by Sharon Auld
CANADIAN ROCKY MOUNTAIN DESTINATION WEDDING
Tip # 12 – Consider road conditions on the mountain highways especially in winter.
Weddings in the mountains, especially in winter, are incredibly beautiful. With snow-capped peaks and the promise of adventure, it’s no wonder winter weddings in the mountains are on the rise. If you’re thinking of having a winter wedding in the mountains, then it’s imperative that you consider the road conditions on the mountain highways, especially if you have guests that are not used to winter driving. There’s no doubt that winter weather can potentially affect guests’ safe arrival at your wedding destination. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a wedding in the mountains, it just means that you and your guests need to take a few extra precautions.
The Trans Canada Highway (#1) from Calgary to Banff (and on to Lake Louise) is generally well taken care of in winter, but winter driving conditions anywhere in Alberta can be stressful, at times, even for the most experienced drivers. It’s a good idea for you and your guests to pay careful attention to the local weather before embarking out on the roads. Environment Canada issues watches and advisories as winter conditions change. Warnings can include blizzards, heavy snowfall, wind chill, cold and freezing rain or drizzle.
Preparation is key and the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), is a great place to start. AMA gives specific Mountain Park Road Reports on current road conditions for all sections of the mountain highways. They’ll let you know if the roads are in poor, fair or good condition. With the help of webcams, they’ll indicate if the roads are icy, snow covered or bare; they’ll even tell you how the shoulders are.
So what can you do to ensure that everyone arrives safely at your wedding destination? Always expect the best, but plan for the worst. Here are some winter weather management strategies:
- Leave plenty of extra time to get to the destination (consider leaving a day earlier if possible)
- Drive during daylight hours when possible
- Have experienced drivers (in reliable vehicles) chauffeur older guests and guests that are inexperienced winter drivers
- Ensure that all your guests let someone know when they are leaving and to check-in upon arrival
- Designate someone to monitor guest arrivals
- Have a record of guest contact information including cell phone numbers
- Consider a “caravan” of vehicles departing to the mountains at the same time
- Charter a bus for guests
- Hire professional drivers
- Use rental vehicles such as SUV and passenger vans that have four wheel drive
- Carry extra blankets, water and snacks
- Have an emergency kit in your vehicle
- Equip vehicles with GPS devices
For more information on winter driving conditions, check out AMA’s Winter Driving Tips.
Here are a few other helpful links:
Buses and other transportation
<script async id=”_ck_85413″ src=”https://forms.convertkit.com/85413?v=6″></script>