Snowpocalypse Check List
Calling all non-ski parents…
We planned our ski trip almost a year out not expecting snowpocalypse to hit most of California. Our usual spot usually doesnt see much snow so I assumed we would be okay. The 3h drive up was okay but once we got to the snow line, we had to outfit our 2WD with snow chains, drive slow, shovel a ton and even deal with a dead car battery. We may have survived but we definitely could’ve been better prepared.
Get good snow chains. After extensive research, Mikee chose the Sz447 Super Z6 cable tire chain by security company. He was able to put them on in minutes! This installation video is actually even better than the one made by the manufacturer.
TRY THEM ON AT HOME!!! Our friend actually bought brand new chains that didn’t end up fitting. Luckily for her, she had a AWD and snow/mud tires. How do you know if they’re snow ready? Check to make sure your tires are marked with “M+S”. And for real bad snow conditions, it’s probably a good idea to have back-up chains… for ALL tires.
Check your tires to make sure they’re not bald or old. Get them replaced ahead of time if they’re due for replacement… or you might risk a blow-out like we did on our last mountain trip. The penny test is an easy and accurate way to test.
Have a good and large collapsible steel shovel and ice scraper. The plastic ones break all the time. You’ll need to potentially shovel snow barriers or shovel your car out of a parking lot. Check out the snow barrier we had to get ourselves out of… SO THANKFUL for an amazing shovel.
Even though we did a great job at shoveling the driveway the night before, we were totally unprepared to find the door handles completely frozen the next morning. It took almost 30 minutes before we could even get into the car. Be prepared with a de-icer — they will work wonders and save you precious time. (Or you can take about 3-4 trips of warm water rinses)
I know we’re starting to sound like complete idiots - but yes, our battery also ran flat. We forgot to turn the headlights off the afternoon we were shoveling. And we were not prepared with jumper cables. Thankfully, AAA was able to send out someone within an hour to jump our engine. NOT FUN. Make sure AAA is on speed dial. You won’t always have great 3G up there.
On our way up to bear valley, we encountered two cars that had broken down. Thankfully, they both had flares. Visibility really can suffer in a snow storm, be prepared with flares.
Every car should already have a good flashlight. You’ll never know when you might lose visibility or in our case, shovel in the dark. 😂 Check your batteries and make sure they’re ready to go. We love this $8 one.
And lastly, if you’re caravanning up with some friends, walkie-talkies are a must. I’d get water-resistant ones if you plan on bringing it on the slopes as well.
It may have been trying…
but we learnt so much through adversity as a family. It was also very rewarding watching the kids ski for the first time. We’re going to be much better prepared next time and pretty sure we’ll be renting a AWD for the drive up. :) Have fun as the season comes to an end!
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