Thoughts on Snow Chains
Dayv and Tim
Dayv and Tim
As I was chasing thoughts and tips on fitting snow chains to cars driving in the snow, I thought I’d reach out to get Tim’s views.
Personally, I’ve hired chains when I drove our Ford Fairmont AUII from Jindabyne to Thredbo some time back. But I’ve never fitted them.
I’ve also had the somewhat rare delight of driving over the Swiss Alps in the snow – crossing Brünig Pass at just 1,000 metres (compared to say Mount Stirling at 1,747 metres). This trip was in a hired Peugeot 5008 wagon. On this occasion, I asked about snow chains, but I was assured that the snow tyres were up to the task. Well… they were and we had no issues on what was a fantastic drive.
So, part of me says that, if I can avoid snow chains then I’ll leap at the chance. In fact, to be honest, part of me says avoid snow full stop – it’s cold, wet and muddy. But, hey!, it’s fun too…
Anyway, here’s Tim’s thoughts on the subject and couple of tips if you’re keen to get up to Craig’s Hut for a look-see of the High Country in the snow – and tick it off the ‘bucket list’.
The film, The Man from Snowy River was filmed around the Victoria High Country and Craig’s Hut was built as a part of the film set. Unfortunately, the original hut built was burned down and a new hut now sits there in its place. The area is breathtaking and an ideal camping spot.
To be honest I hate snow chains, especially fitting them. I pay someone else to do it. Basically, I don’t like chains because they are just a pain to fit. The thought of getting your hands freezing cold doesn’t tickle my fancy either haha.
In saying that, I’d suggest having a practice putting them on in the dry and when it’s not so cold.
I start by dropping my tyre pressures to a suitable level. I use the ‘Staun’ tire deflators as they make deflation really easy. They have a preset PSI, so you just screw them onto the valve and they start to deflate. Once they reach the set PSI they stop and you just unscrew them put the valve caps back on – and away you go.
To travel up to Craig’s Hut, I also chose to just use 4×4 High because the terrain wasn’t too difficult and just needed a bit of extra help to pull up the snow and slippery parts of the track.
When I got caught up, I switched on my rear diff locker and had another crack (with some help of a bit more right foot).
On the last leg coming into Craig’s Hut, it required a bit pace and steering control, I had a lot more slip so using the locker and more momentum helped a lot.
Coming back down, I knew I had to be more careful due it being slippery and being mindful of other cars coming up. Using Low Range would have been be beneficial but chose to just go extra slow and avoid using to much brake.
Once I was back on the main track 4×4 High was enough to get me through the snow and muddy tracks. In dryer conditions, 4X4 High might not even be necessary.
You either want two things going up to Craig’s Hut:
1. To see the spectacular views that it has to offer; or
2. To see Craig’s Hut covered in High Country soft snow.
All up, the day was well worth the drive – it was absolutely incredible and I’d do it all again.
I’m excited to welcome Tim, and ‘Off The Blacktop’, to Out&About with Dayv and www.campandtravel.com.au.