icedevil

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How concerned should I be about driving I70 from Vail to Denver late Saturday afternoon? I have 4wd but not snow tires. OpenSnow is projecting 5-9" of snow during the day and 1-3" at night for Vail and 2-4"/0-1" for Keystone. I would appreciate some local knowledge in deciding if I should try to alter my plans. Thanks in advance for the input.
 

Blue Streak

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It’s hard to say, but eastbound Vail Pass is steep, and it doesn’t take much for some idiot to do something that results in it being closed for a bit.
 
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icedevil

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It’s hard to say, but eastbound Vail Pass is steep, and it doesn’t take much for some idiot to do something that results in it being closed for a bit.
I am less concerned with delays and more concerned about not being the idiot. Is 4wd but no snow tires with what sounds like decent snowfall asking for trouble?
 

SBrown

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It really depends on your tires. Can you pick up some chains or socks?
 

coskigirl

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I am less concerned with delays and more concerned about not being the idiot. Is 4wd but no snow tires with what sounds like decent snowfall asking for trouble?
What kind of tires do you have? All-season with the M+S designation and good tread depth? If so, you should be fine if you drive smart. If they institute a traction control law and you don't have all-seasons with M+S and the minimum tread depth and you become the idiot you will be looking at a significant fine on top of any costs from an accident.
 

jmeb

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I am less concerned with delays and more concerned about not being the idiot. Is 4wd but no snow tires with what sounds like decent snowfall asking for trouble?
Yeah -- it's kinda asking for trouble. Are the tires at least all season M+S? 4WD without good tires isn't much help.

My suggestion would be to leave for Dillon / Frisco as early as possible. Check Vail pass conditions on Cdots app and Google maps. If it is good, go over Vail pass. If not kill time in Dillon / Frisco until it looks better.
 

coskigirl

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Sorry, I misread and thought you said no 4wd. In your case, if you become the idiot you won't be fined because of the 4wd. Sorry for any confusion.
 

SkiSchoolPros

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Yeah -- it's kinda asking for trouble. Are the tires at least all season M+S? 4WD without good tires isn't much help.

My suggestion would be to leave for Dillon / Frisco as early as possible. Check Vail pass conditions on Cdots app and Google maps. If it is good, go over Vail pass. If not kill time in Dillon / Frisco until it looks better.
Agree with your assessment, but OP said he is going EAST from Vail to Denver...I drove Vail-Frisco last night with only moderate snow and was happy that I put my dedicated snow tires on the other day...i-70 East was closed for a bit between Silverthorne and the tunnel because of people spinning out.

Good news is that there might be less day skier traffic back to Denver than a typical Saturday afternoon as many front rangers will take the weekend off to get ready for X-mas.
 

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Agree with your assessment, but OP said he is going EAST from Vail to Denver...I drove Vail-Frisco last night with only moderate snow and was happy that I put my dedicated snow tires on the other day...i-70 East was closed for a bit between Silverthorne and the tunnel because of people spinning out.

Good news is that there might be less day skier traffic back to Denver than a typical Saturday afternoon as many front rangers will take the weekend off to get ready for X-mas.
Whoops. Missed that.

Sort of doubt the less day skier traffic thing. Every front ranger I know who skis and is in town is PUMPED to finally have some snow in the forecast and is planning on skiing tomorrow.
 

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Whoops. Missed that.

Sort of doubt the less day skier traffic thing. Every front ranger I know who skis and is in town is PUMPED to finally have some snow in the forecast and is planning on skiing tomorrow.
Can you say “$&it Show?”
 

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The main problem with Vail Pass (and much of 70) now is that they are closing it constantly. Not for long, necessarily, but if there is an accident, it closes for cleanup. This is for the safety of the workers, which is fine by me. But just be aware.
 
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icedevil

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I have a rental car that only has all weather tires. They are not marked M&S. I will probably just do the drive tonight to avoid having to mess with chains or autosock and avoid delays. Thanks for the input.
 

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I have a rental car that only has all weather tires. They are not marked M&S. I will probably just do the drive tonight to avoid having to mess with chains or autosock and avoid delays. Thanks for the input.
99% of rental cars in snowy regions have m+s tires. Take a quarter and place it "head down" into the tire tread. If you can see the top of Washington's head you have bad tires. If not, you are good. Drive slow and leave space in slick conditions regardless.
 

Monique

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The main problem with Vail Pass (and much of 70) now is that they are closing it constantly. Not for long, necessarily, but if there is an accident, it closes for cleanup. This is for the safety of the workers, which is fine by me. But just be aware.
I believe they claim that by closing for the accident, the overall traffic pace has been improved vs. stop and go trying to pass the incident. And definitely safer for hte workers.

@icedevil , if you haven't already headed out, you could also consider skiing at Loveland, which gets you past Vail Pass and Eisenhower Tunnel in the morning. That's what I'll be doing.
 

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Depending on who you listen to or believe this one we could see anywhere from 1" to maybe 6". Some outlets are predicting up to 50 mph gusts possible late Sat. I will say the electronic sign close to Copper already has the winter weather advisory posted followed by alerting drivers to anticipate the traction law to be enacted.
 
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icedevil

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I ended up making the drive to Denver on Thurs night on basically dry and traffic free roads. Judging by the webcams and the constant stream of CDOT texts for road closures today, I'm happy with that decision. Thanks again to all for the comments.
 

Monique

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I drove from Loveland to the front range at about 2:30pm, and it was clear. So I stand by my suggestion!
 

Ken_R

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How concerned should I be about driving I70 from Vail to Denver late Saturday afternoon? I have 4wd but not snow tires. OpenSnow is projecting 5-9" of snow during the day and 1-3" at night for Vail and 2-4"/0-1" for Keystone. I would appreciate some local knowledge in deciding if I should try to alter my plans. Thanks in advance for the input.
I have friends who left Vail today at 12pm and got home (Denver) at 6pm.
 
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