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GO STEELERS !
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Went up Burns Canyon today from Pioneer Town to Big Bear. My group of 4 jeeps was the only ones with chains that we came across. Apparently people think because they have 4 wheel drive they can drive through the deepest snow or icy roads. Well, a lot of people were taught lessons today. Jeeps and Toyota's sidways on the trail, sliding backwards down hill climbs and the best was the dude that slide down a hill climb and struck a parked jeep head-on.
 

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Chains are meant for slow speed driving. When I drive in snow, I know I'll be spinning the tires and bouncing off the rev limiter. I'd rather not have the chains fly off and destroy my Jeep.

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
This trail is definately not a trail you would be gunning it on. Those who have done Burns Canyon know its not a difficult trail but there are two sections where its kinda steep to climb. Dry you wouldnt give it a second thought The ice, however, was making it difficult. The chains made a HUGE difference in our ability to climb up the icy sections. We rolled up the hills with little problem because we put chains on.

A lot of people here in California (me included) don't really know how to drive well in snow. We watched people gun it up that particular hill and then slide back down it just as fast. One dude slid right back into a tree. The guy we found sidways on the trail had street tires on his jeep, no chains, inflated to 40 PSI each. On our way out we got passed by two sheriffs in trucks. They said they were on the way in to help pull people out because by late afternoon everything got very icy and apparently people got in but couldn't get out.

Granted we probably didn't need to have the chains on the entire time but we had them when we needed them. That's the point. Be prepared. Better to have and not need then need and not have.
 

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This trail is definately not a trail you would be gunning it on. Those who have done Burns Canyon know its not a difficult trail but there are two sections where its kinda steep to climb. Dry you wouldnt give it a second thought The ice, however, was making it difficult. The chains made a HUGE difference in our ability to climb up the icy sections. We rolled up the hills with little problem because we put chains on.

A lot of people here in California (me included) don't really know how to drive well in snow. We watched people gun it up that particular hill and then slide back down it just as fast. One dude slid right back into a tree. The guy we found sidways on the trail had street tires on his jeep, no chains, inflated to 40 PSI each. On our way out we got passed by two sheriffs in trucks. They said they were on the way in to help pull people out because by late afternoon everything got very icy and apparently people got in but couldn't get out.

Granted we probably didn't need to have the chains on the entire time but we had them when we needed them. That's the point. Be prepared. Better to have and not need then need and not have.
Anytime there's deep snow, you'll end up gunning it at some point. Sorry, but chains are nearly pointless. Air down and go from there.

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I personally think there is no substitute for chains on solid ice and snow on top of ice or snow you can break thru to solid ground. if going to play on snow that is 6 feet deep big tires and 2psi. all depends on the snow type you are talking about. People need to remember that if you are running chains you need to so slow. I have literally seen people running down the interstate and 60mph with chains beating their trucks to death. We play a lot in the snow here and there are some conditions they work in and some they don't.
 

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I'll agree that they are good on ice. If your trail is more than 50% ice, then go for it. Otherwise, still not worth it.

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Snow wheeling is a thing where I live. (But not for me - I like warm.)

The guys who know what they are doing run very wide mud terrain tires (14" seems to be the norm) and almost no air pressure (2 psi or so). I have yet to see a snow wheeling jeep run chains except on ice, and that was on pavement going back down the mountain.
 

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Went up Burns Canyon today from Pioneer Town to Big Bear. My group of 4 jeeps was the only ones with chains that we came across.
I always carry both sets of chains, but I've never needed them. We went on Friday so I guess the powder might have been a bit better.

ANY5sbk.jpg
 

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I haven't been in snow since '92, that is when I moved from Montana to Southern California. I don't recall ever using chains there, and we hunted and went offroading a heck of a lot.

So, since we are on the subject, what chains do you all recommend to carry when going to places like Big Bear?
 

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I always carry both sets of chains, but I've never needed them. We went on Friday so I guess the powder might have been a bit better.

View attachment 4188337
Yes this was great run and this cali boy learned a lot about wheeling in snow. So many things to consider like 4h is best and keeping momentum on a uphill. Sliding back down an incline in reverse was def a pucker moment lmao. Cant wait to do it again.
 

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I think all the unprepared people were all the ones stuck on the side of the 15fwy... Lol.

I’ve never actually used chains in my Jeep 4 wheeling. They would probably help I guess, but we even did Motino Wash in a foot or so of snow and didn’t have much trouble.
 

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Anytime there's deep snow, you'll end up gunning it at some point. Sorry, but chains are nearly pointless. Air down and go from there.

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Obviously, you don't drive with chains much. I have been on several late season deer and elk hunts where we had 1-2 feet of snow (more in spots). I would put the chains on the way in and they stayed on for the entire 6-7 day hunt. There are plenty of steep hills and lots of off camber stuff on these old back country roads (read "trails') with LOTS of rocks under the snow you can't see. Only 1 time did I throw a chain, and that was after I was already stuck in a giant mudhole and sunk up to the doors. And BTW, airing down in deep snow and ice does next to nothing, in fact, I think it makes it worse, unless you go to like 2psi and on the trails were we hunt, if you go that low, you better have bead lockers and several spares!
 

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Obviously, you don't drive with chains much. I have been on several late season deer and elk hunts where we had 1-2 feet of snow (more in spots). I would put the chains on the way in and they stayed on for the entire 6-7 day hunt. There are plenty of steep hills and lots of off camber stuff on these old back country roads (read "trails') with LOTS of rocks under the snow you can't see. Only 1 time did I throw a chain, and that was after I was already stuck in a giant mudhole and sunk up to the doors. And BTW, airing down in deep snow and ice does next to nothing, in fact, I think it makes it worse, unless you go to like 2psi and on the trails were we hunt, if you go that low, you better have bead lockers and several spares!
Airing down in deep snow makes all the difference in the world. With that statement you lost most of your credibility. Chains are not balanced and they don't stay perfectly round on your tires. Anything over 20mph and you're screwed. Watch any video of anyone Jeeping in sbow and they won't have chains. They are good on ice and that's it.

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We do a lot of snow wheeling here and you absolutely need to air down 2-5psi max. We have been on snowmobile trails and snowmobilers are totally amazed lol. Snow might be 10 feet deep or more. you spin a tire your screwed. this photo is the guy who owns AEV on this day he said he was in drifts he estimated to be like 40 feet deep. that is a standard FS outhouse.
 

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I've done Burns Canyon when snow is low and would have been one of those without chains this past week. Lol. I, however, would have aired down as much as I could and I have snow rated tires. Still, I agree that having the chains in the Jeep when going wheeling in the snow is not a bad idea.
 

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Went up Burns Canyon today from Pioneer Town to Big Bear. My group of 4 jeeps was the only ones with chains that we came across. Apparently people think because they have 4 wheel drive they can drive through the deepest snow or icy roads. Well, a lot of people were taught lessons today. Jeeps and Toyota's sidways on the trail, sliding backwards down hill climbs and the best was the dude that slide down a hill climb and struck a parked jeep head-on.

Socaljk, help me understand - what type of chains do you put on your JK and what size are your tires, suspension modification, or lift installed? I'm have a 2016 JKU Sport that is stock including 255 75R17 tires, during the Winter I have a set of BFGoodrich Mud-Terran T/As 255 75R17 that were factory tires taken off of a Rubicon. The tread on these get me around town in the snow and ice of Denver, CO. However, the owners manual says only install tire chains on P225/75R16 or P235/65R17 with an implication that with any larger tire there may be insufficient tire-to-body clearance and "Follow these recommendations to guard against damage."


I had the Service Manager at the local Jeep dealership tell me Wranglers don't need chains, they can go anywhere. Your post would discredit that statement and I agree that chains would be helpful on ice and assisting in stopping. However, here in Colorado there is another problem - state law. When the Department of Transportation implements a condition called "Passenger Vehicle Chain Law" to be in effect, then every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or alternative traction devices (AutoSocks) installed. And, regardless of one's opinion about the capability of Wranglers to go anywhere; "...every vehicle..." includes Wranglers and the State Patrol will/could ticket Wranglers just as easily as they would ticket a Prius.


Your input would be appreciated.
 

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Your trip to Big Bear sounds like a jaunt to the grocery store in the middle of December here in Buffalo. Just because someone's vehicle has 4 wheel drive doesn't mean they can drive 70 mph on the iced over roads and not slip slide and spin all over the place. I don't think they get it. Yes I can teach you Texans and Californacators a thing or two on how to drive in the snow and ice. But the kind of snow and ice OP described at Big Bear?? I think I'd take the chains. @SoCalhk Sounds like you had an awesome time! 😎
 

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Chains are great in compact snow and ice. Just snow, air down and be light on the throttle. The best rig I ever saw in the snow was an old CJ running big sand tires, paddle in the rear and balloons up front. Would just glide over the snow no matter how deep.

But this last Thanksgiving I really want to shoot people. IMO the roads where not that bad but you can't be running summer tires in heavy wet snow, you are going no where. You name it I saw it stuck in my attempt to get down to Chino. Even Jeeps running summer tires where stuck. What really topped the cake was seeing a mangled Demon, what the hell did he think he could have a vehicle like that out in the weather. Anyway next time that happens I am just taking Cleghorn down. At least I would of got through and had a good dinner.
 
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