Early Winter Pass Driving

Author: JohnS Smith

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Right on


Key Points
  • Early Heavy Snow should be expected and prepared for.
  • Drivers Need to be prepared - Have AWD or chains or don't go.
  • IF you're not comfortable driving in the snow on the Passes - please don't.

The Snow came early this early Winter and driving the I90 Pass gets dicey early in the Winter season when most aren't prepared and ready for the diverse driving conditions. There have already been multiple pile ups on I90 in the first couple of weeks due to poor driving conditions and poor driving. If you plan a trip over the Passes, come prepared and ready for potentially treacherous conditions. Snow, Ice, and rain can easily be had one-way across any of the WA state passes. If you are not comfortable on the snow and ice either reconsider how you should travel or drive in the lane that you are most comfortable with. 

W Bound I90

Having driven in cold weather conditions for the last 30 years, from I70 over the Rockies to the upper midwest to Alaska, I'm always amazed at how people drive as though the roads are dry early in the snow season.  Especially if you are not comfortable driving in the snow, you should get as far over to the right lanes as possible and drive at whatever speed you're are comfortable with. 

If you have a front-wheel car or rear wheel and no chains, its a good idea not to come across the Passes in the Winter. First, become making the trip. Pull up the DOT Pass webcams prior to your travel. Worst case, if you have to go and don't have the right traction control, stop by a store and pickup chains. They will be required.

Snoqualmie Summit

If you get into trouble on a Pass, pull over to a safe spot. Give passing vehicles as much space as possible to pass your vehicle. Do not get out and walk around, unless you found a Rest area or somewhere off the Highway or Freeway. Then call a tow truck or for help. Also, watch out for the snow plows. The Snow plows are large, heavy and don't stop quickly. 

Once you get up in the snow safely, like the Snoqualmie Pass, it's well worth the trip. Snoqualmie Pass has so many outdoor snow activities like skiing, cross country, tubing, and other activities that it's well worth the trip.  

Any other Pass driving input? Add it in the form of a Contribution or Comment. 


Related : Kids need to go back to school

Snoqualmie Summit W

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