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Just Getting There

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
The snow tire thread got me thinking about a ski trip I took 13 years ago. I managed to fit a few days of skiing in at Summit County, Co. hooking up with some friends who had a condo rented in Frisco on my way back east from a business trip to AZ. I had a midsized car rental reserved at Denver. It was snowing. The guy at the rental counter tried to get me to spring for a SUV. I was trying to do this on the cheap and it would have cost me about 3 times the $30 a day rate so I said, "no thanks." He warned me that I probably wouldn't be able to get where I was going in the midsize. I told him that if they wanted to upgrade me to the SUV at no charge that would be fine by me. Well they weren't going to do that, even though it turns out they're out of mid size cars. So what do they give me but a big, white Cadillac. That baby plowed through the snow like a tank - a very smooth and plush tank. No worries. No need for a ski rack - just toss those babys in the trunk. I don't need no stinking SUV. Also, for the next 4 days of powder skiing at Copper, Vail, Breckenridge and A Basin, everybody wanted to ride with me in the Caddy.

Let's hear your story about just getting there.
post #2 of 27
One of the highlights of generally ill-advised driving from last year for me are going out in the Blizzard of '05 (not that it was that bad in the scheme of eastern storms) to ski locally at Greek Peak. A lot of poor people actually had their cars get drifted in in the parking lot (2WD Ford Rangers and 18 inch drifts = unhappy). My Envoy had fun with 4WD and I got to ski in great powder (considering it was all of about 12 degrees) for New York.

I also successfully made it from northeastern Massachusetts to Sunday River in a combination ice storm/snow storm (went through the pass by Mount Washington in near white out), and also did a rather epic drive from Stratton all the way back to central New York -- steady snow until I hit Troy, NY, and then back into white out on I88 and the 50 miles or so of country road (with lake effect squalls) to get back to Ithaca. At one point, I literally had to just come to a stop for 2 or 3 minutes until the wind gusts died down some.

You westerners get good snow, but until you see it snow 6 to 8 inches in one hour with lightning in a lake effect squall, you ain't seen nothing!

-Craig
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
You westerners get good snow, but until you see it snow 6 to 8 inches in one hour with lightning in a lake effect squall, you ain't seen nothing!

-Craig
We'll leave you with that fantasy intact for the time being:
post #4 of 27
In the mid-1970s I was driving from somewhere else in Colorado to Steamboat in a steady, heavy snow that fortunately didn't include a lot of wind. At times I only could see the edge of the road maybe 20 feet ahead of my right fender. My ride then was a Mercedes 250SE coupe (two-door sedan that seated four). Fortunately, I had four studded snow tires. For a long time, we followed the rear lights of a truck that we only learned at the end of the trip was a plow truck. We stopped when he did and the driver told us we were the last two vehicles to clear Rabbit Ears pass before they closed it down.
post #5 of 27
About 4 years ago on a trip to MRG from Philly. My Father in law and I headied up in a snow storm. We left Philly at 2:00 in the afternoon and didn't arrive at the Barn till 5:00 AM the next morning. Along the way we had a flat tire in Waitesfeild Vermont. So, we had to unpack his 3000 GT VR4 to get to the spare. Do you know how hard it was to find a 50 series VR rated snow tire in Vermont?
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
We'll leave you with that fantasy intact for the time being:
Heh, it sounds nuts, but it can happen. I was up in Syracuse 2 years ago when they got 4 inches of snow in 30 minutes. I've never been up on the Tug Hill when they've been really hammered, but I'm pretty sure some of the "single storm" records for snow fall in the US have been set up there...

-Craig
post #7 of 27
Lake effect storms (Buffalo, L. Ontario east shore) and Nor'easters can be impressive, but I would guess the greatest hourly and annual U.S. snowfall has occurred in the Pacific Northwest, probably at Mt Baker. Anyone know? The West Slope of the Sierra Nevada gets nuked regularly. At the summit of the Sierra, the snowfall can be unbelievable (including thundersnow), rapidly closing interstate freeways, creating avalanche conditions and even closing ski areas. Mountain storms can kill you. Donner pass was not named after summer tourists.

As far as just getting there, last year, the major highways over the Sierra were closed for days as phenomenal storm totals rang up. A few threads at the time January 10 and January 18 March 29. Not a record, but pretty nice compared to the brown dry mountains I'm looking at today.

There was the time I had the chains (4 wheels) and a snowplow equipped 99 Yukon and took a back road around the highway 50 closure as a local. That was good! Had a chat with the Highway Patrol in Kyburz and told them I was taking out driveway berms. Made it to Sierra and had it pretty much to myself.
post #8 of 27
First trip skiing, late 1980s in a early 1960s chevy pickup. Concurrent snowstorm, bald tires, and non-fuctioning wind shield wipers. We had to pull over every few minutes and wipe off the windshield with a towel. Went night skiing, with temps at 10 degrees, in levis and a leather jacket. Oh yeah.. good times.

The trip home was better, because it stopped snowing
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Lake effect storms (Buffalo, L. Ontario east shore) and Nor'easters can be impressive, but I would guess the greatest hourly and annual U.S. snowfall has occurred in the Pacific Northwest, probably at Mt Baker. Anyone know? The West Slope of the Sierra Nevada gets nuked regularly. At the summit of the Sierra, the snowfall can be unbelievable (including thundersnow), rapidly closing interstate freeways, creating avalanche conditions and even closing ski areas. Mountain storms can kill you. Donner pass was not named after summer tourists.
I grew up in Northern Indiana about 3 miles south of the lake. Until about 3 years it had the single storm total, well over 60" in 24 hours. It was broken, at, well else, Mt. Baker.
post #10 of 27
Back in 96 I was living in Northern Virginia and I was doing a drive-yourself trip to Canaan / Timberline in West Virginia. I got a call from the trip organizers and was asked if I could take somebody else. Figuring that a little company would be good for the 3 hour drive, I said "sure".

The evening that we drove out was during a massive snowstorm -- over two feet fell overnight. The last 100 miles of the drive to Canaan / Timberline is on winding little two lane roads through the forests and over the mountains of West Virginia. Neither Margaret (my passenger) or I had ever been there before. And I'm driving my little front-wheel drive Mazda Protege. A normal 3 hour drive turned into about six. The car never came close to getting stuck, but just trying to see the next bend in the road through the falling snow got old, fast! i.e., not really all that scary, just very tiring.

Margaret and I actually became really good friends, so while I don't really remember the skiing that weekend, I do remember the company. It's been nearly 10 years since we made that drive and we still remember it vividly.
post #11 of 27
When I was a teenager my dad had me do a lot of driving on family ski trips from DC to the hills of western PA. But on college break in March of '76 I drove myself solo in a '69 VW bug from VA to CO. Everything went great. When I got to the Eisenhower Tunnel I found myself in about a one-foot snow storm (routine for CO, nonroutine for VA). Cars were wiping out all around me. My rear engine, regular tires, sea level carburetor VW bug just kept chugging, albeit slowly. This was my first ski trip out West and there was no stopping me as I bobbed and weaved past a whole mess of flailing vehicles. If I stopped I might never get going again. On the other side of the pass things cleared up nicely. That night the bug and I slept in a parking garage next to Lionshead and the next morning I got my East Coast mind blown by the beautiful people and expansive terrain of Vail. Skied Vail a second day and went on to hit Highlands, Snowmass and Winter Park (first year for Mary Jane) on that trip. The bug performed like a champ. I've visited a few ski areas since then, but have never returned to Vail except for drive-bys on I70.
post #12 of 27
Craig,

I know what you're talking about.. I live in Syracuse, a couple years ago I went to Tremblant and there was a white out about 30 min. north in Pulaski on the way there, couldn't see even 5 feet. It was bad the rest of the way, but not like it was in Pulaski...
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was a ski bum in Tahoe winter of '83, an epic snow year. My girlfriend and I were actually leaving the mountains, driving down to Orange County for Xmas with her family. Heading out of SLT up Carson Pass we got so whited out that we turned around and crept back home. I doubt I would have turned around if I was headed to the mountains instead of away.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyblake
I grew up in Northern Indiana about 3 miles south of the lake. Until about 3 years it had the single storm total, well over 60" in 24 hours. It was broken, at, well else, Mt. Baker.
The most impressive thing about the lake effect areas is that people actually live there, and not only are there small towns, but in the case of upstate New York, major cities that deal with this sort of snow on a regular basis. Here in Ithaca we never get anything like they do in up towards Lake Ontario (at least in terms of duration), but god can weather be spastic. I've seen it going between sunny and near whiteout in less than 5 minutes, drop a quick inch of snow in 10 or 15 minutes, and then be sunny again...

There isn't a city on top of Mt. Baker .

-Craig
post #15 of 27
woo hoo!!

I live in the country nowadays, looks like I don't have to worry about snow.
post #16 of 27
Cirquerider,


"There was the time I had the chains (4 wheels) and a snowplow equipped 99 Yukon and took a back road around the highway 50 closure as a local. That was good! Had a chat with the Highway Patrol in Kyburz and told them I was taking out driveway berms. Made it to Sierra and had it pretty much to myself."

Would you please elaborate? Was trying to find this backroad for years ... The secret will die with me . Many thanks in advance.

Cheers.
post #17 of 27
Edit: shortcut route deleted: message delivered. Anyone need to know, send a PM.

This message will self destruct after your acknowledgement.

BTW, this is not a dangerous route by any stretch, but if you don't have a capable 4X4 it could leave a mark.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
I worked at Sierra that winter. The highway crew used to lead us that way while they were clearing 50. I had a Toyota Celica with studded snows and chains, but days when it was puking in the AM we would all meet at the base of the pass and cram into 4-wheelers to get to work...or play.
post #19 of 27
Crank, dude...thanks for running the lifts! Epic Day!
post #20 of 27
Cirquerider,

Acknowledged ! Press the button !

Thanks a lot! Will, or let's put it this way, hope to test it this winter .

Cheers.
post #21 of 27

Syracuse=snow daily from Oct to April

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
Heh, it sounds nuts, but it can happen. I was up in Syracuse 2 years ago when they got 4 inches of snow in 30 minutes. I've never been up on the Tug Hill when they've been really hammered, but I'm pretty sure some of the "single storm" records for snow fall in the US have been set up there...

-Craig
LOL when that would happen at SU, we'd click in and ski down Clarendon Avenue at 2am.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank
The snow tire thread got me thinking about a ski trip I took 13 years ago. I managed to fit a few days of skiing in at Summit County, Co. hooking up with some friends who had a condo rented in Frisco on my way back east from a business trip to AZ. I had a midsized car rental reserved at Denver. It was snowing. The guy at the rental counter tried to get me to spring for a SUV. I was trying to do this on the cheap and it would have cost me about 3 times the $30 a day rate so I said, "no thanks." He warned me that I probably wouldn't be able to get where I was going in the midsize. I told him that if they wanted to upgrade me to the SUV at no charge that would be fine by me. Well they weren't going to do that, even though it turns out they're out of mid size cars. So what do they give me but a big, white Cadillac. That baby plowed through the snow like a tank - a very smooth and plush tank. No worries. No need for a ski rack - just toss those babys in the trunk. I don't need no stinking SUV. Also, for the next 4 days of powder skiing at Copper, Vail, Breckenridge and A Basin, everybody wanted to ride with me in the Caddy.

Let's hear your story about just getting there.
Man that is good stuff !
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
Heh, it sounds nuts, but it can happen. I was up in Syracuse 2 years ago when they got 4 inches of snow in 30 minutes. I've never been up on the Tug Hill when they've been really hammered, but I'm pretty sure some of the "single storm" records for snow fall in the US have been set up there...

-Craig
Montague, NY Holds a record for something with snow. To lazy to look it up.
But, where I live in verona, one year there was frozen grass here and 45 minutes away in Turin, NY (Tug Hill Plateau) there was literally 5 feet on the ground over night by 9 am only in the band area. Very narrow and concentrated dumping. Huge lake effect snows through the tug hill plateau area. Gore at 2100 vertical feet more to east and a hair north sometimes benefits quite well from these snows. w00t this is the year for the east, I can feel it
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by marta
LOL when that would happen at SU, we'd click in and ski down Clarendon Avenue at 2am.
I'd believe it. Apparently a kicker is usually built on Libe Slope here at Cornell, and people will attempt to ski down the slope and over the kicker. Unfortunately, our police combined with Cornell being very afraid of litigation put a damper on the fun : .

-Craig
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by huckingfellers
Montague, NY Holds a record for something with snow. To lazy to look it up.
But, where I live in verona, one year there was frozen grass here and 45 minutes away in Turin, NY (Tug Hill Plateau) there was literally 5 feet on the ground over night by 9 am only in the band area. Very narrow and concentrated dumping. Huge lake effect snows through the tug hill plateau area. Gore at 2100 vertical feet more to east and a hair north sometimes benefits quite well from these snows. w00t this is the year for the east, I can feel it
I've heard McCauley in Old Forge can do quite well from lake effect also... Turin is where Snow Ridge is, right? That place at least seems to think they get more snow than anywhere in the east...

Verona, eh? I'm glad I'm not there, I'd spend way too much time giving the Indians my (albeit small amount of) money at Turning Stone .

-Craig
post #26 of 27
I did a trip to New Zealand in the mid 80's with a group of like-minded ski bums for 2 weeks of fun. We did the standard "work your way from Mt Hutt down to Queenstown" in some rather iffy conditions (well, except for the Tasman Glacier which we hit after a 4' storm ). At the end we travelled back to Christchurch for a snooze and a day to "window shop" before our flight back to Oz @4.30pm.

This wasn't good enough for a few of us (we weren't yet skied out) and so we set off to find a hire car in Christchurch that night. We had no luck that night with all the car hire places telling us that tomorrow was going to be the busiest day of the season. Not to be put off, the next morning I set out early to see if I could snag a last minute rental. Finally I scored a circa 70's Honda Civic, a pair of ski racks and a set of chains. We drove across the Canterbury Plains though mist and drizzle wondering if we had done the right thing or not but remained focused on yet another day's skiing in NZ. Chains had to be fitted at the access turn-off to Mt Hutt and we went about it like a F1 pit crew and soon continued on our way up the hill.

It was still raining and my fellow bums were moaning about what a bad idea this all was when it happened... we broke though the clouds 200' below the car park into blue bird! In addition, 1½' of fresh powder was awaiting us and there wasn't a crowd.

Needless to say, we skied still our legs turned to noodles and finally called it a day. We drove back to the airport car park with 30 minutes to spare and locked the keys in the car (pre-arranged with the car hire company) and checked in. Arrived back in OZ still wearing our ski gear but it was one of the best experiences I've had at a ski resort to date.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
I've heard McCauley in Old Forge can do quite well from lake effect also... Turin is where Snow Ridge is, right? That place at least seems to think they get more snow than anywhere in the east...

Verona, eh? I'm glad I'm not there, I'd spend way too much time giving the Indians my (albeit small amount of) money at Turning Stone .

-Craig
Yes snowridge is in Turin and they can on some years contend for most snow in the east, but that usually goes to Jay Peak or Sugarloaf . Old Forge usually does alright. They either get pounded or not much at all. But that the not much at all rarely ever happens

I never ever go into the casino, I like to keep my money in my pocket! Dont even golf their amazing courses. Way to expensive for my shitty golf skills !!! GOlf is a reason to drink beer and pass the summer by, ya know.
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