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Little Snowmageddon chaos on January 6th 2024

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
the fact that there will be no sanctions doesn't mean that on a snowy transfer day it won't be enforced like it has been for years when conditions are bad - if you don't have the right kit, on the wheels (not in the boot) you won't be allowed up the hill.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
the new law only requires winter tyres. But this old fashioned enforcement often requires chains ON your winter tyres. Thankfully.
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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?
Just switched driving so can now post , surprised this morning as the light snow due to start falling at lunchtime in the Tarentaise valley was early , started at 7am , heavy not light and as of 10 am was close to 800m rather than the 1500/1200m forecast . Plenty on the road . Dry north if Lyon . I wish those leaving tomorrow much luck.
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If you are flying (eg from Chambery!) using flightradar24.com is a good way to see if flights are coming in, scheduled etc. Often much better than the airlines themselves.

The private jets are getting in and out today OK.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not snowing quite so hard now on our side of the Col du Lauteret, but still coming down since the early hours.
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Snowing heavily this morning on the way down from Cham, rain snow limit was Servos
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
pam w wrote:
...the new law only requires winter tyres. But this old fashioned enforcement often requires chains ON your winter tyres. Thankfully.


Think you'll find that's only in the case of steeper climbs such as >10% to and from stations etc.

The official site for here is still stating to get over the Lautaret

https://inforoute.hautes-alpes.fr/www/index.html

D1091 from Monêtier-les-Bains to Briançon, special equipment (snow tires or chains) is currently mandatory, and it's only in very extreme cases that you need to put chains on your winter tyres.

That said was just clearing the van for the second time and as the snow-plough has not been to do a second clearance, and I reversed the van out of the parking halfway down the little ramp which can be an awkward manouvre at the best of times and ended up semi stuck when I tried to drive back, and that's with 4x4 as well, as the snow was deep along with some defined ridges, so was a case of then reversing all the way back down and then taking a run at it back up.

And that's the issue as well now as temps are +1 and thankfully it's still snowing and not raining but it's making the snow heavy, wet and hence slippery, just to add fun to the chaos Laughing
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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!
boredsurfin wrote:
@Thomasski, Amazed they admitted defeat, surely they should have kept trying until their Rangey blocked the road snowHead


Coach driver in Mt Tremblant did that to us once, spent best part of 45 minutes failing to get up the hill, then nearly stuck it down a bank off the road.; at which point we were told to get out and walk.
This was after he knocked a passenger off their feet at the airport, moving the bus with the side luggage doors open, and nearly side swiped a snow-plough on the freeway as he was racing to overtake them.

Fun bit was the courier walking down the aisle with the hat asking for tips for the driver.
"Dont try and freaking kill me", was not the expected reply.

Geneva to Val D`isere on Monday in a Q8, but it is a swiss car.

Should be fun!
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alti - dude wrote:
If you are flying (eg from Chambery!) using flightradar24.com is a good way to see if flights are coming in, scheduled etc. Often much better than the airlines themselves.

The private jets are getting in and out today OK.


I'm impressed, this webcam looks down at the airport

https://www.skaping.com/grandlac/revard

I can't see a thing, I wouldn't want to be flying between the mountains in that pea-souper.

Update: it is actually clear over the lake, the clouds are hugging the mountains.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Fri 5-01-24 13:35; edited 1 time in total
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Ah its the usual...

Hours and hours spent checking forecasts and webcams hoping and praying that it'll snow loads before the skiing holiday starts....

Then it's OMG its snowing Shock and the resort roads are jammed with all those other people going skiing Shocked my transfer is taking ages Shock



Seriously though, safe trips to and from the mountains snowHead
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Hells Bells wrote:
Not snowing quite so hard now on our side of the Col du Lauteret, but still coming down since the early hours.


And that beautifully exemplifies the points being made on the previous page about how localised weather can be, as still coming down here only 3km and 75m being the difference from you Toofy Grin

With these just above zero temps snow will consolidate very fast, and we've had a whole range of snow-flakes, now you would expect heavy ones but quite light.
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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.
@knackered knees, spot on Laughing
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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
Driving from GVA to Valmeneir tomorrow eve - beginning to think I should have stuck with the manual Aygo rather than the automatic Mokka I plumped for - it will have winter tyres as getting it from GVA, but no snow chains. We'll not be getting to resort till about 8.30pm so hopefully the roads will have been cleared by then and there won't be much traffic.

Any advice/mitigations we should consider gratefully received - we bring a snow shovel & scraper - anything else that might be useful? and what is a good/reliable website so we know whether to just find a hotel before we hit the hill?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@skimummk, will the mokka not have a manual override box? You should be able to select gears with the (+/-) function so you can cruise up slopes at the correct rpms. Not driven a mokka so could be way off, but this is what I'd do in my car ( it's an auto but with paddles for the manual override instead of flappy stick)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@skimummk, Buy a set of snow socks from Halfords hopefully you wont need them and can return them for a full refund. BUT if you do need to use them you will be pleased to have bought them! I once hired a BMW 1 Series from GVA with winter tyres - snow socks were needed for the last 100 meters up the hill to our driveway.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thomasski wrote:
@skimummk, with the mokka not have a manual override box? You should be able to select gears with the (+/-) function so you can cruise up slopes at the correct rpms. Not driven a mokka so could be way off, but this is what I'd do in my car ( it's an auto but with paddles for the manual override instead of flappy stick)


no idea - never driven an auto or a mokka - hubby has driven an auto before on previous ski hols, but the roads have been clear - when we got stuck in heavy snow and ice between Le Corbier and St Sorlin D'arves last year we were doing ok in our own manual Zafira with all season tyres until the car in front stalled then we couldn't get going again and had to fit the chains (which was a nightmare even though we'd practised at home).

If its looking bad I think we'll bail to a hotel - its not like we need to collect skis, passes etc till Sunday anyway. but if we decide we are going to drive I think we should eat at the supermarket en route if poss - neither of us is good in a crisis when we are hangry.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boredsurfin wrote:
@skimummk, Buy a set of snow socks from Halfords hopefully you wont need them and can return them for a full refund. BUT if you do need to use them you will be pleased to have bought them! I once hired a BMW 1 Series from GVA with winter tyres - snow socks were needed for the last 100 meters up the hill to our driveway.


Good plan - does size matter?
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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?
skimummk wrote:
Driving from GVA to Valmeneir tomorrow eve - beginning to think I should have stuck with the manual Aygo rather than the automatic Mokka I plumped for - it will have winter tyres as getting it from GVA, but no snow chains. We'll not be getting to resort till about 8.30pm so hopefully the roads will have been cleared by then and there won't be much traffic.

Any advice/mitigations we should consider gratefully received - we bring a snow shovel & scraper - anything else that might be useful? and what is a good/reliable website so we know whether to just find a hotel before we hit the hill?


Currently sitting in our apt in St Michel de Maurienne watching all the traffic come down the hill from Valmeinier and Valloire, the road is usually kept clear quite well and if you have winter tyres you shouldn’t have a problem. You could consider picking chains/snow socks up en route at one of the supermarkets. There are a few local hotels such as B&B Hotel just off the motorway at St Jean de Maurienne that may be useful to look at - depending on how many you are they currently have double rooms available at about €66.
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skimummk wrote:
Driving from GVA to Valmeneir tomorrow eve - beginning to think I should have stuck with the manual Aygo rather than the automatic Mokka I plumped for - it will have winter tyres as getting it from GVA, but no snow chains. We'll not be getting to resort till about 8.30pm so hopefully the roads will have been cleared by then and there won't be much traffic.

Any advice/mitigations we should consider gratefully received - we bring a snow shovel & scraper - anything else that might be useful? and what is a good/reliable website so we know whether to just find a hotel before we hit the hill?


If you're not that experienced with use of automatic in slippery conditions (and particularly descending) make sure, by checking it out, that you know how to select the gears manually to FORCE a low gear selection before decent of a vulnerable slippery section of road.

Same as a manual transmission in driving approach, but some automatic system are very slow to accept and adapt to this specific set of circumstances, sometimes changing up just at the wrong time, or not holding a low ratio at all for obvious gradient risk.

You dont want to be finding this out in a panick.
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@skimummk, theres a much wider range of tyre sizes for each size of sock - a quick Google will give the sizes of tyres fitted to your hire car
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Had a look at socks we will need to know what tyres we have - so will take one of the following options depending on whether we can get up to date report before we get to the resort:

a. chance it (most likely)
b. buy some socks/chains at supermarche
c. stay in the B&B at St Jean de Maurienne (if its £66 its not much more than chains would be)

@ski3 - Will definitely check out how to put car into manual before we need to!


Chrsitine
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
boredsurfin wrote:
@skimummk, theres a much wider range of tyre sizes for each size of sock - a quick Google will give the sizes of tyres fitted to your hire car


Our experience is that we invariably don't get the same model we booked - just something in the same group - so given we are struggling with weight hubby says we'll sort it there if we think we need to.
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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!
boredsurfin wrote:
@skimummk, Buy a set of snow socks from Halfords hopefully you wont need them and can return them for a full refund. BUT if you do need to use them you will be pleased to have bought them! I once hired a BMW 1 Series from GVA with winter tyres - snow socks were needed for the last 100 meters up the hill to our driveway.


Completely useless on good winter tyres
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The bottom of the hill up to ValM is 10 mins off the motorway and it currently raining.

Could get a but more fun up the hill but snow tyres should do the trick. You never see locals with chains / socks on. They are very good at keeping moving.

You have a Plan B of hotel (if it doesn’t become a biblical rush for the room) and Plan C is buses go up from the train station if you dont fancy the drive but might have stopped by the time you get there.

With a bit of common sense the 10km up the hill shouldn’t be a problem. They are well geared up to keep road moving
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Apparently problems have started early for the St Gervais holiday-makers who try to get ahead of the rush on Friday night. An over-large lorry has wedged itself under the bridge at the entrance to town.
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@j b, ouch!!

@alti - dude,
Quote:
You never see locals with chains / socks on


Wouldn't that be because they have winter tyres on? I don't know anyone living in Chamonix who doesn't have winters.
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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.
That was tough driving down from work. Roads really bad as in not been ploughed.

Roads will get icy later. Time for a beer.
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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
Roads are already pretty slippery in Meribel-Mottaret and it is still snowing.

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
under a new name wrote:
@j b, ouch!!

@alti - dude,
Quote:
You never see locals with chains / socks on


Wouldn't that be because they have winter tyres on? I don't know anyone living in Chamonix who doesn't have winters.



Correct but have you ever seen a local with snow chains on as well as winter tyres ?!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
alti - dude wrote:
under a new name wrote:
@j b, ouch!!

@alti - dude,
Quote:
You never see locals with chains / socks on


Wouldn't that be because they have winter tyres on? I don't know anyone living in Chamonix who doesn't have winters.



Correct but have you ever seen a local with snow chains on as well as winter tyres ?!


Saw a local snowtractor with winters and chains just a couple hours ago.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@alti - dude, Yes but only on one axle!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The ski busses in Les Saisies used chains in bad weather. And as they often left it very late to wake up to the necessity it did cause some problems! In bad weather practically every car moving round in the village had chains. But it's a snowy place, at 1650m. When I had an ambulance between my apartment and the village it had chains. It's a myth that roads are all kept clear. When it's really chucking it down snow builds up between passes of the snow plough especially on local, less used, roads. And they don't plough all night. And once a couple of dickheads are stuck on a hill the ploughs get stuck too. Chains are not often needed but when they are, they are.
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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?
pam w wrote:
It's a myth that roads are all kept clear.


whenever I go to les saisies it seems to be snow covered from the valley, on both sides of the col des saisies although the Flumet side is worse. Tricky on snow tires alone although I've always made it.
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@davidof, yes, the main road up is usually fine - the only time I had to put chains on coming up from Flumet was the famous time we had to pull a Porsche Cayenne out of a snowdrift and didn't have traction for that great heavy lump of nonsense. The twisty 10kms up from the Beaufort Valley is another matter - and not nearly so frequently ploughed. The road between Saisies and Bisanne 1500, where our apartment was, also had gradients greater than any coming up from Flumet.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As promised - copied from the Tignes thread - my musings on tomorrow's Tarentaise and airport travel:

Tomorrow's travel: slow! The Tignes App has said that winter equipment will be obligatory and there will be checks which will give you an idea of what is expected. With 32,000 vehicles going down the Tarentaise (and a very minor 17k coming up) it will be very slow getting out of resort as the chancers who make it out before the police checks either slide into something or fail to negotiate Le Montet du Barrage (I made that name up) - that cheeky little up slope where the roads from Val and Tignes meet. As it will be snowing quite a long way down the valley it will be slow to Moutiers. The only mitigating factor was todays weather, the roads look busy on the webcams so maybe that will reduce tomorrrow's load. If you are going to the airport I'd get away as early as you can - it may take 2 or 3 hours to get to Albertville. Or leave it till after lunch.

As for flying - its OK over here with only a slim chance of fog at Manchester and Birmingham which would only slow things up a bit. It will be a bit grey and grizzly at Grenoble and Lyon and there may be the odd sleet shower at Geneva in the afternoon. Now, Chambery - is looking OK on the latest forecast published at 1500 French time (there won't be another forecast till the morning). It should be a nice day - there is a 40% chance of low cloud and mist until 0700hrs local but even at this worst case the figures suggest it would still be a goer. The very early flights in the UK may hang on a little to see how it develops. But it is mountain weather - there is no such thing as a cast iron forecast!
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Leaving from Montriond and thinking we might got down to thonon to avoid any madness at Les gets and causes.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
MHskier wrote:
Leaving from Montriond and thinking we might got down to thonon to avoid any madness at Les gets and causes.


You can avoid Cluses by directing strait on at Taninges via route 907 to Fillinges to join main autoroute if that helps. Still through Les Gets to Taninges but generally much more flowing route out toward Geneva.
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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!
I'm going to tempt fate but I think it will be ok tomorrow for my trip to Lyon to drop sonnyboy off at university. Planning on starting between 3 and 4pm but will keep an eye on Google maps.
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pam w wrote:
@davidof, yes, the main road up is usually fine - the only time I had to put chains on coming up from Flumet was the famous time we had to pull a Porsche Cayenne out of a snowdrift and didn't have traction for that great heavy lump of nonsense. The twisty 10kms up from the Beaufort Valley is another matter - and not nearly so frequently ploughed. The road between Saisies and Bisanne 1500, where our apartment was, also had gradients greater than any coming up from Flumet.


One of the current unavoidable consequences of long range EV is to bring them to parity or greater than that type of vehicle in terms of mass.

Often a target of ridicule on forum, BMW X5 type vehicle are being exceeded in mass by this evolution. They may not look it, but mass and the tyres to safely contain that make them all but indistinguishable.
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pam w wrote:
I'd say it's worth a separate snow drama thread and keeping the weather thread for forecasts rather than nights spent in sports halls. One of the busiest transfer days of the year!


Definitely a separate thread worthwhile, some of us don't look at the weather thread for fear of falling into a deep coma at all the discussion of GFS and isobars and....well I don't really know what because I got bored last time I looked there NehNeh Laughing But a thread about chaos, that piques my interest.
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