Just a quick update. I went up xc skiing yesterday. Two nights before we got a dusting in town and since the week before probably a foot more up where I was headed. To get there you basically wind up into the hills on a gravel road and park on a landing off to the side, which in theory is where winter maintenance ends. However, near as I can tell they haven't done any winter maintenance yet. Last week, I made the first tracks up the hill, which was mostly powder with a thin layer of consolidation on bottom. I did end up locking my rear to help with the steep tight turns where you can't carry much momentum, and just to be safe put in the front lockers when I backed onto the landing (always back up so you can pull out). Not sure I needed lockers in either case, but made things easier. Yesterday, I wasn't the first one up the hill since it snowed as it had been a day. Several other vehicles and at least two snow machines had proceeded me up the hill. The road was packed with shallow ruts, and I had no trouble cruising up the hill in 4 high. The tracks continued on past the landing, but I decided to park there as I didn't know how much higher they went and I didn't want to park on the road. Based on last week, I put the rear locker in and tried to back onto the landing. As soon as I was off the hard packed ruts my tires just sank. The snow where it wasn't packed was very consolidated, in fact I could walk on it without sinking, but it didn't want to support the weight of the Jeep or give me any traction. I guess it acted a lot like clay. I ended up at an angle off the side of the road with my nose slightly uphill. I decided the thing to do was to head back down hill and park lower. Now traditionally, this would have meant a fair amount of work with a shovel, and as a result no skiing due to using all my available time to get out. There was no place to rig a high lift/come along/winch too, so it would have meant digging out and working till I got the chains on and could get going again. Instead I just grabbed the maxtrax off the roof, and wedged them under the front tires and pulled forward turning the front wheels as I did so. It only took 3 times positioning the maxtraxs until I drove back up onto the hard pack headed downhill. In fact it took less time to get unstuck then it took to write this. Once again maxtrax were the answer where other means wouldn't have worked, and a lot of shoveling was in my future.
Ironically, the Overland Journal just did their first traction device update since something like 2007, and the maxtrax won again. They weren't as good at bridging, really you need steel for this, but otherwise beat out the competition just like last time. I still would like a 2nd set, but for the money will content myself with one pair. That being said I am sold on their usefulness.
Co-Owner Hill People Gear
"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston