The plan was to do one day of skiing plus a hot spring trip. I figured that New Years at the hot spring would be similar to our usual New Years celebrations, lots of tasty car camping food, a bit of alcohol, a bit of nakedness, and plenty of warm water, waiting for the new year. Didn’t happen.
The story started uneventfully. On the 23rd, our carload drove up to the Diamond Head parking lot and we skinned up to Red Heather, then skied back to the car. The skiing was excellent, but Carla thought that 5 km of snowplowing is too much. On the way home, in spite of snow tires and chains, the Jeep slid gently off the road and down the bank. We were undamaged, but I fell on the ice once I got back to the road, and damaged my wrist. It was really icy. We called son Kevin who drove up from N Van in his Subaru to get us. Some kind folks from Squamish, in Subarus, took us to the Mcdonalds in Squamish. We tried to get a tow truck. BCAA said they didn’t do towing up there; Enterprise said try SeatoSky; SeatoSky said that his truck had no insurance. Nobody seemed keen to retrieve the Jeep. When we got home we called Payless Towing, and the dispatcher said to call again tomorrow morning.
24th Payless said to drive back to Squamish and park at Choices Casino and wait for the tow truck, so we did that. After an hour of learning about casinos and gambling addiction, the tow truck arrived and told us that he didn’t have chains. He said that the “off-road” Payless truck with chains was in Pemberton but would be down eventually, maybe tomorrow. We gave him the key to the Jeep and our credit card number. We drove up to the chain-up place and then walked about 1700m up to the Jeep. We got the skis off it and some kind folks from Squamish, driving Subarus, brought us and the skis down to the chain-up, and we drove back to Vancouver. At home that evening the tow truck driver phoned and said he had gone looking for the Jeep but didn’t find it. Just before we went to bed we got another call, that the Jeep had been found, and they would get it, and store it in Squamish for us, but not Christmas day.
27th The Payless folks phoned and said that unfortunately their tow truck had slid off the road and they were sending up another tow truck to retrieve the first truck and the Jeep. “It’s a sheet of ice up there”. Towards the end of the day they phoned again to say that the Jeep was retrieved and waiting for us in the impound lot.
28th Carla drove us up to Squamish again, and I drove the Jeep home. The towing cost us $629, and the impound lot another $52. Jeep was un-damaged except one tire was really low.
We spent the next ten days trying to get the tire repaired by Kal Tire. They were very busy, so I left the tire with them and they lost it. To solve this dilemma, it seemed that I needed to buy four new tires, but they found mine and got it back on, and the Jeep is happy again. But I totally missed doing the hot spring trip. Anybody want to do a hot spring trip?
What can we learn from all this?
Are Subarus better? Maybe. Subaru is Japanese for expensive, though.
Should I sell the Jeep? Maybe. I’m having way too many “interesting” trips with the Jeep.
Would skiing Whistler have been cheaper? Maybe.
Things I could have done differently:
Ski Cypress backcountry. Or Seymour. Road is plowed, paved. Way less driving.
Put on all four chains, not just two.
Park at the chain-up place, hike up, no chain faffing would be required.
Kevin just came back from Diamond Head; he said the snow was good. Not busy. Road was OK.