Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: Winter driving on the Alcan?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Delta Junction, AK
    Posts
    26

    Default Winter driving on the Alcan?

    Looking for the best info on winter road conditions when I head for Delta after November. I've looked at the canadian road info websites as well as Alaska 511. Just wondering how reliable these sites are?. I know down here in the Lower 48 some of the road condition websites are lax at times with their updates. How's Canada and Alaska?

    I'll be driving up between thanksgiving and the 1st of December so I'll be keeping an ear tuned to the CB radio for updates from anyone one along the way (if anybody else is crazy enough to road trip after thanksgiving). But I will still be checking the websites when possible.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    If you make it then you deserve to be in Alaska, when in doulbt, FLOOR IT! heck i think most that area shut downs after september/october. bring CHAINS and survival equiptment so when you break down or get stuck you will survive.
    Semper Fi!

  3. #3
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    Dont listen to the AOD village id....ummm, special person....

    It is doable and can be better in winter than in summer, ie no road construction, the potholes are filled with snow/ice...and much less traffic. It can also be hazardous just because it's winter driving, but I've done it in December and it was an adventure but reasonable with a reliable vehicle. You do need to be prepared to take care of yourself in cold weather if you breakdown...

    I dont have any input on the website updates, so I cant comment, but its not crazy at all to drive it in the winter!!

  4. #4
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    heck i would drive it anythim of the year with my craigslist 100$ pickup! and im totally sane!
    Semper Fi!

  5. #5
    Member moose-head's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    @ Seminary, Dubuque Ia
    Posts
    839

    Default

    It can get pretty washboarded up if there are a lot trucks on it. It is typical winter travel without a lot of traffic. The tire travel tracks are often in the middle of the road. I saw an awesome aurora while driving there one winter.
    If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  6. #6
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    574

    Default

    I came up from MN 2 winters ago VIA Montana end of Feb. Wasn't all that bad other than meeting trucks in blowing snow. Just take your time and watch for whiteouts and rocks. Might wanna get windshield insurance cuz you'll likely need a new one by the time you get here.......lol
    I left MN with a new one and it looked like it had taken shotgun blasts by the time I got here.
    Bring lots of money for gas, cuz the canuks will rape you on gas prices and plan gas stops for the major towns. In between gas stations are a bunch of crooked a..holes.
    Bring a good camera, cuz you will see alot of buffalo and 4 legged creatures on the way.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  7. #7
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    I came up from MN 2 winters ago VIA Montana end of Feb. Wasn't all that bad other than meeting trucks in blowing snow. Just take your time and watch for whiteouts and rocks. Might wanna get windshield insurance cuz you'll likely need a new one by the time you get here.......lol
    I left MN with a new one and it looked like it had taken shotgun blasts by the time I got here.
    Bring lots of money for gas, cuz the canuks will rape you on gas prices and plan gas stops for the major towns. In between gas stations are a bunch of crooked a..holes.
    Bring a good camera, cuz you will see alot of buffalo and 4 legged creatures on the way.
    what part of MN? u know where DL o Hibbing is?
    Semper Fi!

  8. #8
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    574

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    what part of MN? u know where DL o Hibbing is?
    I originally lived in Grand Marais and moved to Minneapolis area in 82. I have many relatives in Duluth and near Hibbing. I have an aunt and uncle on Lake Vermillian.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Delta Junction, AK
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Road conditions sound alot like Northern Idaho conditions we just don't get as cold. I usually have to replace my windshield every year due to the nuggets (gravel) DOT uses for road traction. I just plan on using good ol' common sense instead of depending on DOT info.

  10. #10
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    I originally lived in Grand Marais and moved to Minneapolis area in 82. I have many relatives in Duluth and near Hibbing. I have an aunt and uncle on Lake Vermillian.

    are you my long lost cousin?
    Semper Fi!

  11. #11

    Default

    This is not a trip to be taken lightly.
    Make sure your vehicle is tuned and ready to roll, with a fresh oil change and all new oil, air and fuel filters
    Have a Block Heater put on there and make sure the Antifreeze will protect to -60F
    Put new Wiper Blades on before you head out.
    Make sure all your lights are working properly and well aimed.
    Make sure you have Snow Tires in good shape, All Season Tires as a minmum.
    Pick up a case of Heet (for gas engines) or Howes or Stanadyne (for diesel engines) before you head out. Use it at every fill up. Prevention is the key. Danged hard to get ice out of a line.
    Don't put your winter gear, clothes or shovel or any other survival needs in the trunk on in the back of a pickup with a cap. If you slide out, you will likely end up with your assend into the snowbank and won't be able to get to any of it.
    Bring your bathing suit and plan at least for a half day soak at the Liard Hot Springs. It will be the highlight of your trip. STOP and soak, even if it is Forty Below. Colder the better.
    With you being use to cold weather, I won't go further into detail with what you need for personal items, unless you request it.
    Good Luck
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  12. #12
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    This is not a trip to be taken lightly.
    Make sure your vehicle is tuned and ready to roll, with a fresh oil change and all new oil, air and fuel filters
    Have a Block Heater put on there and make sure the Antifreeze will protect to -60F
    Put new Wiper Blades on before you head out.
    Make sure all your lights are working properly and well aimed.
    Make sure you have Snow Tires in good shape, All Season Tires as a minmum.
    Pick up a case of Heet (for gas engines) or Howes or Stanadyne (for diesel engines) before you head out. Use it at every fill up. Prevention is the key. Danged hard to get ice out of a line.
    Don't put your winter gear, clothes or shovel or any other survival needs in the trunk on in the back of a pickup with a cap. If you slide out, you will likely end up with your assend into the snowbank and won't be able to get to any of it.
    Bring your bathing suit and plan at least for a half day soak at the Liard Hot Springs. It will be the highlight of your trip. STOP and soak, even if it is Forty Below. Colder the better.
    With you being use to cold weather, I won't go further into detail with what you need for personal items, unless you request it.
    Good Luck
    the fluids idead is a good one, as in october comming tru i had my radiator turn to ice slush and overheat the truck.
    Semper Fi!

  13. #13
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    It is doable and can be better in winter than in summer, ie no road construction, the potholes are filled with snow/ice...and much less traffic. It can also be hazardous just because it's winter driving, but I've done it in December and it was an adventure but reasonable with a reliable vehicle. You do need to be prepared to take care of yourself in cold weather if you breakdown...

    I dont have any input on the website updates, so I cant comment, but its not crazy at all to drive it in the winter!!
    This is pretty right on advice, in my opinion,
    I've driven in December, (crazy amount of snowing in southern Canada that time), and once in late Jan,

    the winter driving is MUCH better than summer if you ask me and roads much easier on your rig with full of ice potholes, etc. The lighter traffic makes it a dream trip for a Road Tripper type, I remember several all day sections in the Yukon without passing more than one car coming the other direction !! Really,

    So that isolation also puts some weight on what Akres says, (post #11)

    His list of stuff to not take too lightly is really good also. Be prepared and you'll have a great trip.

    DO NOT FORGET your suit or shorts for Liard Hot Springs, STOP THERE no matter what time of day you are passing,
    Plan For It, It's worth it for sure,

    Good Cruisin' to ya
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Delta Junction, AK
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Dropping all of the fluids next week and refitting for cold weather applications. Ordered up wolverine oil pan, transmission, and battery warmer and will install them during fluid change over. I already have the cold weather front on, new siped all weather 10ply tires with set of tire chains and plan on bringing a case of Stanadyne. All of my stuff will be under a cap except two dry bags with a -40 down bag and cold weather gear. Tow chain and jumper cables behind the seat. Even have a whisper lite back packing stove if things really get nuts. Serious enough?

    And yes, a bathing suit; no way am I going to pass up a dip at Laird in the winter.

  15. #15
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    if yoru runnign a diesel never shut it off during the trip unless you have a place to plug it in, bring charcoal and soda can so you can start a small fire under the oilpan justincase it dies, also make sure you run your truck a couple weeks and a tank full of fuel before you make the trip after you changed everything, just incase you didnt do something right.
    Semper Fi!

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Delta Junction, AK
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Should have two weeks on the fluid change before heading up. Charcoal and soda? I understand the charcoal part but what's with the soda? Haven't heard of that one.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wfoidaho View Post
    Should have two weeks on the fluid change before heading up. Charcoal and soda? I understand the charcoal part but what's with the soda? Haven't heard of that one.
    I think it was "soda can", emphasis on the "can". I think that is meant to help make a soda can sized fire focused on the oil pan.

    When I drove down and back through Canada in November and December last year, temps averaged somewhere around -20 to -30 F most of the way. I slept in the car both ways and didn't have much problem other than my sleeping bag freezing to the inside wall of the car.

  18. #18
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Idaho, I think Grey's workin' ya a bit there on the fire under the oilpan thing,

    Not the keepin it running part, I did that with a little four cyl Saab I drove once in January as it was a solid -50F all the way through the Yukon and upper Glenn so I kept it running all night even when I took a break at a hotel one night,

    Cause I was Not Going to do That Fire Under the Oil Pan thing again like we used to do in college days in Fbks underneath the old Galaxie 500. That is real, and it does work, but if you have a dialed in rig, you probably don't need to be packin the fire pit along.

    As of a couple posts ago, you sound pretty dialed in to me, way to go.
    NOW sit back and enjoy the scenery, It's Unbelievable in Winter.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  19. #19
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Hey Greythorne, C'mon man catch up to the eighties,
    the open fire under the pan catchin all the oily sludge on fire every few minutes is old school.

    The new open fire "plug in heater" is a 3' stretch of stove pipe with a 90 elbow on one end and a weed burner torch with appropriate sized propane tank.

    Position Elbow under Oilpan, Lay torch head in pipe and apply flame, and CRANK the GAS

    For the FULL THROTTLE heat up job without the thrills of the fire fighting to go with it

    By the way Idaho, if you are going Delta Jct, you better get something like that, it's lots of fun and you'll be really happy someday at least once if not many times
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Delta Junction, AK
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Thanks for the tip kodiak, I've used the old weed burner trick many moons ago. Forgot about that one.

    Idaho

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •