snowtyres hasn't been overzealous in lobbying VicRoads, RTA, ARMBs etc for the purpose of selling his winter tyres. He would be far better off encouraging the use of spider chains, snow socks and low clearance chains, and concentrating his attention in that direction. Winter tyres are never going to take off big time in this country.
 

scottski

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If you want Snow Tyres Tempe Tryes will bring them in for you from the US.

He is a very big importer of Grey Market tyres. They all come from the same factory as our tyres however due to volume and the A$ they are much cheaper.

I bought replacement Bridgestone tyres for our CX9. Bridgtone price in Australia $670 each. Tempe Tyres, $180 each on order. It took about three weeks to get them.

I discussed snow tyres with him and he was happy to get them. Look up the prices online in the US and he will supply for similar pricing possibly 15% higher at worse. Just tell them what you want and pay in advance.

It probably is worth putting snow tyres on your car for winter if you are a very regular visitor.

I am sure Mr Snow Tyres will agree.
 

CarveMan

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Someone in the auto industry a few months ago was saying that the cartel that controls our tyres is being eroded and the prices will plummet in the next 12 months. He said the same about batteries too.

Could be bullshit though.
 

Astro66

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As I've said previously. I can see Vic resorts loosing business to NSW, due to their over zealous policies.

Crowds in NSW are bad enough. This won't help.
 

Astro66

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CarveMan said:
AstroSki66 said:
As I've said previously. I can see Vic resorts loosing business to NSW, due to their over zealous policies.

Crowds in NSW are bad enough. This won't help.

Have you ever driven to Hotham in a storm?
My point is this and only this. Every couple of seasons, my family do a week at Mt Beauty and ski Falls Creek.

We always like to do a day at Hotham. I don't know whether my chains are spider or diamond or whatever, as I paid $40 on eBay , so we'll just not bother with the day at Hotham.

Clearly Hotham are flushed with cash, and good luck to them.

To answer your question. No I have not. But I have driven thru many treacherous roads in a blizzard, with a front wheel drive and cable chains. One road so bad they have made a TV series called Highway Thru Hell. I don't believe the road to Hotham is worse.
 
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teckel

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snowtyres said:
This type of snow chain should only ever be fitted to a winter tyre.
As a hirer and retailer of Konig chains, I have yet to hear of this anywhere except from you. Can you provide an online reference to this? Off the Konig/Thule website - I only see summer tyres:

KS-front_sized_618x408.jpg


snowtyres said:
There is no warranty/guarantee from the snow chain makers, Rud, Konig and Thule if snow chains are used on a tyre and wheel combination that is not approved for fitting snow chains by the vehicle manufacturer.
This is correct. As I understand it, it means that the correct size of chain must be fitted to the tyre size. I do not believe this applies to the summer/winter tyre distinction, and by you placing this immediately after the summer/winter tyre statement above, seems to be making a false implication. If you can back this up with evidence, I will retract this post.
 
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teckel

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Agree. Ladder chains should be banned for all passenger transport vehicles on all public roads. But spider chains should be encouraged on low clearance vehicles. This is madness to ban them. Is Hotham the first place in the world to ban spider chains?
 

Astro66

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Donza said:
NSW should ban ladder chains as well.
Perhaps. They are a pain to put on. I can put my chains on in 2 mins per tyre.

I think you would need to show stats that more peeps have been killed or injured using ladder chains in NSW, before forcing all the snow chain hirers to update stock.

No business appreciates legislation introduced just for the sake of it. Gold plated solutions, just for the sake of gold plating, is not accepted in any field.
 
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CarveMan

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AstroSki66 said:
CarveMan said:
AstroSki66 said:
As I've said previously. I can see Vic resorts loosing business to NSW, due to their over zealous policies.

Crowds in NSW are bad enough. This won't help.

Have you ever driven to Hotham in a storm?
My point is this and only this. Every couple of seasons, my family do a week at Mt Beauty and ski Falls Creek.

We always like to do a day at Hotham. I don't know whether my chains are spider or diamond or whatever, as I paid $40 on eBay , so we'll just not bother with the day at Hotham.

Clearly Hotham are flushed with cash, and good luck to them.

To answer your question. No I have not. But I have driven thru many treacherous roads in a blizzard, with a front wheel drive and cable chains. One road so bad they have made a TV series called Highway Thru Hell. I don't believe the road to Hotham is worse.

The Hotham road may not be the most extreme in the world, but it gets pretty rad in the wind and snow, and in relation to the average Australian's snow driving skills it's pretty bloody full-on.

Gapers with shit chains cause massive, massive problems on the road - ask the regulars, there were a couple of massive shemozzles this year caused by overconfident people and everyone suffers.
 
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Astro66

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CarveMan said:
The Hotham road may not be the most extreme in the world, but it gets pretty rad in the wind and snow, and in relation to the average Australian's snow driving skills it's pretty bloody full-on.

Gapers with shit chains cause massive, massive problems on the road - ask the regulars, there were a couple of massive shemozzles this year caused by overconfident people and everyone suffers.
I would think it has more to do with driving technique that quality of chains.

The biggest problems I have encountered on snowy days, is peeps clogging the road, fitting or removing chains. Hence why ladder are a pain.

I think driving education, not enforcement would help. And as Teckel points out. I have never heard of any other resort worldwide banning spider chains. (Even if I have to google them.
wink.gif
)

I think Hotham will suffer financially. Just an opinion.
 
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crackson

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He clearly has ladder chains and just doesn't want to admit it to us for fear of losing street cred.
 

cqen2l

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AstroSki66 said:
As I've said previously. I can see Vic resorts loosing business to NSW, due to their over zealous policies.

Crowds in NSW are bad enough. This won't help.

I wouldn't be swapping resorts because of a chain fitting policy.
rolleyes.gif
 
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Astro66

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cqen2l said:
AstroSki66 said:
As I've said previously. I can see Vic resorts loosing business to NSW, due to their over zealous policies.

Crowds in NSW are bad enough. This won't help.

I wouldn't be swapping resorts because of a chain fitting policy.
rolleyes.gif
Agree, but making accessing a resort more difficult, when you can choose resorts that don't. I think it will impact numbers. Just an opinion.
 
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Astro66

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Donza said:
Your opinion is based on folly
Based on folly you say.

Well, let's test your logic.

You have been going to Jindabyne for 20 years and safely using your non-diamond pattern chains to get up the mountain.

You like to share your time between Perisher and Thredbo for the variety. You have decided to go to Thredbo this day. You get to the Thredbo turnoff. There is a sign saying, "Only diamond pattern chains allowed at Thredbo."

You are trying to convince me 100% of peeps will turn around, and head back to Jindy and hire different chain.

No one will say, "Ahh screw it. Let's just go to Perisher." ???
 
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piolet

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i'm backing astro on this, to some extent. not everyone else is that dedicated to it as us and if there's an easy other option that people are equipped for, some (not all nor even most) will take the other option
 

teckel

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_im_ said:
i'm backing astro on this, to some extent. not everyone else is that dedicated to it as us and if there's an easy other option that people are equipped for, some (not all nor even most) will take the other option
Are you from NSW? Some will definitely decide to go elsewhere, but it will be to Falls or Buller. It would be easier to catch a bus up the mountain than drive all the way to Thredbo or Perisher.
 
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piolet

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teckel said:
_im_ said:
i'm backing astro on this, to some extent. not everyone else is that dedicated to it as us and if there's an easy other option that people are equipped for, some (not all nor even most) will take the other option
Are you from NSW? Some will definitely decide to go elsewhere, but it will be to Falls or Buller. It would be easier to catch a bus up the mountain than drive all the way to Thredbo or Perisher.

yeah i am I'm just saying poorly thought out rules will change *some* peoples plans. Not everyone else is obsessed enough like those posting on a ski board and/or happy to fork out for different chains. But then there's the hardcore, must ski HotHam that will buy new chains. but, whatever.
 
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Astro66

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Guess it can be looked at as another feather in the NSW resorts cap.

But yes, saying that many will change to NSW resorts was an intended exaggeration.

Put it this way. I would not choose a resort because they forced me to carry Diamond pattern chains. But I would avoid for that reason.
 

Hothski

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Storm in a tea-cup.
Anyone who regularly drives the Hotham road would see this as a common sense decision - esp after last years incidents!

Diamond pattern chains are easy to put on and take off and offer superior performance.

The Hotham road is very different to any other resort in Australia.
If people choose not to come to Hotham because of a sensible chain policy, then that's fine with me.

Less people to spin off the road and block my access.
 

teckel

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It's not a storm in a teacup, and it's not as easy as you see it. Banning of ladder chains is a good policy. Diamond pattern chains are good. I think the ski hires in Bright, Harrietville, Porepunkah etc only stock diamond pattern. My customers go to Lake Mountain and I refuse to stock ladder chains. I only have diamond pattern. I know about ladder vs diamond pattern. That's not the issue. The issue is with spider chains. Conventional diamond pattern chains cannot be fitted to many modern vehicles. The only chains that can be fitted to many of these vehicles are spider chains. Each year there are more and more of these vehicles. There are going to be many people who will arrive at Bright with the intention of driving up, who will be told their vehicles cannot go on the mountain, regardless of them hiring chains.
 

Astro66

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Hothski said:
If people choose not to come to Hotham because of a sensible chain policy, then that's fine with me.

Less people to spin off the road and block my access.
How is it sensible. When it excludes many modern cars.

How is it sensible. When it excludes existing technologies.

How would the pictured chains provide less traction than diamond. Especially when they may be the only ones that will fit.

Sounds silly. Hence my conclusion Hotham must be flush with cash to make a presumably world first call.

It will be a world only, IMO.

Enjoy the reduced traffic.

spikes-spider-alpine-pro.png
 
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Alfred14

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CarveMan said:
It's not Hotham's call, it's VicRoads. They and the local cops are who have to clean up the shitfight when it snows.

Exactly nothing to do with Hotham.
 
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Astro66

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Alfred14 said:
CarveMan said:
It's not Hotham's call, it's VicRoads. They and the local cops are who have to clean up the shitfight when it snows.

Exactly nothing to do with Hotham.
If the governing body, made a world first call, about the access road to a resort. And the resort did nothing, but announce it. Then they're just as responsible. They could have opposed it like the NSW resorts did to chains on AWD.

Fobbing it off as "Not our call", is WAP imo.

Anyway. It is my opinion. And stand by my statement. It will reduce patronage. Not increase. It will save zero lives compared with pre-existing laws.

Not often, but I'm sure glad I'm a New Welshman sometimes.
wink.gif
 
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Barras

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Alfred14 said:
CarveMan said:
It's not Hotham's call, it's VicRoads. They and the local cops are who have to clean up the shitfight when it snows.

Exactly nothing to do with Hotham.

I think you might find that it was James Atteridge's from the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board's decision.

I, James Atteridge as the delegate for the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, (The Board) taking into consideration;

Expert advice from local and other experts; Traffic Police; The elevation, length and topography of the Great Alpine Road; Existing Vic Roads Regulations concerning wheel chains; The Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2009; The protocol agreed on 23 August 2012 between Vic Roads (Benalla); Victoria Police District Headquarters (Wangaratta) and the Board regarding weather events and conditions affecting the Great Alpine Road and road related areas (as defined in the road rules) in the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort; and other factors.


With authority of Part 2, Regulation 8. of the said Regulations;

For reasons of public safety and for other purposes connected with the protection, control and management of the alpine resort;

Determine that:-

1. For the duration of the declared 2013 snow season the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort is a prohibited area for vehicles not carrying or fitted with diamond pattern wheel (snow) chains of an authorised type.
 
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Alfred14

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I stand corrected also, thanks for clearing that up Barras.

Interesting why the Hotham RMB would make the call because there is no way this decision would increase patronage as Astro is saying but i think it will increase safety on the road there is no way ladder chains are equivalent to diamond patterns in regards to safety, not sure about the 'spider' chains as i have never had any experience with them.
 

Astro66

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Claims of increased safety needs to supported by facts and figures. How many people have been killed or injured, driving on ladder or spider chains, that would have been saved, had they been driving on diamond, on the Hotham Road.

If the answer is none, or figures unknown. Then forcing peeps onto a superior technology, using the safety as an excuse, is purely gold-plating. And imposing Gold-plating is unacceptable. People should be able to choose gold-plating. But not have it imposed upon them.
 

Ralph_implement

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I've driven that road in shocking conditions with spider chains and a lot of horse power (performance summer tyre too) and had no grip issues.

If the spider chains come off it is an issue of fitment and size, which is common to all chain types. To me, if you can't fit spider chains properly, I don't see how you can feed yourself!!!!
 

ODNT

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most people hire chains anyway
Im sure the hotham local outlets will stock the diamonds only as a result
so no extra cost if you hire
If you own chains no longer suitable, sure its an unwanted extra cost , but we are quick enough to upgrade skis, goggles or ski clothes & not blink an eyelid.
 
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