A winter landscape is beautiful. White slopes with bare trees scattered around like chocolate icing. The picture looks completely like a perfect Christmas card. But being is this picture is less romantic. It’s cold. It’s slippery. It’s dangerous. Renters ask us if they need snow chains (sneeuwkettingen) in the French Ardennes. Hell yeah!
With snow the Belgian and French roads are not clean. Most of the snow is frozen to the surface and the tracks are reduced to one single lane no matter how many there are underneath the 5 centimeters of thick and slippery grey mass. Driving the roads in these conditions is not much fun. And climbing the slopes that look so beautiful on the picture is all of a sudden a dangerous mission.
This situation is not just the case with the cute little white roads on the map or the so-called D roads. Even the European highway E411 between Brussels and Luxembourg turns into an 180km long ice skating track. All along the road you see the poor victims of this winter horror. Abandoned trucks and cars, slid from the road.
Sliding at high speed is just stupid. Sliding off the road at slow speed is just unnecessary. Snow tires are great when the roads are wet and snowy. Snow chains are the only thing that gets you to the bakery on a winter day in the Ardennes. Be prepared.
- Video shows how to fit snow chains to tyres (etyres.co.uk)
- Winter tyre advice from the IAM (telegraph.co.uk)