How to Dig Your Buried Car Out of Snow

How to Dig Your Buried Car Out of Snow

If you’re like the team at ASO Mammoth, then as soon you see a storm in the forecast the next thing you see is deep and steep powder turns on Mammoth Mountain’s slopes. 

Of course, the thing you don’t think about is digging your car out of the snow so that you can get to Mammoth Mountain.

We want everyone who visits Mammoth Mountain to spend more time on the snow and less time getting to it, so the ASO Mammoth team has put together a guide to digging your car out of the snow below. Check it out and then stop by the ASO shop for the best ski and snowboard rentals and gear in Mammoth Lakes!

Put Chains on Before the Storm Hits

The best thing you can do when you’re headed to a snowy city and/or preparing for a storm is to put chains on your tires. Your car gets much better traction with snow chains and this snow chains can prevent accidents and headaches. Some snowy destinations like Mammoth Mountain, CA even REQUIRE chains on cars! 

If you know what you’re doing, then installing and removing chains is pretty easy. Take the time to make sure you’re prepared before the snow falls and you’ll be able to save all your time and energy for the slopes.

If you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t have chains, have a friend, neighbor, or a car service take you to the nearest hardware store. Often ACE and other hardware stores will have tire chains, know how to size them to your car, and can give you advice. Know what type of car you have (all wheel drive or front wheel drive) and what tire size you have. Chains come in all shapes and sizes, we find that “snow shoes” or “cable” snow chains work best.

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Have a Shovel and Brush Ready

Of course, another huge part of being ready for digging your car out of snow is having a shovel and snowbrush with an ice scraper.

You may think that you can get by with just a snow shovel, but again, if you want to save time and energy for the snow on the mountain then a brush with an ice scraper will help you do that. Plus, if you try to scrape snow off your car with a snow shovel then you could damage it.

Clear Out the Exhaust Pipe

It’s easy to forget that you must clear out the snow surrounding your exhaust pipe as well as knock out any snow inside the pipe. If you don’t clear the snow in and around your exhaust pipe, then there’s a chance that the exhaust from your engine finds its way back inside your car, so you must do so as soon as you uncover the pipe.

Have a Place to Park Nearby

Many people focus so much on getting the car out of their parking spot that they forget to have a place to park their car once it’s out.

You don’t want to leave your car on a snowy road while you dig out a new spot nearby, so make sure you have a place to put it if you’re not driving somewhere else as soon as you get out.

Don’t Dig More than you Need To

The less time you dig, the more time you have to spend on the mountains! That and other reasons is why it’s important that you only dig out as much snow as you need to get your car out.

Typically, that means digging enough snow to get into your driver’s seat and for your tires to get traction. The best way to do so is by digging out the area around your tires and then flattening out a lane for each tire to reach the road out of your spot. You only need to clear out enough snow for the rest of your car to easily push through, so don’t wear yourself out digging!