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Snow on the motorways


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We just had a snowfall. A big one. Round here, we had nearly an inch!


This, apparently, led to airports closing (not a problem for me) and motorways being clogged up with six foot snowdrifts and jack-knifing artics. Abandoned cars all around the M25.


The BBC has been full of it (and, I expect, other news channels. And, I' m sure, there was some basis for the story. I especially liked the piece from Eastern Siberia showing that if you flung a cup of hot water into the air, it would instantly turn to snow, thus proving, as if there were any doubt ... well, I'm not sure what that proves - and I wasn't planning to go to Eastern Siberia - and I expect you could fry an egg on the pavement somewhere in Australia.


The media love a good disaster. And if there's even the sniff of a problem, they make a mounttain out of it. But what's the truth?


I want to know the truth, because I want to go out caching. I usually travel 1-2 hours to get to a place I'm going to cover, and if that means I'm caught in a major traffic lock-up for three hours, or stuck behind a hundred jack-knifing artics, I think I'll stay at home. So, how do you find out what the situation really is? Here, not in Eastern Siberia. Now, not last week.


OK - we all know that forecasts of the weather can't be reliable. So what solid facts can we rely on?


Look here.




You can see conditions on all the motorways, and it's pretty up-to-date. And you can look at the roads yourself, by looking through the traffic cameras, which are updated every 30 seconds. So you can see for yourself what the situation is.


And based on that, I'm going out tomorrow. I don't know where yet, but there could be a cold (although wearing five laters of clothing) and tired cacher somewhere near you, tomorrow.

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Here in Southampton, we had 8" of snow in one night. The roads on my estate were a nightmare, as you'd expect. The larger roads were better, but still bad. The motorways at 7am were two lanes good, one lane slushy. However... there was a jacknifed lorry blocking one junction, and another blocking a roundabout on a dual carriageway not far from it.


Right now, it's 5C and raining hard. Again. There's still some hard ice but I don't think it will still be there in the morning.

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Well it's been bad up here. I always reckon if it's snowing in Edinburgh, it's bad everywhere else around us. I can't tell you how much we've had because it's snowed and stopped and snowed and stopped and carried on in like fashion until a couple of days ago.


I do know that I've cleared my car 4-5 times and got it going last Sunday when I'd made it up to Fife and back for the GSAK event in sub-zero conditions, but before it hit us. After that, it was merely a case of turning the engine on a regular basis, but I couldn't get it out until this morning.


Tried on Thursday, but despite shoogling back and forth between reverse and 2nd gear, it just wouldn't quite get onto the ice rink of compacted snow on our street. Today, ironically, it was moving down into first gear which did the trick, but then today has seen the first super-zero temperatures all week - it reached a positively balmy 5C. So off I tootled on the ice and round onto the main road which was clear. The main roads were fine; the side roads were a different matter. Tonight, it was -6C earlier but has just settled on -1C.


So the upshot is that if you feel that your driving is good enough for the conditions around you and more importantly, so is that of those on the roads around you, go for it. However, as I grew up very close to Chesham, I know lots of steep hills and narrow lanes abound in your area and personally, I'd use Shanks' Pony, as I have been all week. That said, I'm not on 17K+ caches, and therefore still have plenty around me to go and find by foot!


Good luck and be safe.

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All main roads clear around here (Haslemere, Surrey) and we went around Guildford area no problem. No accidents, no hold-ups. We did do some minor roads out at Puttenham which I wouldn't recommend without a 4x4. Having said that, we've had a fair bit of rain this evening, which will be washing the snow away........as long as it doesn't freeze tonight!

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All main roads clear around here (Haslemere, Surrey) and we went around Guildford area no problem. No accidents, no hold-ups. We did do some minor roads out at Puttenham which I wouldn't recommend without a 4x4.

I went out for a few caches on the motor-bike this morning, main roads OK but quiet residential streets very slippery. But my main mistake was taking the road from Byfleet, past Pyrford Lock and to Wisley. The bike just slid sideways on the camber of the road, for about a mile and a half it was very difficult going indeed. Once past the entrance to the Gardens it was clearer again.


I guess I should have taken the car :-)


Rgds, Andy

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No snow here....


But the rain that fell yesterday has specacularly frozen and we now have sheet ice everywhere...


Gritters can't grit wet roads / when it raining as it just dissolves and is less than useless... let's hope it remains dry tonight so roads can be gritted tonight...


Went to the out of town shoppingy place earlier today and on the way was almost hit by three separate cars, driven by people who obviously only drive on a weekend and who had no idea how to drive in ice.... LOL

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We had about 1/4" here last week and it was terrifying. This unparalleled spectacle was further compounded by the fact that I coudnt get a pint of milk or a loaf - imagine the horror? Our neighbours were airlifted from the roof because they couldnt get out of the house and we had to bring Charlie in to sleep indoors.

Eventually, we made it to Bicester Library (high ground) and managed to keep warm by burning all the books in 'The Day After Tomorrow' style. Two days later, we emerged from the library to find that it had all melted. There were people walking round town wearing t-shirts. Clearly, the nightmare was over and the ice age had passed - phew, that was a close one.


Note to self - buy some Marvel :laughing:

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A good two feet of snow here in North Notts in the last week. Probably more in some parts. Minus 13 degrees recorded last weekend. It took me 20 hours to get back home from work on Friday night (/Saturday morning), a journey that usually takes a mere 5 hours. Although the motorway was fine, the same can't be said about airports and railways. Good thing I had a decent book to read! Many local railway lines are still closed, just like in the South East and Scotland.


Caching - forget it. Not a single one of the nearest 200 caches has been found in the last 5 days.


Luckily, it thawed quite a bit on Saturday and it was possible to shovel a way through to the garage;



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We've had quite a lot here in Derby, but using the RAC traffic reports on my Android phone shows instantly where the snow is worst and where the holdups are - won't be going to North Yorkshire any time soon!!

This morning driving down a nice dry M1 we saw two cranes on the northbound carriageway trying to drag a lorry back onto the motorway, sure enough the RAC map said two lanes were closed and there was a queue - so we came back a different way.


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I checked the M25 as per above, the road is clear and it's 1C. So I'm going round the M25 to do the ring just South of Gravesend, the Meopham March. If anyone else is doing that ring, maybe I'll see you there!


Well, I did the Meopham March. The M25 was clear, and the roads to Meopham were pretty good. But when I got out of the car ...


I encountered about six inches of snow. For a lot of the route, I was the first to walk the track since the snow, which meant I was ploughing through virgin snowfields, which takes a lot of extra effort. But I got *really* lucky, and found 52 out of 52 of the caches. So if anyone else wants to do them while the snow is there, then:


A) the footpaths aren't quite virgin any more, and so a bit easier to walk.

:laughing: there's a very clear cachers trail you can follow to the caches

C) I cleared away a lot of snow to find some of the caches, and didn't bother replacing all that snow :-)


Read my logs of the trek, it was quite an adventure! And for me, that's what caching is all about - it's not about the numbers :-)

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