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#55590 - 12/19/05 10:25 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
If you have to leave your car to build a snow shelter, leave a note in the car telling road crews and/or EMS personnel that you did so and are still nearby. That way they know to look for you. In that case, I'd try and make your shelter very noticeable, e.g.: colored tape to tie around the trees nearby, a bright plastic flag stuck in the ground by the shelter, aluminum pie pans that will swing in the breeze, etc. Anything that will draw attention to your shelter. Hell, if you're not that far, you could tie a rope (or your extension cord) to your car and tell the EMS crew to follow it up to the door of your shelter.

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#55591 - 12/21/05 06:59 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
IanPorter Offline


Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 21
Loc: Missouri
I would add some kind of emergency flasher or refector. A friend works for the DOT and hit a small white car with a snow plow The driver and passanger were still inside. They had stopped because they could see to drive in the storm, but hadn't gotten far enough off the road. Fortunately no one was hurt.

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#55592 - 12/21/05 08:29 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
bmisf Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 185
Interestingly, we got stuck in exactly this situation this past Sunday.

A group of us went snow camping in the Mokelumne Wilderness near Carson Pass over the weekend, and got caught in a snowstorm of unforecast fury. Winds were reported in excess of 100mph, and we got over 2 feet of snow dumped on us in camp.

We slogged our way back to the Meiss Meadow SnoPark, only to find that the state had not yet plowed it (and as we were to discover, had no intention of doing so any time that day).

There were six cars and an old school bus there; our group represented four of the cars, and a father and son in one of the other cars was already there, digging their car out.

After realizing that the plows that kept whizzing by weren't going to help us, and with the storm still raging, it was decided to dig our way out with our avalanche shovels and whatever else we could find at hand (snowshoes, etc.). We dug snow 2-3 feet deep from an 8' wide, 200-300' route leading from the most remote car to the highway, which took us several hours and multiple shifts.

The good news is that it worked. And, because we'd been snow camping, all of us had mostly suitable clothing, most of us had shovels, and we had shelters and stoves and pots to melt snow for water if we ended up stuck. I also had my PSK and FAK and some other gear (blankets, some NeatSheets, a pulk sled, extra flashlight) in the car.

However:

None of us had enough water. Due to the storm, we'd not melted more that morning, and so we had cut it pretty tight even without finding we were snowed in. Most of us didn't have more than a few snacks left. Most of us didn't have a change of clothing in our cars, or other backup equipment.

While everything turned out great, it was illuminating to see what would have been nice to have ready to go in the car, rather than just in our packs. I'm not sure how to store the water (it would freeze), but having more there still would have been smart. I'll make sure I have more extra clothing and gloves and food there as well.

I'll think about this some more, but those were my first impressions after the fact.

- Steve

PS - for the curious, here are some pictures of the camping part of the trip. (Note: if you have ad blocking with Norton Internet Security turned on, the thumbnails may not display - just click one that does, then use "next" to move through the pictures.)

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#55593 - 12/21/05 11:29 PM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
groo Offline


Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 722
Loc: Florida
Wow.

Great pics. What's "spindrift"?


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#55594 - 12/22/05 07:47 AM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
xbanker Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
Steve-

Thanks for sharing your adventure and the pics; that's a great area for a trip, notwithstanding the circumstances.
_________________________
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

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#55595 - 12/22/05 08:15 AM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
bmisf Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 185
Quote:
What's "spindrift"?


spindrift | noun: spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind. driving snow or sand. ORIGIN early 17th cent.(originally Scots): variant of spoondrift, from archaic spoon [run before wind or sea] + the noun drift .

(In this case, referring to powdery snow crystals driven by the wind, which often find their way under tarps and cracks in shelters.)

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#55596 - 12/23/05 07:45 AM Re: Stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm
bmisf Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 185
Quote:
Thanks for sharing your adventure and the pics; that's a great area for a trip, notwithstanding the circumstances.


It is a great area - I've been there in Winter and Summer and love it all around. I've section-hiked the PCT through there and snowshoed up Little Round Top as well.

Are you from CA?

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