If you ever feel the need to drive the Coquihalla, just don’t. Or at least, avoid it during the months of October to May. This stretch of highway cuts through the Coastal Mountains from Hope, near Vancouver, to Kamloops, BC. If you do drive it in winter, late fall or early spring, you can expect to see cars upside down, trucks in the ditch, and all manner of chaos. They even have a TV show on it, called Highway Through Hell, which is quite interesting – all about the tow trucks that work this road. They are busy, I can assure you!
I’m a fairly conservative driver. In fact, those closest to me say I drive like an old man. That may be the case, but after having lived in Northern BC for 5 winters, here’s what I worked out: if you’re young and dumb, and drive a 4×4 truck, you are likely to fuck up somewhere and end up rolling your vehicle. It just kind of goes with the territory. Too much confidence, testosterone, and an unshaking belief that you can ‘give ‘er’ around every bend is just a recipe for disaster. The evidence is clear – go for a drive in the north, actually, really anywhere in BC or Alberta in the winter, and you are going to for sure see some trucks that fucked up.
Ok, enough, this isn’t about putting shit on young guys in trucks, each to their own. The Coq’ is a highway in the southern mainland of BC and there are some pretty decent gradients and curves. Fully laden semi tractor trailer trucks barrel down hills and do what looks like racing each other. Its scary! Reality is anyone who hasn’t got winter tires on, drives to fast, or just gets unlucky can end up on their roof.
The link above will give you a map that shows where the Coq’ is, for the geographically challenged.