1st Time Snow Driving!

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Sherridan Hicks, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Sherridan Hicks

    Sherridan Hicks Just Registered

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    Hi all!

    We are headed down from Newcastle for our first family snow trip next month. We have accommodation booked at Adaminaby, though Hubby is hesitant about the drive up to Selwyn Snow Fields.

    We will be travelling in my 2wd Hyundai i30.

    Can anyone shed any light on the drive up and down.. is it really as "scary" as some "snow driving" sites make it sound?

    We are trying to have a great budget family holiday! BUT would it be better for us to stay at Jindabyne/Berridale and catch the tube?

    Thank you!!!! x
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Selwyn is a doddle. Hire chains, but the road is straight and the grades are gentle.

    have a look at a map, but the Tube is a decent drive from Adaminaby. Selwyn is perfect for beginners.
     
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  3. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    http://www.selwynsnow.com.au/drivinginthesnow

    you can rent chains from a number of places along the way, but look at say Rhythm in Cooma.

    There's a good chance you won't need to fit them, but carrying them is essential, just in case.
     
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  4. Sherridan Hicks

    Sherridan Hicks Just Registered

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    Thank you for the replies!! I have read an article that mentioned things like anti freeze and the like for your car. Is all of this essential for the drive and parking at the ski fields? (Not putting the park brake on etc.)
     
  5. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    The coolant in most modern cars does not require antifreeze. Get someone in Cooma to check. Park brake is debatable - there are stories but it is hard to find anyone who has actually had the problem. To be safe, leave the car in gear or park and leave the brake off.
     
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  6. cqen2l

    cqen2l Addicted Member
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    I've had the manual park brake freeze solid many many years ago at Hotham. Cable gets wet and freezes and doesn't release. Requires crawling under the car to manually break the ice on the cable. Was a rookie error never repeated.
     
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  7. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    Relax !!!.
    Drive smooth.
    No hard brake , turns or acceleration.
    Sit in your cars happy gear / happy revs if the road looks a bit "iffy ".
    Take home point keep it nice and easy , take time.
    You'll need chains as above
     
  8. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Dedicated Member

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    The skitube and Selwyn are not interconnected and nowhere near each other. The skitube will take you to Perisher and Blue Cow. Selwyn is only accessible by road (or parachute).
     
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  9. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    And dont follow the car in front too closely
     
  10. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    And remember to have fun!!
     
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  11. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher Active Member

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    The only other one to watch out for is "black ice", dew or moisture that freezes on the road overnight and creates a thin slippery surface on top of the road, almost impossible to see. You can especially find it in the shadowed areas of the roads in the morning on the way up to Selwyn. Like others have said, take it easy on corners and in general.
     
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  12. alexd

    alexd New Member

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    One thing to try, that my parents and I always try when the road is snowy or icy, is to find a straight section of road with no one on it, and slam on the brakes from some reasonable speed, say 30-60 kph. This is pretty safe as long as you keep the wheel straight and aren't going too fast, or are near a drop-off/ditch. You can get a better sense of the traction available to your tyres in those conditions, and you can see how your ABS responds as well. Compare to a dry road and you'll have a good idea of what you can expect from your tyres.
     
  13. snowtyres

    snowtyres Active Member
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    Good advice alexd....here is a little more to add to your suggestion..

    http://snowtyres.com.au/safety/checking-your-winter-grip/
     
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  14. Stephen James Allen

    Stephen James Allen Active Member

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    You could always hire one of those autonomous cars, they are quite popular. LOL
     
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  15. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher Active Member

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    She already has an autonomous car ......... and driver :p

    "hubby, can you please drive us to the snow?"
     
  16. Sherridan Hicks

    Sherridan Hicks Just Registered

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    Lol! Thanks all for putting my mind at ease. I all doesn't sound too bad at all. I am sure it'll be fine! It shall be a great little family trip ;-)

    Although! Watching the Selwyn Snow Cams, there isn't much going on at the moment.. We've still got 4 weeks until we arrive though so I am hoping temps drop a little and more snow hits the ground!!

    I am actually considering changing the booking until the weekend of the 1st of Sept..

    Has anyone got the skinny on when they should expect more snow up there?
     
  17. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    At any time from now to October.
     
  18. Seafm

    Seafm Dedicated Member
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    If you were doing Perisher I'd say go for it.
     
  19. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim Well-Known Member

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    Stick with July. Even if there isn't much snow, what there is should be good. September will be mushy except for the first morning after a dump (if you get one).
     
  20. DaveM

    DaveM Active Member

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    Selwyn is usually best July/August.

    If there is snow on the road go SLOOOOWW, if it appears to be icy - GO SLOW otherwise it's NORMAL EVERYDAY driving.

    For a season I drove up n back every day. Only RARELY was it a problem. MOST DAYS there is no snow nor ice on the road, if there is, usually only the highest bits of road. Be aware of shaded road in the morning IF THERE HAS BEEN A SOLID FROST. Otherwise should be ok.

    In the season, if chains are needed, the RMS guys will generally pull everyone over on the way up to Selwyn at whatever area they think necessary and tell people to fit them.

    If you drive DOWN from Selwyn and there is NO SNOW ON THE ROAD - take the chains OFF. When chains are on, drive slower they are not meant to be driven at 100 kph.

    Always had people driving flat out with chains on when there was no snow way down in Adaminaby.

    Pay attention - no need to panic, just be aware not terrified. :)

    It is in fact a lovely road to drive with stunning views in places. Have a ball. :)
     
    #20 DaveM, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:02 PM
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017 at 4:10 PM
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  21. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Selwyn is all grass so you only need 20cm to fall and the whole resort is skiable. Fastest resort to be 100% open after a decent snowfall.

    As other have said its all about slow gradual changes of momentum. That is turning, going faster or stopping. Do your slowing down before the bend or before the downhill, before you get to close to the car in front.

    Speed up before uphill sections so you have momentum on the way up.

    Slow down by selecting a low gear rather than stomping on the brake.
     
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  22. Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

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    Is the i30 a diesel version? If so then make sure it is near empty at Cooma then fill up with Alpine diesel. This will stop the fuel waxing which means the car will not run. I would check the type of engine coolant before you leave. Just because it is coloured does not mean it will protect in very cold conditions. Many coolant additives are about preventing corrosion. These roads are cleared after snowfall so chains are not often required unless it is snowing when you are driving. Driving on fresh snow is better than driving on frozen stuff. Ice is the biggest problem so be careful in the morning. Good advice from all above. ABS will help to a point but remember that it actually works by locking the wheels and then unlocking them very quickly. Locked wheels mean no steering control an on ice everything happens at a fraction of the speed you will be used to. The other way to slide is too much steering for your speed. This will be more common for a front wheel drive. Without getting too complicated, the general rule for any skid is to remove (or reduce) the cause of it. If it is brakes then back off slowly. If it is steering then turn the wheel slowly in the direction of the skid. It may not take a great deal to return to vehicle to traction. Most people are about being safe and are patient with inexperienced drivers. It is your family so who really cares about whether you are holding up traffic but be mindful of that and pull over where safe to allow faster vehicles to pass. Avoid pulling over on a steep uphill grade as it may be harder for you to start again.
     
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  23. fenrir

    fenrir Active Member

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    Also goes without saying but observe speed signs on the approach to the carpark. Maybe it's just my timing but the couple of occasions I've been to Selwyn there was a speed trap in operation literally at the carpark entrance. I saw the guy write ticket after ticket whilst unloading the car.