snow socks or snow chains

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Johnnyboy
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:48 am

snow socks or snow chains

Post by Johnnyboy » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:05 am

Hello,
Im a new member with a Brand new F Pace & Loving it! :D
Im going to France skiing shortly and should by Law in France even though its an AWD have snow chains or sock i guess in the car prior to going up the mountain to resort.

Can anyone advise if they have used either?
I guess they would be fitted to the rear wheels rather than the fronts?

I would be grateful if anyone has used them and could advise accordingly and where they purchased them?

Regards,
Johnnyboy
2.0d R-Sport, AWD, Italian Racing Red /Black seats, Black Pack, 19" Blade, in Control Touch Pro, Oyster Headlining, Privacy Glass, Pano, with sun roof, Config Dynamics, Heated Windscreen, Folding Mirrors, Space Svr Wheel, CUP HOLDER COVER!


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Heatha05
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by Heatha05 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:06 am

Hi,

Am going to the alps too. My first move was to get M+S tyres fitted (Goodyear Wrangler HP). They've actually immediately improved grip and traction in the car, which feels a bit more of a real 4x4 now :-) My summer tyres, with only 1000 miles on, are in the "tyre hotel" (£60) until April.

On my Freelander I used the Spikes Spider snow traction system (same as the LR and Jaguar one). Seemed to work fine - only used them in anger once. Website says they fit a 20" wheel, would recommend. Practice fitting before you leave!
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redonebe
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by redonebe » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:04 am

Hello,

Also going to the French Alps 2 times a year and need snowchains +/- every 2 years. Last january i was glad i did not buy the socks. Saw a few FWD cars with socks in trouble on the steeper parts. My 4x4 with regular snowchains did not have a problem.

I did buy the ones from Jaguar. Actualy Thule/Konig K-Summit XXL. They seem easy to fit and do not tangle but the bag is quite large.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uLE5e0 ... e=youtu.be

But always do a practice fit first. And do it on your actual winter tyres. I made that mistake once. Practiced on the summer tyre and the winter tyres were marginally wider/higher/less used. You don't want that in -10, dark & snowy conditions.
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Arianne
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by Arianne » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:56 am

Johnnyboy wrote:Hello,
Im a new member with a Brand new F Pace & Loving it! :D
Im going to France skiing shortly and should by Law in France even though its an AWD have snow chains or sock i guess in the car prior to going up the mountain to resort.

Can anyone advise if they have used either?
I guess they would be fitted to the rear wheels rather than the fronts?

I would be grateful if anyone has used them and could advise accordingly and where they purchased them?

Regards,
Johnnyboy
Hello Johnnyboy,

Thank you for your post as this is one of my favourite / specialist subjects :geek:

Your best bet, for a completely stress free and happy skiing holiday, is to bite the bullet and buy yourself four proper winter tyres. You have 20" wheels so there will be a decent choice of different brands and price points. Why do I recommend this? Well, many reasons: If you use your summer tyres and a pair of chains, socks or spikes then, whilst you will have a degree of traction from your rear wheels, you will have no steering grip from the front wheels! If your chains are just needed to get you out of the car park, chalet drive or tiny side road then maybe..... but with these things mounted you will be limited to not driving above about 15-20mph before the centrifugal force will throw them off. Meanwhile, when you look in your mirrors you will see a loooong line of frustrated alpine traffic, including the dreaded ski bus with the crazy driver, all stacked up behind you - with their winter tyres they woiuld normally be driving at around 40mph in snow.

If you mount winter tyres then I doubt you will ever need to fit your socks, chains or spikes. You will be unstoppable with your AWD. Fitting these things in freezing conditions, often while snow is falling on you and sometimes in the dark is horrible. I have done it many years back and it ain't my idea of a holiday while the others in your party sit inside a freezing car waiting for you or your young Son stands by your side asking questions about why it's taking so long. My lad even thought it was a good idea to actually video me so that my penance and failing poker face could be captured for future viewing as a laugh by the rest of my family and friends - Patience ;) You still need chains, socks or spikes as it's the law - but I have a set in my boot and they have never seen the light of day for the last ten years despite navigating through some heavy, deep snow as well as the lighter stuff.

So, in summary, if money is tight (you own a Jaguar, really) or you are tight (you own a Jaguar, really) then you could try and get away with the cheapest option which would probably be the socks or spikes. Maybe if you only plan to go ski-drive once then this might be worth taking a chance. Some years the skiing is good but you get a week or two when the snow doesn't fall from the sky in the resort. But if it does fall from the sky you will look like a right twot. For example, even if the roads are black, you will be using your car to ferry the family to the ski lifts and parking your car at the chairlift / cablecar - these car parks are not always properly cleared of snow and ice so your choice of parking in a busy area could be limited. It all makes for stress, whether the issue materialises or not, and for me that isn't what my holiday is about.

I once tried summer tyres and chains, just mounted on the front as it was FWD, many years back. Every time I got to a hairpin going down from the resort to the valley floor to join the autobahn, the back kicked out. Frightening.

I hope this helps. There are some other threads on winter tyres if you search on this term.

Best wishes and a happy holiday. We are off on 23 December to the Austrian Tyrol until 8 January. It's magical, you get their New Year firework celebrations and, on 1 January 2017, Austria is going 'smoke free' - at last! We will be able to sit in restaurants and actually enjoy our meals now. And, new for this year, I have a 'Top Gun' style ski helmet along with my favourite skis which are hanging in the garage! Can't wait! They're forecasting -16c on Xmas day.

Best wishes,

Arianne

PS. Winter tyres drive just like summer tyres, unless you push them at the extremes. They don't have studs (they only use them in deepest, darkest Scandanavia). They have a slightly softer compound so that they don't harden in cold temperatures and become more effective than summer tyres at 7c, which is the tipping point for performance even without snow. In snow, they use the hundreds or tiny cross-cuts in the tyre blocks (called sipes) to grip snow. Each sipe, on its own, doesn't provide much contribution to the grip but, together, they combine to provide almost magical levels of traction and steering control allowing you to drive at up to 40mph and stop safely. Once the tread is below 4mm they start to lose their magic and the sideways control is usually the first tell-tale sign as the sipes and blocks on the outside edges of the tyres are the first to wear out. I then just run these tyres into the summer at the end of their life. Your dealer will swap the tyres on your existing rims for about £12 a corner, using your existing tyre pressure monitoring valves. Never use Kwik Fit. Your dealer will be more careful with the TPMV and your alloys so that neither are damaged. I store my tyres on a rack, mounted on the wall in my garage. But my Son has his stacked vertically in the corner. They're tyres so don't believe all the hype about cosseting them in storage! They'll survive, mine always have! And remember that some winter tyres, depending upon which brand you choose, may have a lower speed rating than your summer tyres - so think about that before experiencing the thrill of 120mph on the unrestricted German autobahn and wondering why, this year, none of the Germans seem to be driving so fast behind you (they are all on winter rubber as, if they have an accident in the winter in Germany, there is an automatic presumption of liability if they still are running summer rims).

PPS. And if you do nothing else, buy yourself a plastic or aluminium snow shovel. They are lightweight but strong. Shove it in the boot as it will save you at some point. Or it will make you a hero with some other stranded driver - either in The Alps where they will be amazed that a Brit (we are notorious for being completely hopeless in winter snow conditions) has actually got properly prepared or in Britain (we rescued someone from the HardKnott Pass in TheLake District). About £30 should do it.
Last edited by Arianne on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
Rejected but still affectionately remembered: F-Pace 3.0d V6 S, IRR, 18 way jet/red sports seats + full memory, privacy glass, 22" silver/black double helix, cold climate pack!


JLRnumber5
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by JLRnumber5 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:05 am

^ you never disappoint Arianne! :)

Have a jolly super time away. For the first year in ages we won't be skiing this year. I have no idea what I will do with myself!
Two 3.0D F-pace S gone but not forgotten.


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Arianne
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by Arianne » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:17 am

JLRnumber5 wrote:^ you never disappoint Arianne! :)

Have a jolly super time away. For the first year in ages we won't be skiing this year. I have no idea what I will do with myself!
That's because I actually started my holiday today :) My October break was disrupted by my boss needing to access the magic inside my brain for two days right in the middle of the week just after we had returned from The Lakes. I brokered a deal whereby the price she paid was me taking an extra week holiday tagged onto the front of my existing two week Xmas / New Year break! Good deal :idea:

So, Mrs A being the kind loving and selfless person that she is, brought me breakfast in bed and I decided to surf the Jaguar forum! It don't get much better than that for Day One of your holiday. Oh yes it does...... someone decided to post a question about winter snow driving, fab!

Well, that's me off then. I have a nice indulgent day planned, will be seeing Star Wars tomorrow night and then off to Edinburgh for a meal on Sunday night at Amarone, St Andrews Square before taking in the Winter Market in Princes Street Gardens - JLR5, you should make Edinburgh a destination as it's great at this time of year at night.

Have a lovely day people.

Arianne
Rejected but still affectionately remembered: F-Pace 3.0d V6 S, IRR, 18 way jet/red sports seats + full memory, privacy glass, 22" silver/black double helix, cold climate pack!


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redonebe
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by redonebe » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:49 am

Arianne wrote: Shove it in the boot as it will save you at some point. Or it will make you a hero with some other stranded driver - either in The Alps where they will be amazed that a Brit (we are notorious for being completely hopeless in winter snow conditions) has actually got properly prepared or in Britain (we rescued someone from the HardKnott Pass in TheLake District). About £30 should do it.
Arianne,

I've seen 'completely hopeless in winter snow conditions' people from almost every nationality. That is not reserved to Brits.

I am going on ski trips since 1978 and a lot of that with 3,5 ton motorhomes when winter tyres did not exist and snow chains were cut to lenght at the local hardware store. I have seen many drivers with 4X4's with winter tires crashing on ice patches. I always put winter tires on and have snowchains in the trunk. Better safe than sorry.

If i go to a ski ressort higher than 1.500 meters i always take with me:

1) Shovel
2) Snow chains
3) Big heavy plastic to place on the ground to kneel on
4) Flashlight
5) An oversized rain jacket and trouser to protect your ski clothing when mount/unmount snow chains
6) Waterproof overgloves
7) Before starting the trip pray that you don't need any of the above.

Going to La Plagne from 7-14 january if snow is starting to fall. Otherwise i have to review my options.
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Arianne
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by Arianne » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:53 am

^^ Totally agree! That's the short version of my earlier post for those with less time on their hands.

About whether the snow is falling in time or not..... the temperatures are now lower so any resort worth it's reputation will be able to roll out their state of the art snow making equipment. Unless you are desperate to ski off-piste then it can actually be quite pleasant skiing in sunny, calm conditions on well prepared and groomed pistes of artificial snow.

We stay in Niederau. It's not a high resort as we like to ski through the tree line and enjoy the more sheltered conditions and beauty of the lower resorts. This valley (Wildschonau) isn't world class on artificial snow so, because we have the car and Niederau is the first village in the high valley, we travel 20mins to Scheffau which is part of the SkiWelt region. They have the most amazing technology because they are vulnerable to snow drought. Last Xmas was the worst year I remember but we had a good time above Scheffau skiing from the first cable car ascent at 8:30am through to midday, having spent 30mins for morning coffee on the mountain.

On balance though, I prefer the excitement of super wintry conditions and deep snow. That's what it's all about.

Best wishes for your break, Arianne
Rejected but still affectionately remembered: F-Pace 3.0d V6 S, IRR, 18 way jet/red sports seats + full memory, privacy glass, 22" silver/black double helix, cold climate pack!


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redonebe
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by redonebe » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:34 am

Scheffau, we were there long time ago in hotel Waldhof located on the left of the big parking were the cable car start. Nice place if enough snow. Now always going to France, La Plagne, Valmorel, Les Menuires. We never use the car during the week. Last year there was no covered parking available and i had to dig 3 hours to get it out the snow. :(

As snowboarder i don't like groomed and prepared runs. Getting too old to go off-piste alone. :cry: :cry: :cry:

Have a nice and safe Holiday. Looking forward for your travel blog.
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JLRnumber5
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Re: snow socks or snow chains

Post by JLRnumber5 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:54 am

Val d'Isere for us, for the past 3 years running. Take the ski-train down. Leave London 10am and arrive in resort 6pm having enjoyed two three-course meals in the company of friends and watched the scenery change. Very relaxing way of travel, but really thinking that next year we'll take the FP!
Two 3.0D F-pace S gone but not forgotten.


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