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Snowmageddon en route to ski resorts

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
what is the law in France regarding chains? We pick up the car from Geneva (Mitsubishi shogun) equipped with snow tyres. Last year I drove it fine in similar conditions to what we are seeing now without putting the chains on. Do you have to put the chains on by law ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In France no it is not the law. However, the gendarmerie may stop you going up the mountain if you don't have them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
And the prefectures have bee warning of all sorts of things that might happen so one has to assume they're going to be prepared.

Roads completely clear to Chamonix this afternoon at 16h00.
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@Layne, do you mean not having them on the car or not carrying them?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
inforoute05.com suggests Col du Lauteret is closed, but Col du Montgenevre is open.
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A useful link from @Lizzard:

http://www.sport-passion.fr/parcours/etat-cols.php
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

do you mean not having them on the car or not carrying them?

@Renry, the gendarmes will sometimes make you put them on before allowing you to continue. Winter tyres or no winter tyres.

And there have been all sorts of warnings about this weekend. They were rather caught napping at New Year and there was much criticism (and many cars putting on chains far too late and clogging up the damn road) so they are likely to be more vigilant now.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
So far the roads to and around Chamonix are no worse than usual.

I'm still not entirely sure how the conversation would go with a Gendarme insisting that I have chains when my manual specifically says not to use them.
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pam w wrote:
They were rather caught napping at New Year and there was much criticism (and many cars putting on chains far too late and clogging up the damn road) so they are likely to be more vigilant now.


We pretty much never see the gendarmes round here (tiny village right on the border of 2 different departments)… so it was quite a surprise to see a couple of uniformed officers at 10 o'clock this morning… enjoying a small glass of white each in the tabac/bar Laughing

We had 2 sets of guests arriving from Geneva today who made it up without problem, although they had to go the longer way round as the Col des Aravis is still shut.
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under a new name wrote:
So far the roads to and around Chamonix are no worse than usual.

I'm still not entirely sure how the conversation would go with a Gendarme insisting that I have chains when my manual specifically says not to use them.


It certainly wouldn't go well. I assume it would just start and end with "well, if you can't put chains on you'd better stay here until the road's clear"
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@foxtrotzulu, well, you, know, I'd expect it would go more like,

"Why is this road blocked?"

"Very high winds, Sir, and dangerous loose roofs."

"So can't I get to my house?"

"Where is your house?"

"Just down there"

"OK sir, but batten down the hatches until tomorrow"

I haven't needed nor been asked for chains in 8 years of living between Chamonix and Geneva.

The only time snow has stopped me is when some idiot is stopped in front of me.

I am looking forward to the experience.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

"well, if you can't put chains on you'd better stay here until the road's clear"

yes, I suspect that would be the case. Are you not able even to use snow socks? (referred to today, in the same context as chains, in the warning about road conditions on the Les Saisies website)

The carnage last time, with so many abandoned vehicles (some of those I passed were big 4 x 4s) and so many stuck, is going to make them extra fussy.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@pam w, no.

And I fail to see why I'd need them.

As I say, in 8 years I'm not too worried. We've, errr, had snow before. Quite a lot of it. Iirc, xmas 2012 was worse than this weekend.

Easter 2010(?) saw us departing down our hill before it had been ploughed in about 40cms. If you know the hill to the, Brevent, ours is parallel but a bit steeper.

No problems up nor down.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@under a new name, but they don't care about that. They've just been told not to let anyone up the hill without chains.

Brother in law argued with them, for a bit, had snow tyres, used to driving in snow, etc. But to no avail.

I don't think there's ever likely to be a problem except on busy Saturdays. The rest of the time they don't care whether you get stuck or not.

In 13 years I've only been required to put chains on once - at New Year - though I've put them on voluntarily.

I almost completely lost traction a week ago, with a very little snow, going to Les Saisies. I just about crawled up, knowing it was all downhill after that, but it was fairly close. If anything had stopped me I'd have had to roll back and try to find some grip.

I have gone down the steep drive out of our garage in lots of snow. Not so sure I'd have got up it!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
And I'm not just being mindlessly arrogant.

I might be concerned if I was heading anywhere above 1,400 in the next couple of days, but frankly, the biggest problem is idiots without snow tyres. Like the 28 plate going around a roundabout in Cham this evening at less than walking pace and still slipping.

Not enough snow on the road to need, warrant or allow chains without damaging road, tyres and maybe bodywork. Not enough grip to drive safely or sensibly.

But seriously, we've driven rather a lot of snowsome conditions, without problem.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I hear Geneva's chaos... rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just had a call from macgyver who is on his way here (I'm giving him a lift to the BB tomorrow). He's on the motorway between Chambery and Albertville, travelling slowly behind a snowplough. It's not great out there and our mountain road is going to be truly horrible; vis is very poor and it's still snowing heavily.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
In many many trips across the col du lauteret we've never been asked to put on chains or being prevented from continuing our journey. 4x4 just gets waved on . No one checks tyres are winter ones either.
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under a new name wrote:
I hear Geneva's chaos... rolling eyes


Yep

http://t.co/8DXJfRkvVT
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pam w, you're in a 4x4 aren't you?

I know BiL's fwd Golf has issues getting up driveway that SiL's 4x4 passat has none...

We also try not to go anywhere on busy Saturdays


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 30-01-15 21:58; edited 1 time in total
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@under a new name, no, Vauxhall Zafira. Excellent winter tyres but sometimes still need chains. It all depends. sometimes loads of snow causes no problems, sometimes little bits of snow do.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
why is Geneva such a mess? I thought they all had to use winter tyres? And it's not exactly very hilly.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@pam w, ah, ok, we notice a lot of variability in how snow behaves, not predictable either. We wouldn't want to be without awd.

Almost never need it, do when we do.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Fri 30-01-15 22:17; edited 1 time in total
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@under a new name, @pam w 's right I think. On the road up to Val Thoren, like you i'm never normally stopped going up and down regardless of the conditions and if the have been the odd gendarme around they've never stopped me. During the week which is when I normally drive up and down.

However, they are out in force on changeover Saturdays and there was a occasion where they stopped me a couple of years ago on a snowy Saturday. They were stopping every car and there was no way they were letting anyone up the mountain without chains. Actually I put snow socks on and they were happy with that. They weren't local so there would have been no arguing.
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@emwmarine, as I say, we rarely drive above 1,400 and try to avoid Saturdays, hence likely lack of any problems heretofore.
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pam w wrote:
why is Geneva such a mess? I thought they all had to use winter tyres? And it's not exactly very hilly.


I don't remember anyone using winter tires in GVA, it is a fustercluck whenever it snows.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@under a new name, i was told GVA sold their snow clearance machine as they dont need it
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@davidof, that's cos of all the 74 plate frontalieres without snow tyres.

@chrisb, no idea. Seems a tad unlikely! Mind you, doesn't look like much snow on the Vernier road yet many flights delayed (although that is maybe a vis issue?)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

we rarely drive above 1,400

I live at 1550m so not much choice there. wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@under a new name, it's not just the 01 & 74 frontaliers that put off switching tyres till the first bad snow day. If this had happened in December everyone would have winter tyres by now...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@bleudegex, a fair point.

Not being smug, as we do Aoste valley a fair bit, we tend to switch pre-October 15...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
just had a call from macgyver - I'm giving him a lift to the BB and he's leaving his car in my covered garage.

He's ten minutes drive away (in normal conditions) down the road and has failed several times to get round one of the bends. He's in a Peugeot with winter tyres and chains. I suggested he dig out something that he can put under the wheels for extra traction and ring me back if he fails. I'm not surprised - it's snowing heavily and it's a minor road which won't be ploughed every half hour. But the suggestion that you can get anywhere with winter tyres is not correct, once you're off the beaten track.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@under a new name, I switched in November, but doesn't take many people with wrong tyres to slow everyone down. Other problem today was snow before rush hour making it difficult for ploughs and the snow itself was pretty slippy. My tyres are a combo of new and 1 season, and it was not a comfortable drive. There were lots if abandoned cars and TPG buses in trouble. Not a normal snow day.
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The shogun we use had new winter tyres last winter and was fine up at 1400m Croix Fry without chains. The owner said they are in the boot but we shouldn't need them and indeed we didn't. The chalet is up a steep incline and still didn't need the chains.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pam w, but you're at 1,550 and off the beaten track.

And I'm just saying that in 8 years living out here, and in the mountains at least every weekend, (and actually, Champoluc house is at 1,650, arrived during last year's 2.5m dump, now that was serious snow) we've never been asked to put chains on our 4x4 nor felt the need for them.

So, empirically... snowHead
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@pam w, what is the BB? <nosey>
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowing again...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Well, thank you very much to all the drivers this morning going up Alpe D'Huez. We were admittedly running a little late (~9 a.m ish) from Grenoble and got stuck behind every idiot on the road. Either very slowly running chains on practically black tarmac, or stopping to put them on higher up due to absence of winter tyres.

We arrived around 10:00 a.m. to find that the creche had given our daughters place away. Cheers.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@shawaszk, They've all gone. BB = Birthday Bash. Toofy Grin

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=108422

I'll get to one someday you see if I don't mister Razz
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@halfhand, Very Happy
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