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Old 11-21-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
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Snow-Jeepin 101

Learned a few lessons late this afternoon....thought I'd share.

My 12 y/o daughter asked me if we could do a quick jeep trip today. So about 2pm her and I head out toward the Whatum lake area here in Hood River County. I expected there to be a little snow, but nothing too undoable. Thought we would be out and back in 2 hours. (umm... dont most survival stories start this way?)

All was good as I follow the same road I explored back in the summer. Snow is a few inches deep, with tire tracks. Up the FS-Road we go, snow gets deeper and deeper, tracks are good, no issues. Up up we go. "Wow its so beautiful..."

Suddenly the tracks just stop, and its apparent whoever made these tracks got stuck here and managed to turn around. I decide its time to turn back as well. This is where things got tricky. While trying to turn around there was zero traction and the rear end was heading toward the edge-o-drop-off on the passenger side (daughter remided me of this every 1/2 second or so...) Annnnd... we are stuck.

So... now I do a little gloved-hand digging, and NOW I decide to air-down my BFG AT's w/<1/4" tread left. This doesnt work. Still stuck. Almost-bare-tire tread is packed with snow/ice. spin spin spin.

Its clear that winching out is the only option (I'm solo out there..). I think to myself, "Boy, I sure hope my winch works" (I bought the jeep a year ago from a friend. Never tested the winch, but had been meaning too prior to any snow or mud 4x4'ing) I run the cable out to a tree, post-holing thru thigh-deep snow.

So I end up having to winch off of 3 different trees, basically doing a 3-point turn via winch. Not much fun at all. I was able to get turned around enough to get back in the existing tracks, and get enough traction to get moving again.

I was 15miles from civilization, with spotty cel service, and the sun was setting. Would have been screwed if not for the beautiful Warn winch on my front bumper...

Here's what I learned: (I knew these before heading out...but failed to prepare accordingly)

1. Dont go alone if going into a situation where getting stuck is likely (ie, deep friggin snow)
2. Dress for conditions ( I was good from the waist-up, but pants & shoes...not so good)
3. test your equipment before you get stuck
4. carry equipment to help get un-stuck (like a shovel...duh!)
5. have survival gear - for when you get to spend a cold night stuck, or have to walk miles and miles to find help and/or cel service
6. Air-down BEFORE getting stuck

So a quick trip ended fine, with only an hour of stress getting unstuck and really wet, cold legs. Such a simple thing like trying to turn around in mildly-deep-snow almost turned into a major event.

Cheers!

-Dean

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Old 11-21-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Read this story below as well. INFO for everyone. ;-)

Dean,
Glad to see you and your daughter made it back, Lesson learned.
With the winters and snow we have this time of year here it can get ugly really quick! The buddy system is the only way to go especially in severe weather conditions.
Point in case, a couple of good buddies of mine went up to Naches a couple of week ends back. I think it would be easier to let them tell the story, see tagline below.

Naches 11-11-11

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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And always tell someone else where you are going to be and when you'll be back
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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Wow, that 11-11-11 story was crazy. Glad it ended well.

Yeah, I going to be putting together a "winter kit" that I can strap to my roof rack. No reason not to be prepared, even when just going out for a "quick trip" in a couple inches of snow. Yesterday, I shouldn't have continued up into the deeper stuff.... Bad decision.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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It's people like you that keep search and rescue teams in service :-) LOL

Glad you made it out! and I hope you heed your own warnings next time!
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
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Sounded like quite the experience lol
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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Glad you made it out safely. A shovel is one one of the best cheapest recovery tools I bring with me, works great for snow wheeling.

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:21 PM   #8
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Interesting shovel storage location... . You have air-conditioning??
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by IslandTJ
Glad you made it out safely. A shovel is one one of the best cheapest recovery tools I bring with me, works great for snow wheeling.
Haha I dig the location.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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Interesting shovel storage location... . You have air-conditioning??
LOL, I do. Sometime next summer, I'll be losing my shovel location to my PUMA compressor .

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Old 11-22-2011, 05:54 PM   #11
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Glad you made it out. I got my old jeep stuck in the snow last year. Shovel got me out. I read the 11-11-11 thread on another forum, crazy!
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #12
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Was that the Naches thread? Yup, crazy!
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #13
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Was that the Naches thread? Yup, crazy!
Yup, that was the Naches thread I pm'd you about
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #14
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Damn, glad you and your daughter are ok and made it out. I tended to go wheeling alot by myself (until they started cracking down), but the risk of getting stuck or rolling ('bout sh!t myself trying to climb a muddy hill and had a front tire up in the air) makes it kinda sketch going out by yourself.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:01 AM   #15
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WATER, WATER, WATER!!! Always bring Water. Its hard to use recovery gear if your dead.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:13 AM   #16
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WATER, WATER, WATER!!! Always bring Water. Its hard to use recovery gear if your dead.
Course if your snow wheeling there is a lot of water around you
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:15 AM   #17
Dont forget a Jack strap

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I carry a lot of gear all year but winter my gear at least doubles, I always have my SPOT emergency gps locator pretty much promises rescue within 24-48 hours.

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