Four Jeeps ventured out for some snow wheeling before Christmas, exploring Dog Valley Road and then over Henness Pass Road to Stampede Lake and on to Highway 89. Snow wheeling can make even normally easy roads challenging as traction is greatly reduced, especially down hill and on side slopes. Four wheel low with front and rear lockers on, as well as decreased tire pressure, helps (studded tires help too). We were well prepared for the adventure with recovery gear, warm clothes and other safety precautions. Still, it was exciting to watch one of the Jeeps descending the hill from the Crystal Mine with none of their wheels turning. Thankfully it was a slow decent with no turns so it ended safely. Staying in the snow tire ruts and keeping off the brakes can help keep your vehicle on the road. Forest Service roads are subject to seasonal closures so check out https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/index.html before venturing out. Be mindful of not rutting up the dirt road so don’t go out when the road surface is soaked and thawed – thread lightly.
We did not need to use our recovery equipment on our snow wheeling trip, but I did get to use it in our neighborhood when a BMW SUV discovered that AWD doesn’t help you turn on an icy intersection, ending up fully engulfed in a snow bank. A shovel and springy tow rope made quick work of getting them out without damage.