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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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Fastest Route?

Hey guys, will be doing a ski trip up to Big White later on in the month of February. Just a quick question on which route to take as we are stopping by Penticton to pick someone up. So it will be Vancouver-Penticton-Big White.

Highway 5 vs. Highway 3? Which way is faster? Which way is likely to have better road conditions and less traffic? Less cops? What's the weather going to be like in February going up the passes in that area?

Car is a VW GTI with Dunlop Wintersport 3D winter tires. Not lowered.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
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I prefer taking Highway 5 (Coquihalla) than Hwy 3


Sucks driving on hwy 3 around manning park area where certain stretches is only one lane and its even worse if you're stuck behind a truck. Plus theres no more tolls on Hwy 5.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:08 AM   #3
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The Coq will be much faster. Even if there is snow. Sounds like your car should be fine if there is snow.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #4
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And my suggestion would be to get your buddy to take the bus to westbank and pick up up there. That's a 1.5 hour detour to pentiction and back to Kelowna.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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My advice to you is to drive on the Coq Hwy super early in the morning, or late at night. There's s*it tons of rocks/debris on the hwy from the plowing trucks that there's no way to avoid crack windshields/rockchips all over the car.

Invest in a car bra (painters tape won't work), and keep your distance from cars to avoid said rockchips.

Oh, and winter driving tip: only do one of the following at a time: accelerate, brake, change of direction.. I've logged over 150,000kms on the Coquihalla Hwy in a Mazda 6 in 3 yrs, and I've seen countless dumb-asses driving like they're hot s*it and then you see them in the ditch later..

Oh, and pack extra windshield washer fluid.. You WILL need it
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Neither 3 nor 5 will be particularly fast this time of year, but Hwy5 is probably the "quickest" of the two right now. Just remember to take your time while driving the passes. Also keep in mind that while it may not be snowing on the Coq when you leave the Lower Mainland, by the time you get up to the Summit, the weather could have changed very dramatically.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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^Werd. Prepare for extremely dense fog / white-out conditions as well. Should definately bring a GPS along and have the maps zoomed in so you know where the curves are.
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #8
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The fastest route is Coquihalla & you'll know that it's been plowed. And busy in the event something goes wrong and have to pull over. Hopefully you don't come to that.

Highway 3 is twisty and hilly rarely with any traffic. If you get stranded there is no cell coverage to call for help.

Prepare for some really dense fog when you reach the mountain summits where you can't see more than 20ft, drive with your hazard lights on so truck driver don't slam into you. Recommend driving during the day in that area if the conditions aren't so great and have proper winter tires, or chains.

I saw enough people with proper winter tires in the ditch. Last February.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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The Coq is the fastest. Be smart about your driving.. you don't want to be in a pack of cars.. the best is to lead. (So you won't get sandwiched if the car in front of you screws up). You won't have any problems going up to Kelowna.. coming back the Bear snow shed etc can be a nightmare... same as Boulder Lake / Brenda Mines.

Bring blankets, things to read etc because they are doing avalanche control.. We went to Kicking Horse with a group of friends from out of town earlier in the week (Who knew Swedes don't get as varied as snow as we do?).. We got stuck for 2 hours at the Rogers Pass... good thing there is a roaring fire at the Ranger Station and comfy leather chairs.. (the minus side is tons of Chinese tourists gawking and yammering).

Just be prepared... and +1 for the Canadian Arm Forces.. not that many countries use their howitzer cannons for snow control.

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Old 01-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys. Looks like Highway 5 is going to be the route then. The tips are also welcome as well, though I do have a fair bit of winter driving experience as well.

To too_slow, what time do I want to leave Vancouver to be able to get on the Coq during the times you suggested? Also, if I leave enough distance, can I minimize (not get rid entirely) my chances of rock chips and dings?
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #11
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You get rocks from other side of the road.. honestly the only way to protect the car is with an old fashion car bra.

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Thanks for the replies guys. Looks like Highway 5 is going to be the route then. The tips are also welcome as well, though I do have a fair bit of winter driving experience as well.

To too_slow, what time do I want to leave Vancouver to be able to get on the Coq during the times you suggested? Also, if I leave enough distance, can I minimize (not get rid entirely) my chances of rock chips and dings?
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