What's Your Worst Stuck In The Snow Story?

Illustration for article titled What's Your Worst Stuck In The Snow Story?
Photo: Raph Orlove

I’ve been stuck in the snow probably a dozen times in my life. I’d say more than half of those times were the result of me doing something very stupid. But the most embarrassing? That’s easy. My sister is a couple of years younger than I am, which means there were a couple of years where I had my license and she didn’t. So, obviously, I ended up driving her to and from school. On one particularly snowy Northern Michigan day I volunteered to shuttle her and one of her friends, a girl I was pretty eager to impress, home in my grey Dodge Dynasty. And what’s more impressive than initiating a big slide with the pedal-operated parking brake of an old front-wheel-drive junker?

On my way down the back road behind the school, I hit a number of shitty, seesaw drifts. Everyone hated it and wanted me to stop! Yes! It was working! Then I pulled out onto a country road and pointed for the big downhill bend that ran right by the old dump. It was the perfect place to hit one more sick drift. (It was the worst possible place.)

I grabbed the release handled and stabbed the little brake pedal and immediately looped it hard. My sister and her friend were screaming real screams. Absolutely nobody was having fun. We spun into the oncoming lane, then back into our lane before getting stuffed so deep into the snowbank we couldn’t open our doors. A guy in an F-250 came by shaking his head and extracted us. Everyone was impressed, mission accomplished. I still get a little pang of shame when I think about it. I don’t think my sister ratted me out though.

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I’m sure at least one of you has a more embarrassing story than that. So, what is it? What’s your most embarrassing tale of being high-sided, tipped or otherwise stuck in the snow?

Jalopnik EIC '48 Willys CJ-2A, '84 Porsche 911, '15 VW GTI, '07 Lexus GX 470.

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DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

Oh I got a good one of these. It was not long after I bought my Land Cruiser. My friends and I were going back country 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