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The 2018-19 Christmas/New Year drive down Live Chat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I thoroughly enjoyed reading last season's "drive down" threads (Half Term and Easter) so I thought I would keep the tradition and start one for this season.
Also the tips and tricks has proved to be a valuable source of information.

It all starts this Thursday for us with a mad dash to Le Shuttle (via anticlockwise M25 Skullie ) right after the school bell. We are booked for 21:16 crossing but are actually hoping to make it earlier and reach Reims around midnight. In Reims we are stopping over for Friday to visit the Christmas market and possibly a bit of champagne tasting.
It's then an early start on Saturday and a decisive push to Chatel, either via Dijon/Vallorbe/Lausanne or Besacncon/Pontarlier/Lausanne.

My quest to order smaller rims with winter tyres from a large German company was a complete failure - they have been promising to deliver them for several weeks till I got fed up last week and cancelled the order. I had to hastily source snow socks and RUD Centrax (externally fitted) chains and will have to make do with them.

So, most of the packing is done, car is half loaded, just need to pop down to a store to buy spare bulbs, ice scrapper, gilets jaunes and we are ready to go.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Good luck with the Reims part. Last Feb we had a plan to stay over there on the way down but a shunt from behind less than a mile from home put paid to that. Much searching around got us a hire car but a midnight arrival in Reims.
ski holidays     
 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?
@Oleski, don't forget the snow shovel.

We are setting off about 5:00 on Friday and hope to get to Les Arcs about 23:00. I hope the car makes it this year.
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And we too are leaving this Friday around 13:00 and stop over Friday night in Clairvaux near Troyes then expect to be there around 16:00.

Oh I suppose I should mention that we are driving back to the UK Laughing

Then early train 27th to drive back down to Serre in one hit.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Another Friday leaver - booked on a shuttle around 0820 and an airbnb booked for Saint-Didier-de-Formans and then up to Arcs 2000 on Saturday morning. If the more imaginative forecasts are to be believed it could be an interesting drive up the hill
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Head off Thursday afternoon, plan to arrive in Troyes C.10pm - sleep, leave early arrive La Plagne 11.30am Friday - well its the plan anyway. Just swapped my wheels over to the winter version and found some chains, Tesco shop booked for delivery Wednesday night. Washed and re proofed gortex stuff over the weekend. Found some bookings for a hotel and tunnel and found my toll doofer. BMW have fixed the screens in the back of the car and I filled up with cold weather wiper fluid.
Just hope I remember the code to front door of our building and that no one has broken into our apartment over the past few months.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Tesco shop booked for delivery Wednesday night.

Good to see they will deliver to La Plagne.
@snowlamb, The forecast I saw was for rain to be coming in during Saturday, but it looks as if I will have to get the snow chains out for Friday night. However, I never really trust weather forecasts more than 3 days ahead.
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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!
Leaving crack of sparrows on Friday am, heading for a lunchtime Eurotunnel and a overnight stay in central Reims, then off to Serre Che sat am. Fully laden and just had new set of winter tyres fitted.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Roof boxes on so can have a few days driving with them and can check secureness before loading; leaving lunchtime Friday. Snow chain practice last weekend so at least I can get some help if they have to go on. Overnighting in Troyes Fri night.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
johnE wrote:
@Oleski, don't forget the snow shovel.


I've got one of these, dual purpose Very Happy

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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Oleski, I had one as well. It was a nightmare to dig the car out and it couldn't shift any firm snow or ice.

I have now just remembered to download as many more or less pod casts as possible for entertainment on the way. (my wife hates talking books)
snow conditions     
 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:

We are booked for 21:16 crossing but are actually hoping to make it earlier and reach Reims around midnight

Losing the hour on the crossing means you'd need to be quite a lot earlier - it's what makes the home/Reims leg seem so long. Once you're south of Reims, you feel you're getting somewhere.

Good luck to all the drivers. Am not driving this year Sad for the first time in ages, but will enjoy reading the thread.
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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
+1 for that leg to Reims breaking the back of it.....

Likewise the return but Reims to Calais is such a bore...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We usually take the opportunity to listen to an audiobook. Something from a favourite author is usually a good start.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
28th set off for me.... overnight in chambery, few beers and then a burger in le twentys and then last bit to champagny on Saturday.....
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
28th for me too. Drive through night to Kitzbuhel and first lifts.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Leaving tomorrow eve and driving to kitzbuhel for a month long stay
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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?
Leaving CPH 05.00 friday, take ferry 07.00 to Germany. Overvightstay in Munich. Final destination Hinterglemm. 1174 km.

(Daughter first time along again after same years, has threatened to play this all the way trought Germany:
http://youtube.com/v/iukUMRlaBBE )

Racks are on, roofbox on tonight - skis in tomorow - wifes stuff in the trunk (filling it up I guess) thursday - friday morning have to remember wife and daughter.


Wave at snowhead around Berlin.


Good to be three drivers - no need drivning on the wrong side of the street this year. Toofy Grin


Friday before Christmas can be a hell of a drive this year! Shocked
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Bon voyage you lot! Will be doing this on 8th Jan. 4x4 vehicle arrives this week, and snow tyres for it are already sitting in the garage...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Leaving Edinburgh Thu lunchtime, overnight on Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry, then straight through Germany to western Austria. Hoping (without great expectations) the autobahns aren’t too jammed as get further south...but looking forward to doing the drive in new car, which unlike previous vehicles is sufficiently well-powered to go with the fast lane flow in Germany, when heavily-laden.

We have a week in Vorarlberg - Bregenzerwald, then a week in Saalbach, and 4 days at the end venue tbc. Mix of ski touring and resort skiing planned. And wine shopping on the way home.

Working to finish a big pile of undergrad exam marking today and tomorrow, then very much looking forward to the first gin on the ferry thu afternoon Happy (but can’t party too hard as Dutch police like to lurk at customs with breathalysers as you come off the ferry).
ski holidays     
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@Hells Bells, Since my wife objects less to history books than novels (she doen't have to remember the plot) we have enjoyed The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and Andrew Marr's History of the World.

For talking books I find books with a small number of characters easier to follow since I don't have to flick back and forth in the book to discover who Hélène Kuragina is for example (war and peace along with the Count of Monte Christo are IHMO hard books for following while driving)

Traffic forecasts for Friday are not looking good Crying or Very sad As usual it will be a nightmare getting to the tunnel then I imagine fairly straight forward battle with the rain all the way south.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

we have enjoyed The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and Andrew Marr's History of the World.

I listened to both those over the years, back and forth to the Alps. Couldn't cope with War and Peace. The absolute best ever, for me, was the audiobook of Sebastian Barry's "Days Without End". Ate up the miles. I recall driving into a motorway aire for a coffee break and just sitting in the car listening to it for a few minutes before reluctantly switching off.
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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!
Driving a minibus with 8 passengers & trailer over to Crans Montana, leaving approx 8 am Thursday. There will be another vehicle traveling with us but unfortunately only 3 drivers, so it will be a bit of a slog. Personally I would have arranged an O/N somewhere but the boss says it has to be done in one! I'm used to driving long distances having done so for many years but still a break would be nice. Not seen the vehicle yet so not sure how it is. Soon find out.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
If anyone is hunting for spare bulbs, GSF Car Parts are running a sale. Just picked up a set of 7 bulbs for my Alhambra, including H15, all for £29. Cheapest H15 alone at Halfords is £22
Use the code at the top of the page to reserve online for pick up or delivery.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
29th depart, lunchtime chunnel, overnight SE of Troyes. Meander down to Morzine for lunctime sunday as access to mate's place from mid pm onwards.


Winter tyres on, need to practice snow chains (acquired some rud centrax on ebay), car brakes being sorted today is the unexpected expense. DVD player also won on ebay for boys, autoroute tag still to arrive and roof box borrowed from friends needs collecting/fitting. Exciting. Just hope the gillet jeaunes don't spoil it!

Safe trip all
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

we have enjoyed The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and Andrew Marr's History of the World.

I listened to both those over the years, back and forth to the Alps. Couldn't cope with War and Peace. The best ever, for me, was the audiobook of Sebastian Barry's "Days Without End". Ate up the miles. I recall driving into a motorway aire for a coffee break and just sitting in the car listening to it for a few minutes before reluctantly switching off.
ski holidays     
 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.
Practised fitting the Rud Centrax this weekend - it's unbelievably easy. You fit the adaptors and leave them in the wheels, the chain fitting itself then takes less than a minute.
ski holidays     
 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
Don't forget to allow for all the roadworks along the M26 and M20 particularly around Maidstone and Ashford and the the bit in between!

[Rant] Do enjoy the section with the outside lane that is coned off "To protect the workforce". A) There is no workforce to be seen and B) Between the traffic and the non existent workforce is the Central reservation and two lines of Armco barrier! Presumably the barrier is OK to protect the motorists but not the non- existant workforce [/rant]

We got to the tunnel at 08:00 to find all the signs and check in screens saying an hours delay, shortly after a Eurotunnel guy was wandering about the car park checking letters and saying go on now ignore the signs! We left after a 20 min delay of which 10 mins was spent on the explosives swab down line, our line had to be swabbed twice)

Straight forward unremarkable journey down, usual French idiots texting at 130 kph, usual idiot in a Range Rover SVR with roof box blasting into a peage line then realising wrong lane and reversing out! Then went flying past us at stupid speed then disappearing into next fuel station, this happened twice! same car. rolling eyes

Turned off the motorway at Tournus where there is a fuel station just after the toll booths - Diesel here is cheaper than Chambery - BUT is it winter diesel?

There was a bit of fog, a bit of rain, got here was glad of the winter tyres so I could reverse right up to the front door, across the fresh snow snowHead

Been out walking the puppy, our lovely friends from www.cgski.co.uk have given us some paw wax for her delicate little paws snowHead

Sat indoors today watching the snowmakers blasting away (its -3c) waiting for the chimney sweep to arrive Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Leave home tomorrow at 20:00, arrive for the overnight ferry by 20:30 - Harwich to Hoek Van Holland....a few drinks before bed and the ferry departs. Drive through the day and arrive in Dorfgastein for dinner. Hit the slopes on Friday morning Very Happy snowHead Cool
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Setting off on the 29th Dec, 8.36am tunnel so hoping to get to Les Houches before 11pm (first time doing it without a stop over).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just talking to some friends from Yorkshire in the Hendl Fischerei at Leogang. Their journey by car (Audi Q5) was achieved in 10 hours - driving from Rotterdam to Saalbach, and cruising at 80-85mph. They took the overnight crossing from Hull, so total driving time, including the 1.5 hours from Huddersfield to Hull, was 11.5 hours. They took the route through Belgium, Holland, Germany - 730 miles. Sounds impressive.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boredsurfin wrote:
Don't forget to allow for all the roadworks along the M26 and M20 particularly around Maidstone and Ashford and the the bit in between!

[Rant] Do enjoy the section with the outside lane that is coned off "To protect the workforce". A) There is no workforce to be seen and B) Between the traffic and the non existent workforce is the Central reservation and two lines of Armco barrier! Presumably the barrier is OK to protect the motorists but not the non- existant workforce [/rant]


This is a b00dy nightmare. Allow extra time, especially on Friday afternoons - 1 hour between Maidstone & Ashford the other day!!!. Also the roadworks at Maidstone & Ashford are monitored by average speed cash accumulating cameras. There is little leeway between 50mph and a ticket.
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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?
Is it worth those of us using Dartford crossing going via A2/M2 instead? We should be at Dartford around 10.30-11am on Friday morning.
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On the plus side Highways are reportedly lifting 97% of roadworks to ease congestion. I'm going to give myself an extra couple of hours to get to Dover on Friday regardless. I'd rather be first in the priority boarding lane on the ferry and having a snooze than screaming in at the last minute.

https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/festive-frantic-friday-christmas-traffic/
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hells Bells wrote:
Is it worth those of us using Dartford crossing going via A2/M2 instead? We should be at Dartford around 10.30-11am on Friday morning.


At that time you should be ok, but check matrix and sat nav. Also I imagine there will be a lot of freight traffic heading to the tunnel and Dover. Roadworks & left hand drive lorries don't mix Shocked

For later Eurotunnel travellers beware that the lorries effectively block the slip road and inside lane at junction 11a, often back to junction 11.


for anyone travelling on the M20 at night, its worth to check if there are any night closures, which has happened a lot recently. Better to use the M2 rather than the M20 if this happens.
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RobH2017 wrote:
On the plus side Highways are reportedly lifting 97% of roadworks to ease congestion. I'm going to give myself an extra couple of hours to get to Dover on Friday regardless. I'd rather be first in the priority boarding lane on the ferry and having a snooze than screaming in at the last minute.

https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/festive-frantic-friday-christmas-traffic/


Unfortunately the M20 roadworks will remain - smart motorway downgrade at Maidstone, Operation Stack works between Maidstone & Ashford and new junction just after Ashford.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We're off tomorrow - as soon as school's out we'll be off to the tunnel. Stop at Reims Novotel tomorrow night and then get down to Annecy on Thursday afternoon.
We'll be skiing in Le Grand Bornand for the next few days before heading to Paris for Christmas itself. We chose Annecy because the snow at Christmas has been so dodgy the last few years - looks like it would have been fine to do a full week in the resort this year.
New set of Vredestein Quatrac 5 tyres fitted. These are all-season but with the three peak mountain snowflake symbol so should be up to the job on the XC90 - hoping to see how well they work in the snow.
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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!
@MazDave, please report back, although we have full winters on our X-trail (just swapped from Wintracs to Nokians ) we also opted for Quatracs on our T5.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I would be more worried about this as we get closer to peak holiday travel, worth keeping an eye on how this develops
https://www.thelocal.fr/20181218/french-police-call-to-block-police-stations
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Will hopefully be driving down to Pontresina on the 28th! Fingers crossed for the snow.
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