Stolen from Jalopnik: What are your stuck in the snow stories
CarsOfFortLangley last edited by
I've only ever been stuck once, mostly due to lack of snow to actually drive in. This was back in the winter of 2016 when BC got a HUGE amount of snow (for Vancouver). I'm talking like... at least half a foot.
I either had summers or all seasons on the ST and got stuck on this rural road with a stupidly small hill. I just couldn't get grip.
It was around 5am and I tried for about an hour to get out, then called my father in law to come pick me up. It took 3 hours for him to show up and I abandoned the Fiesta for a couple days.
You can see my run up to try and build momentum for the laughably small hill. No dice.
benjrblant last edited by
The Land Cruiser has yet to get stuck in the snow. I don't know if that says more about the vehicle, my tire choices, or my driving style. Perhaps a combination of being prepared and knowing the limit of the vehicle?
I'll share my last story of someone else getting stuck in the snow: a early 00's Accord stuck in a parallel parking space after a light (2in) snowfall. Had a shovel on the Cruiser and helped dig an escape route.
TexturedSoyProtein Banned last edited by
Copypasta from me putting this on there:
Several years ago I lived in Madison, WI where there was plenty of snow. I had a Mazdaspeed 6. It was awd with a Haldex-style fwd-based awd system. For performance driving, it was programmed to proactively send power to the rear axle, which had a Torsen LSD, but there was no actual center differential or way to lock the awd system 50/50, which I learned made the awd totally useless if the car got high centered or otherwise needed to get all 4 wheels churning. There was no ability to do that.
My MS6 was lowered, and occasionally I got a little too over-confident with thinking its awd combined with Blizzak LM-25s on the stock wheels would be good enough for a situation where it...wasn’t.
Thankfully, it had a tow hook included with the jack and spare, plus handy dandy tow hook mounts in the bumpers. Which I definitely made use of.
One time, a friend of mine was like, “hey it’s snowy, let’s go take your car and do donuts at the mall!” So we started doing donuts, and I promptly aimed for a completely un-plowed section of the mall parking lot, where the car got high-centered and stuck. It was hopeless. Turning off the traction/stability control couldn't get the car to churn all 4 wheels, they just kinda spun and stopped while the computer got confused. So I called a tow and we walked to the Chili’s that was part of the mall to wait for it. The tow truck driver was able to winch the MS6 out of the snow drift thanks to the handy rear tow hook mount.
Another time, this same friend called me during a snowstorm and begged me to bring him Taco Bell. I mistakenly thought I could fulfill this request no problem. My apartment at the time had a garage in the basement, and from the garage door it was a short trip up a hill to the driveway to the street. Well, I tried going up that hill, and, whoopsie, high centered again. This time I got lucky because someone who lived in my complex was actually a maintenance guy for some other apartment complex. He was trying to leave my complex in his 4x4 Tacoma to go do some emergency maintenance for his job, and I was blocking his way. He had a tow/recovery strap and was able to yank me backwards down the hill out of the deep snow. I promptly re-parked my car in the garage and made no attempt to reach Taco Bell.
Both situations were completely avoidable and stupid. I sure did like those tow hook mounts in the bumpers.
HammerheadFistpunch last edited by
@carsoffortlangley My story was in there. I'll copy paste for the benefit of the group
Oh I got a good one of these. It was not long after I bought my Land Cruiser. My friends and I were going backcountry skiing and the place we were going is a pretty popular winter trailhead with limited parking and when we arrived there weren’t any spots left. There was street parking and the snow had been cleared on the shoulders WAY back so I pulled in on the shoulder and started to sink in on one side. Didn’t think much of it, pulled the gear on and went skiing. Got back and realized why the shoulder was cleared, it was a groomed path for a snowcat and where I parked was half street and half 3 feet of snow. I felt pretty darn confident I would be able to drive out - I had the Land Cruiser you see - So I locked all 3 diffs and...promptly sunk much further on the one side. Thankfully there were a lot of people there, and I happen to have some basic recovery gear with me (straps and shackles) so I found someone leaving in a super duty and he yanked me out pretty handily.
Given my confidence level in the Cruiser, and having my friends with me it was pretty embarrassing.
I’ve since learned that locking diffs are a fabulous tool for making a bad situation worse in the snow. All it does is turn no motion into sideways motion. Thanks, right-hand rule.
Skiing was good though
I don't think I've been "stuck" any other time. I've had to turn around, or go slowly...but never stuck.
CB last edited by
@carsoffortlangley So there I was, in the middle of winter, in Saskatchewan, new-ish to the area. I was off to try to locate a guy, and decided the map said that there was a road, so I'd take it. Sure enough, taking the road through the trees, it disappeared as I approached the field. It kept getting deeper and deeper, until my Silverado said it finally had enough, and got stuck, sliding sideways in the process. In this field. In the dark of the night. In about -30. 250 metres from the road.
Now, one of the first things I learned was to not admit that I was stuck over the radio. So I called my coworker who said he'd come up to help me out, while laughing. I called the local tow guy, who said he was on vacation. I called a less local tow guy, who said he'd be at least an hour and bring the bobcat. The only thing left to do was start digging.
So I dug and I dug, trying to get the snow out from under the truck, and also realized it had stopped about a foot from a steep hill that would've sent me on a ten metre slide into the trees. I was digging for a solid half hour until my coworker showed up (he smartly parked his truck and walked the rest of the way). We both dug, and started to Austin Powers-style shimmy it roughly back to where my tracks were, then he guided me backwards back to the road. We called off the tow, and I only lost most of my dignity that night. And that's why you don't trust the grids.
There was also that time I backed up for a kilometre and a half down a grid road at four in the morning, but I wasn't stuck, I just didn't have the room to turn around.
Just Jeepin' last edited by
I have no photos, but I can remember a few times I've been stuck.
Upstate New York
This was a doozy, but fortunately I was able to extricate myself. This was when I still owned my Corolla FX, circa 1990. I was visiting internet friends in Potsdam, and sure enough there was a big snowstorm along the way. I didn't have snow tires; whatever cheap ones I had on there probably were half-bald, because I was always broke.
Anyway, drove myself into a ditch somewhere in the middle of farm land. No idea how I got out, tbh.
This isn't really a "stuck in snow" story, but a few years later I was delivering for Pizza Hut after an ice storm, and sure enough the road curved but the car went straight. I plunged into a yard, passed a decorative (but very real) boulder with a couple of feet to spare, and hit a drainage pipe.
Thankfully only my tire hit the pipe, else I would have destroyed the undercarriage. Certainly destroyed the tire. The property owner was remarkably cool about it, came out and with his son helped me get back on the road.
del Sol storm
I got stuck twice one night on my way back from visiting Florida. My then-wife encouraged me to leave sooner, but for whatever reason I didn't take the snowstorm threat seriously enough, so sure enough we hit ice entering Kentucky and snow entering Indiana.
We had to bypass two different exits from the interstate because the road was blocked, but finally found one we could take, but got high centered a few blocks from home. A small pickup came behind us and pushed us free.
A block from home we got stuck again, this time for real. We grabbed everything, trudged home through the snow, and the car was stranded there for 2 or 3 days; this was a big-ass storm.
The straw that broke the camel's back
Winter of 2013/14, I came home in my Civic during a snowstorm and gunned it into my driveway. Because I was high-centered and very lazy, the car was stuck there for a full week.
That was the year I resumed my research into Jeeps and bought my LJ, because I never wanted to have to worry about shoveling my driveway in the snow again.
Jarrett last edited by
In my BRZ I had to re-route because I couldn't make it up the hill in a foot of snow. I was trying to be clever and bypass some traffic. Ended up back in the traffic queue.
I did have winter tires.
Picture of the incline (Google street view makes it looks less intimidating than it is. It's part of the Scarborough Bluffs, if anyone knows the area)
Never been stuck in my 3. I bet the 3 would have conquered that hill in the picture.
DasWauto last edited by DasWauto
I got the WRX stuck 3 times. All at slow speed on my parents’ farm where I tried to make it through more snow than my limited ground clearance, good winter tires, awd and gratuitous application of power would allow. Each time our tractor pulled it out with ease, though two of those times snow had to be cleared in front of the car to pull it through.
We’ll see how long it takes me to beach the Ranger.
Ooof, that sucks!
I have 2 good ones, and I don't know how I made it out.
First one was in my current driveway. I had to leave for a work meeting around 5 AM so I could get up to Green Bay by 8. I go outside and it had snowed almost a foot overnight. I grabbed the shovel and attempted to get the snow out of the way of my Lincoln Town Car. The snow was thick and heavy, there was no way I was going to get all of it gone, so I just went for my predicted wheel tracks.
After spending about 10 minutes on that, the Town Car was warmed up. I hopped in, turned off Traction Control and put it in reverse. I got about 3 feet and the wheels spun. I went forward, slammed the gas and tried to back out again. Wheels spinning, I saw my speedometer hit 100 MPH. I laid off, let it roll down and tried again and again. Burning the tires off and creating small ice packs thanks to me melting and refreezing the snow. I got the Town Car rocked halfway up the driveway, but now I was off my pre-determined tracks.
I had to get on the road, there was no missing this meeting. Come hell or high water. I put it in drive, went down and touched my house with the front bumper and violently slammed it into Reverse and held my foot. That old girl clawed and smoked all the way to the top of the driveway. I had left a path of rubber, ice, snow and shovel marks to show for my pain. My wife was unhappy, but I made it on time.
The second was much more dangerous. Was driving home after school (highschool) in my 2WD Dodge Ram. I had learned how bad a 2WD truck with a V8 can be in the snow in winter. I had sandbags, decent tires and chains available but I figured that was all unnecessary if I kept my wits about me. On my home, it started to snow pretty hard. I figured I could take it slow, and I'd be ok. We had a large hill that was about the size of a 2 story home I had to go down to get to my house about 2 blocks after that.
The plow trucks were out, but the hill hadn't been hit yet. I put the truck into 2nd and crept over the crest of the hill with the hazards on. I rode the brakes but to no one's surprise, the back end started to slide around. I tried to catch it and ended up spinning the other way. I was now flying backwards, down the hill, towards the front lawns of the homes on the left side of the hill. I bounced off the curb, hitting it with the rear tires. This spun me forward, as I had the brakes locked now heading for the houses on the other side of the street.
I went over the curbs and landed in a poor souls front lawn splitting their driveway at the bottom of the hill. I still had momentum and really didn't want to deal with getting stuck. I hit the gas and spun the truck into their driveway. The truck caught traction and I slowly pulled out into the street. I looked behind me and it looked like a video game. The tire tracks going all different directions into someone's front yard.
I got home, getting out of the truck and hitting the ground. Any faster and I'd either not have a truck, or I would have ended up in a living room. To this day, I take that hill slow even in good weather. Someone up there really wants me to live.
ranwhenparked last edited by ranwhenparked
@carsoffortlangley I had just bought a new Mustang, and hadn't had a chance to put snow tires on yet. It had been snowing steadily all day, picking up toward evening. Everyone in the office left early, but my boss wanted to meet with me about some dumb project I don't even remember, and he was in conference calls all day, so our meeting kept getting pushed back later and later, and I kept checking out the window and confirming that, yep, the streets were clearly getting worse. Finally, he came out of his office around 5, we went over what we needed to go over, and I left at 6. Barely a block out of the parking lot, on a mild hill that you'd barely remember as a hill on any other day, it got stuck and just would not move any further. I was able to get it to the side of the road, but it wouldn't go any further up it. It was a no parking zone, so I called a family member to come pick me up in his SUV, and called the police chief to tell him where I was leaving my car and to make sure his guys didn't ticket it. Went back and got it after midnight, once the roads had been plowed, and put 4 Blizzaks on the next weekend.
Exage03040 last edited by
Never physically stuck.
Gridlocked 3.5h to go 10km / 6mi. Was shutting the car off 10min at a time after moving a length.
BeaterGT last edited by
One of my first snow hooning experiences was getting "stuck" in this little parking lot I was sliding around in. I should have picked a bigger lot to play around in but oh well! I overcooked one of the slides and ending up putting a wheel off a small embankment and the other wheel didn't have enough traction to get me going. Thankfully, I had a friend with me who helped push which... didn't help much at all. What did help was him sitting on the rear of my V6 Firebird to help the wheel gain some more bite. Still surprised we made it out to be honest.
aremmes last edited by
I have a few, but the one stands out in particular.
The blizzard of 2003 brought about three feet/one meter of snow to the Philly region. I was living in an apartment at the time, and came home the evening before the storm to a full parking lot, so I had to park on a side street out of view from my window. After the storm, I went out to the car to find a six-foot mound of snow left behind by a plow truck where I had parked. I mean, the truck literally pushed the snow off the road and onto my car and the others parked on the same side of the street, despite the other side not having any parked cars. Mine, being smaller, was invisible but for the general car shape of the snow on top and around it.
My snow brush wouldn't have been enough, and besides I did not have a snow shovel to disinter the car from its unplanned snowy grave, but fortunately there was a Wal-Mart within walking distance, so I walked up to there and found it open. It also had sold out of snow shovels. The only things they had were digging shovels, so I bought one, brought it back to the car, and spent three hours moving just enough of the snow to move the car out and into my parking spot, leaving a car-sized hole in the snow mound.
Smallbear last edited by Smallbear
Going for a winter hike, didn't want to park on the road. There was a perfectly good unused (and uncleared) parking lot available--so I thought--and I decided I had enough clearance, snow tires and driven wheels for the job.
Nope. Snow was (a) deeper and (b) much harder than expected. Thoroughly beached. Took 3-4 of us plus 4LO to push me back off.
When I was a teenager me and a buddy were driving around late at night in my Datsun 240Z, basically listening to the radio and screwing around. I drove to an area called the "Rattlesnake" that had no traffic and some corners. I was "power sliding" around the corners ie getting massive oppo. I hit one a bit too fast and slid my car into a ditch. The snow was around 2' deep off the plowed road and my car was 1/2 buried in the ditch with snow up to the hood. We walked to a near buy house and called for a ride (around 11 PM). We went back the next day with a 4x4 and a tow rope to get it out. It should have been easy but after a few unsuccessful yanks I popped the hood and found that the engine had melted the snow and then refroze to the ground, so the entire front of the car was frozen into a hardened snow bank. It took a good hour or more to chip away the snow and ice and free the car.
Needless to say I was much more careful in the future where I did my oppo sliding.
@exage03040 that sounds misserable.
@daswauto Pretty impressive to say you got a WRX stuck 3 times.
trivet last edited by
@daswauto Pretty impressive to say you got a WRX stuck 3 times.
And with winter tires! That is impressive.
Boxer_4 last edited by
@carsoffortlangley I almost got my SH Forester stuck once. Everything was covered in snow and I wasn’t familiar with the area. I missed my turn and went to turn around in a parking lot which wasn’t plowed. I ended up pulling off the road into a ditch next to the parking lot. Snow up to the door sills on top of grass, in a drainage ditch. I was unable to reverse up the incline, so I decided to push forward to turn around. The AWD system was working hard, but I did make it out. I’m very glad I had Blizzaks at the time.
As an aside, I had so much snow packed everywhere in wheels and suspension that I had the worst steering shimmy at highway speeds afterwards. Cleaning it all out in a Walmart parking lot fixed the issue however.
@trivet especially when we know they always work
CarsOfFortLangley last edited by
@rctothefuture Legit me the first time I had snow tires put on my Mazda6 back in the day.
Fast forward to us sliding down a massive hill backwards 10 seconds later.
@carsoffortlangley In the spring of 1998 I was working on a project in San Bernardino California. My work car was a 1995 Jeep Cherokee 4x4. It was a bone stock 4.0 4x4. After work on day in April I took my wife up a forest service road that goes up towards Big Bear. We get up there pretty far and started to encounter snow banks in the shade left over from winter. The first few were 1-foot or less deep and pretty easy to blow through in 4 high. Then I came around a corner and it was 18" to 2' deep and I got firmly high centered about half way though this snow bank that was about 100 feet long. We were able to use 4 low and center dif lock and a bit of digging to get through this section but it was a downhill section and there was no way I was going to make it back through there. Then a few minutes later we hit another section and the snow was not covering the road 100% for the next mile. Well I said fuck it and hit the gas we made it about 30 yards in and fully buried. I knew exactly where we were and that it was about a 1 mile hike to the main road.
We hiked to the main road, I called my co-worker and he and his wife picked us up and took us to dinner because we were frozen cold and hungry.
The next I showed up to work in my personal car and it was a friday with not much going on so the contractor in his 3/4 ton chevy, me and my co worker got geared up and went up there pulled the jeep out of the snow. With the big Chevy plowing tire tracks I was able to get out without getting stuck again. I learned a hard lesson on that one, if you are using 4 low to go you should probably turn around because 4 low stuck is really stuck.
GibbsEmphasis last edited by
Nervous laugh in SoCal accent
@way2blu My worst stuck was a forest service road out past Redlands by an area called forest falls/Angles Oaks. IIRC Hwy 4.
Longtime Lurker last edited by
This November 8-9 we got a once in a decade snowfall (last time was 2007). It was 1-2 ft depending on how the wind blew it. I had no problem getting to work in the morning, but when I came home for lunch I started up the hill off the main road and made it half way up chugging through the deep snow then I hit ice under the snow where the idiots with all season tires were spinning their tires. I lost all forward momentum then the back end slid sideways into a snowbank and back downhill 3ft, so I can't just back all the way downhill because I'm in the snow bank with snow higher than the rear bumper. I get the emergency shovel out of the truck and start digging snow, not good enough. Two helpful people walk up and offer to push, can't get more than a few feet forward before sliding back again. Sacrifice one of my ballast sandbags for extra traction, not good enough. Then a guy in a new Tundra drives up and offers to tow me out backwards the 50ft to the main road, it took a few yanks to get through the 50ft of 2ft deep snow but I was back on the main road. I thanked everyone who helped and then I was off on my way to take the longway home. Then when I got to my street I got stuck twice more trying to find a open parking spot, having to dig myself out again. Finally getting home after an hour(normally 5min), I called into work and told them I wasn't coming back from lunch.
In the ten years I've been driving this RWD Ranger, I've never gotten stuck so bad to need to be towed out.