The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.
Yes, legally you need winter tires above Squamish. And yes, most of the time, by common sense and safety, you should have them. I have made the trip many times in both my Roadster, and my Sig P85. I ALWAYS use winter tires, through the whole season.
You can certainly get lucky and not use them safely, but the weather can change quickly up there, and snow squalls can blow in quickly, leaving the road a treacherous mess. Frankly, that danger is greater now that the speed limit has been raised to 100 km/h above Squamish. While that is great when the road is bare and dry, in bad weather, many people foolishly do not slow down, and become hazards for everyone else.
People are lulled into false security with AWD. As a former work college of mine and an accomplished track racer used to say, "all cars have four wheel brakes." AWD only helps to climb hills and to maintain stability under acceleration. To stop, slow down, or maintain stability under braking, one needs high traction tires designed to adhere to snow and ice, and to remain pliable at low temperatures.
Unfortunately the so called winter tire laws are stupid and don't actually require winter tires, all seasons are still allowed to the detriment of everyone's safety. Winter tires have the snowflake in the mountain symbol, all seasons have M + S and that is also allowed per the law.