While the month of May seems a bit late for a snow run, there was still plenty of snow in the Oregon mountains for a WARN Employee Snow Run last weekend.
Since it was late in the season—we’d had 80-degree temperatures the week prior—the group had to drive about 50 miles to get to the nearest snow-covered trail. However, once at about 4,000 ft., there was plenty of heavy, wet “Cascade Concrete” snow to play in.
The group was composed of a Jon, an Engineering Technician in his 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser on 35″ tires (equipped with an M12 winch); Karl, our Controller, in his ’18 Toyota Tacoma (with a ZEON 10-S Platinum and Semi-Hidden Kit); Mike, an Assembler, in his ’07 Toyota FJ Cruiser (WARN M8-S winch in an ARB bumper plus a WARN Rear Bumper); and me, Andy, the Strategic Communications Manager, in a turbo-diesel-powered ’92 Mitsubishi Pajero with a full WARN Medium-Duty Recovery Kit on board (no winch yet, as I recently got the vehicle).
We encountered rain, sleet, snow, and sun—a bit of everything. As the day progressed, the snow got heavier, wetter, and more impassible. We did a lot of winching; my Epic Snatch Block and recovery kit came in very handy, since we needed to double-line some rigs in the deep, heavy slop. We also needed to perform angled pulls and do some creative rigging to get to recover some vehicles. And it wasn’t just winching: We put our recovery straps and shackles to good use several times. In the late afternoon, with the conditions deteriorating, we decided to hang it up for the and descend down the trail. We even encountered a stuck skier in a Subaru Impreza and pulled him out of the snow; he probably would’ve been there all night had we not.
Everyone had a great time, and we all learned a thing or two about vehicle recovery. After all, every time you get stuck, you can turn it into a teaching moment or a learning opportunity.
Here are a few photos from the run:
Photos courtesy of Mercedes Lilienthal.