Out of towner caught in surprise snowfallPosted: November 24, 2021
I just heard a funny story. It’s only funny because no one got hurt. The story could have had a very different outcome.
So, a guy and his wife are traveling across country in their modified Sprinter van. The wife has something to do all day and will be staying with a friend that night. So, the husband decides to camp at Tahoe for the night.
He drives up Blackwood Canyon, a paved road, and sets up camp only a half mile from the summit. It’s cloudy, it’s raining a bit but he’s in his Sprinter van that he and his wife have been living out of for weeks on the road.
It starts to rain.
He goes to sleep.
He wakes up with three feet of snow all around his van.
He’s wearing shorts and sandals.
He thinks he’s screwed.
He has one bar of cell coverage on his phone. He calls his wife. She calls the Sheriff. Placer County Search & Rescue rolls out their snow cat and goes up to rescue him. He asks about getting his Sprinter van out. They tell him it might be there until spring. They take him down the hill without his van.
He calls around and gets Nick of the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s. Nick has a rescue service when he’s not engineering something or racing the Baja 100, literally. Nick was instrumental in recovering “Glacier Girl” which was buried under eight feet of snow some years ago.
The guy thought he was prepared. He had the traction block, tracks, boards things. The problem was that they were mounted UNDER the rig. Hard to get to with three feet of snow all around.
Nick was the hero again. It took some work. The Sprinter is only 4wd if the rear axle starts to slip. Nick had to literally pull the van DOWN the hill the snow was so thick even after it was packed down by the snow cat.
This should be a lesson to everyone. Check the weather before you travel.
Be safe, don’t be this guy.