Submitted by Tandey t3_zxdagf in Washington

My wife and I are really interested in driving up to Vancouver today (which means from Pullman over the pass to Seattle). We're from Cali and Texas. I did live for a couple years in PA, so I have a little snow driving experience (plus this crazy winter here in the Palouse)

We have an AWD Tesla. It does ok, but I've definitely had my moments of terror driving around here in town since the snow started.

Conditions say roads are pretty clear, weather is mid 30's but 3-6 inches of snow expected today. Can anyone advise how passable the roads are for new winter drivers? Thanks in advance!



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rosesandpiglets t1_j1zpags wrote

If you don’t have chains or experience it is a bad move, especially in a Tesla


Tandey OP t1_j1zpxjk wrote

I think this is the conclusion we're coming to. I need to drive it once in good weather to feel the roads better, then maybe I can do it in a future year during the winter break


pala4833 t1_j21nphi wrote

No, you need to practice putting your chains on and off and driving around with them on in less life-threatening environs. Going over the pass in good weather will do nothing to improve your winter driving skills.


Unique_Register1619 t1_j1zn1uf wrote

The scariest part of the drive from Pullman to the west side is often before the pass. If the pass is open, there’s a good chance you can get in the tracks of some semi and plod along at 35 pretty safely. But between Pullman and Ellensburg can get super dodgy. I’d pay attention to that forecast and possibly reroute to Spokane first so you can take I-90 all the way to Seattle.


LeiLaniGranny t1_j1zo978 wrote

Invest in chains to because things can change and if WSDOT calls for chains you'll need them. This year's weather has been crazy and more weather events are heading into west coast.


Tandey OP t1_j1zrtlk wrote

Thanks for the help everyone. I think we should wait until next year for a big winter drive like this. I appreciate everyone's time and input


lvcoug t1_j1zrjuu wrote

Since you’re in Pullman do you have proper snow tires on your car? Those make more of a difference than AWD does, and combining the two gives you a lot more control and traction. I definitely agree with everything the others are saying here though!


Soggy-Spring9673 t1_j1zlg6m wrote

Hi, check out the following link for up to date road info.. wsdot.wa gov. Good Luck.


normalabby t1_j1zvodj wrote

Whenever driving in winter conditions I make sure to have emergency supplies in the car such as sleeping bag(s), water, food. Just in case something were to happen and you're stranded waiting for a tow.


sarahjustme t1_j202fpd wrote

The chances of problems from poor visibility, spray from trucks, and other drivers, are probably more relevant than the winter weather right now. The pass isnt "just sit back and cruise", even in good weather, till you've driven it a few times.


julius3211 t1_j1zpvvp wrote

“WSDOT Snoqualmie pass Twitter“ And “WSDOT Snoqualmie Pass”. Google that and should take you directly to the most updated info. I make the trip pretty regularly, drive slow, keep your distance, there are bad drivers out there, be a good one.


avitar35 t1_j20iipp wrote

Tonight? No you shouldn’t be going over a pass you’ve never driven in the winter before at night. Tomorrow? Potentially. If you’re careful you should be fine with AWD going over snoqualmie. First plows come through about 8am (from the west side at least) I would try to be going over about 9 am. NOAA says it should be snowing tomorrow morning but total accumulations are 2 in every 6 hours so it won’t be snowing hard. People will definitely be going over both ways and there should be a very obvious lane our two that’s almost if not totally plowed


washdot t1_j22vftt wrote

I drove over from SEA to Winthrop in a 4Runner with traction tires, on Christmas….it was a white knuckle, 6 hours in the car and I drive over here once a month.


H2Bro_69 t1_j24796m wrote

I can speak from experience in the last couple days, Snoqualmie pass is mostly snow free right now as far as I know. It was very wet and rainy when I went over, which can also be somewhat dangerous.

Should be fine now if you haven’t already left. Check the reports though.


Spokenfortruth t1_j26ycrw wrote

We just did this for the first time this week. The pass was really clear and safe. We're from Texas and just moved to Washington this summer. Watch the WSDOT page for updates.


ThurstonHowell3rd t1_j20fj0j wrote

If you're stuck in line for a day waiting to get over the pass for avalanche control/clean-up, where do you recharge that Tesla?


Tandey OP t1_j20jqkm wrote

It can heat the cabin for 36 hours, so I'm not too worried about that. Of course just like a gas car, don't show up low


TVDinner360 t1_j21gn3d wrote

Chains aren’t very expensive, and they’re useful when you need ‘em. If you guys are gonna be in Pullman for a bit, go get some at Schwab. I think they’ll allow you to return them if you don’t use them. But seriously: for the peace of mind, it’s worth it.


Impressive-Survey-54 t1_j2304bj wrote

If you’re careful driver I think you’ll be fine (assuming have right tires) just drive slow


paulRosenthal t1_j235yuy wrote

The problem is not your car. The problem is trucks and 2WD cars with bald tires who think they can make it over the pass and end up blocking the road.


Deprecitus t1_j21jeus wrote

1st gear, dump the clutch and grab the e-brake.

That's a recipe for fun!

If you have RWD, you don't even need the e-brake. Just go for it.

AWD is a different beast. Harder to have fun with. Same with 4WD.