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When the sign says road closed...


denniS
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The pass into the Valley is supposed to get about 3' of snow over about 2-3 days. I think they are +12" so far. I drove WoScrapr over since I didn't want her driving up there. Turned out it wasn't too bad. Chains required for last several days. Lots of troopers out. One trooper had 2 truckers pulled over (1 ea way) at the top. Neither one chained. Well, one was chained with bright shiny's. I assumed that was because the tire shop service truck was stopped beside him & had just delivered the brand new chains. We saw several other trucks headed ea way that were not chained. I don't remember the fine for no chains but I assume it is several hunndy. Plus the cost of the new chains, plus a delivery fee. $1000? ouchie

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When I lived and worked in Burns, we would often have meetings in the Valley during the winter.  On one of these trips the purchasing agent from the station was stopped in one of the chain up areas, and much to her surprise one of the scientists had removed the chains from the car and not replaced them.  Needless to say, she was not too happy about being stopped and having to turn around on the trip home.

Fortunately, I was never stopped or had to chain up to get over the pass, but was on top twice when the pass was closed.  Followed a lot of tail lights on those nights, and luckily the cars all stayed on the road. Glad those days are over.  Stay safe on those drives between Bend and Portland!!

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2 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

When I lived and worked in Burns, we would often have meetings in the Valley during the winter.  On one of these trips the purchasing agent from the station was stopped in one of the chain up areas, and much to her surprise one of the scientists had removed the chains from the car and not replaced them.  Needless to say, she was not too happy about being stopped and having to turn around on the trip home.

Fortunately, I was never stopped or had to chain up to get over the pass, but was on top twice when the pass was closed.  Followed a lot of tail lights on those nights, and luckily the cars all stayed on the road. Glad those days are over.  Stay safe on those drives between Bend and Portland!!

Yeah. I don't think I've been on the pass when it's closed. But 2 maybe 3 times they were chaining every car & truck. 2 years ago on one trip it was mayhem out there. I think they started chaining everything after I got up there. There was trucks in ditches, vans flipped over, cars trying to chain in the travel lane. I'm pretty flexible and try only to go over in the daytime. 

On the way out of Sisters we turned around & picked up a hitch hiker walking along the highway with a travel roller bag. It was just out of place enough that we had to do something. She had a couple miles to town & it was cold & blowing. Dropped her off & gave her a $20. My good deed for the day

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9 hours ago, Scrapr said:

The pass into the Valley is supposed to get about 3' of snow over about 2-3 days. I think they are +12" so far. I drove WoScrapr over since I didn't want her driving up there. Turned out it wasn't too bad. Chains required for last several days. Lots of troopers out. One trooper had 2 truckers pulled over (1 ea way) at the top. Neither one chained. Well, one was chained with bright shiny's. I assumed that was because the tire shop service truck was stopped beside him & had just delivered the brand new chains. We saw several other trucks headed ea way that were not chained. I don't remember the fine for no chains but I assume it is several hunndy. Plus the cost of the new chains, plus a delivery fee. $1000? ouchie

We got a decent dump down here.  8+

This is getting closer to needing to ski to work, and let the bikes take a break.

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I used to do some work up in Bakersfield and one time got caught in a severe storm that caused a huge mudslide that closed the I5.  I was grinding up the hill in a massive downpour and suddenly a river of mud came flowing down the freeway...

We backed out going the wrong way in the shoulder and I took the 166, a 4 lane highway that goes East/west at the base of the mountains thinking I could get out that way.  About 10 miles into the drive water is rushing over the road!   There was 2 cars ahead of me so we all got about 10 yards of distance between us and forged the water flow driving in the middle of the road.  I had my VW Tiguan then and water came up to the bottom of my doors!  

We got out about 30 minutes before all roads heading into & out of the Central Valley from LA were closed.  That mudslide closed the I5 for several days.

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Back in the days when I was young and foolish, my father - born and raised in hilly and snowy Altoona, PA, took me to empty parking lots and hilly roads after snow storms to show me how to drive on it: showing me to release the brakes to end a skid, pump them to stop, etc.

Since I drove a heavy car with a V8 engine, I fearlessly and idiotically thought I knew everything and went driving on really snowy roads - but never one that that was closed!  Fortunately, I had been scared by my father's hills and avoided them. I never got stuck anywhere.

Today, with a Honda Fit, a 118 hp 4-cylinder engine, and 5.3" of ground clearance. I wait until everything's plowed before driving 1 mile to the store.

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Just now, dennis said:

Winter storm advisory today. 10-20", up to 3ft in the mountains. Avalanche danger is high. Hwy to the north is still closed. Chain law in effect on the pass.

I rode my fatbike today.

What do they do if you violate the chain law?    What if you have chains and still get stuck?  

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4 hours ago, jsharr said:

What do they do if you violate the chain law?    What if you have chains and still get stuck?  

Chain law is kind of a generic phrase. If you have all wheel drive or snow tires, you are legal. If you don't have anything, you are screwed and it's usually obvious. They get stuck going up the pass and just spin.

Right now, it is a mess. Hwy to the north is closed. I wouldn't expect it to open today or tomorrow. It's drifting and the plows can't keep it open. Visibility is bad. The pass will close tonight at 10. That's normal. It closes a lot, so they can bomb it to avoid avalanches. The canyon to the south is open now, but there was an avalanche earlier today just south of town by the HS.

Highway 89 avalanche

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Well, this isn't on the mountain. In what Portlandians call "The Gorge" It is east of Portland and funnels the Polar Vortex through at high wind speed. Yesterday it was full of ice. This happens a lot. (ice) Some truckers decided "we don't need no stinkin tire chains" Some cagers were stuck on the highway for 18 hours. Why WoScrapr always wants me to fuel up on my trips over

https://www.wweek.com/news/2019/02/13/thousands-still-stuck-on-columbia-river-gorge-highway-in-a-20-mile-ice-jam/

and then there are the truckers you wish would just "chance it" WoScrapr & I were working past the chain up area this week. Truckers are lined up and all bundled up, dragging their tire chains out. One particular trucker was bent over under his trailer, jeans riding low and a butt smile about a foot long. 

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