New Year Break in the Mountains

Always predicted that this trip out to the mountains would mean that there would be ten tons of snow (as I can't ski / board) and how true that prediction has turned out to be

It was always on the cards that chains would be the order of the day with the forecasts.

For the past three or four days forecast always suggested that would be the case, freezing level at 800ms and heavy precipitation.

We were flying into Grenoble and renting a car. We'd pre booked chains, and in my preparation I had an old jacket I didn't mind getting dirty, some thin gloves and a towel ready to do battle when the time came.

We landed early and I went straight to the car hire whilst the Mrs waited for the baggage as I wanted to be first in the queue as i suspected many would be after chains maybe not having booked them!

Sure enough there was a hassle getting mine, I insisted she checked the wheel size and double checked the chains were correct, she disappeared and came back sans chains, she then went somewhere else and came back with a new set, which I checked over to be sure.

I was expecting to have to put chains on just after Bourg Oisans, but by Vizzelle became obvious it would be sooner, and then a few kms up the road (Gavet) the mayhem started.

We pulled over along with every one else, wasn't the best place but really had no choice.

Did the first wheel in not too bad a time, instructions not really helping. That was on the inside, then on to the outside, and that was tougher having to stay in close to the car with those with snow tyres coming dangerously close. Good thing about the towel is that you can lay down and really get to grips with the chains, but these were cheapo cheapo, sort of thing you'd get in Lidl and really hard to put on!

So job done and we set off only to come to a halt as some idiot who had not put them on was up ahead causing traffic to become grid locked, then looking behind me scenario was even worse with a truck across the road and a snow plough trying to get through.

We managed to get past the idiot and then with some careful over taking of those who were none too confident of the conditions were out in the clear and we had a good run up to La Grave - total time including chains just over three hours.

So here are some pictures, the first gives you a good idea of what it was like!

The second yours truly trying to get to grips.....

And then the classic, they were behind us, and he was just standing around whilst she did all the work !