Here in Australia, we are lucky enough to experience well kept, enclosed, mountain roads. However, this does not mean that we are free from black ice and dangerous driving conditions! Different websites and different resorts will all give you conflicting advice, but in order to stay safe and avoid a fine, as a rule; always carry snow chains.
Put it this way, get caught without chains, and that holiday just got a hell of a lot more expensive. So, in order to save yourself a nice $2000, this is what we suggest...
First, determine your chain size. This is based on the size of your tyres, which you should find imprinted on the tyre itself. Once you've established this, finding your chain size should be easy. We suggest using this helpful link to find your size, http://www.xswinter.com/ Alternatively, bring the car in store, and we will determine this for you.
Next, decide whether you are going to hire or buy. For occasional snow goers, hiring may be the best choice, as it will save you a few dollars along the way. For season pass holders or regular visitors, you may choose to purchase a pair, which you can leave in your car at all times. This may not be an immediate money saver, but those chains will really pay themselves off over time. If you're looking to hire, you can find a complete list of prices here. Alternatively, anyone looking to buy can click here.
Once you have purchased or hired your chains, you will want to make sure you are practiced in putting them on. If you're able to drop in store, we will give you a demonstration in how to apply the chains, but for all of you shopping online, we suggest watching many of the online tutorials available to you, such as this one! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeH0rx3yDGw
Finally, when packing your car, remember to pack your chains last, so that they are easy to get to if you do so need them. Chain requirements will be determined daily, and are generally posted on the mountains website, or at the gate. We suggest carrying a torch, plastic garbage bag and gloves to make fitting easier and also cleaner. When driving with chains, drive slowly to avoid tyre damage and remove them at the first safe location.
If you're lucky enough to travel on a day that doesn't require chains, you may still experience extreme weather and poor light, which can make driving dangerous. Make sure to adjust the way you drive by following a few easy steps.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front, it takes twice as much distance to stop in the rain and snow.
- Drive with your headlights on
- Use fog lights instead of headlights or high beams in fog or snowy conditions
- Avoid large puddles where possible, without obstructing other drivers