-40, trapped in a culvert, frozen to the riverbed, 1am, no help for miles... - JeepForum.com
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Unread 08-21-2006, 03:45 PM   #1
KIROUAC228
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-40, trapped in a culvert, frozen to the riverbed, 1am, no help for miles...

So one evening in Northern Alberta, in the dead of winter we decided to head down to this tiny rivervalley that meanders through this larger river valley for something to do. It's -40 celsius, and about 8pm, dark and there's 3 of us in a soft top Suzuki Samurai. We're alone.
We head down this cliff embankment and realize we wont be able to come out that way. It's pure ice and we roost off the edge onto the river (which is frozen solid and covered with 3 " of snow) So we figure we'll just cruize along the river and find a less steep way out. NO. NO LESS STEEP WAYS OUT ANYWHERE. We have a winch, but the nearest trees are at the top and WAY past our line limit. We drive for about 8 miles winding along this river totally smoothe. At this point my feet (in steel toes) are frozen solid (barely any heat in Samurais). Suddenly we come up on this massive set of culverts under some train tracks routing the river under the tracks (big enough to drive through easy) but there's huge beaver damm frozen into the river right before it. We rammed the **** out of the sami trying to get over this damm and it took us forever to get up the the upper ledge of the frozen water but we made it. So we're right in front of the culvert and so we start driving though it. I started thinking, ok, water still runs under this ice, that means it goes through this culvert, that means......SNAP!!! Our front right breaks through and we're teetering on 2 wheels. Buddy gets out and there's running water under the front right but a huge space between the top layer of ice and the bottom of the culvert. Meaning NO TRACTION. Ok, so let's back up right? NO, the rear right breaks through and again NO TRACTION. Now keep in mind, the exhaust is steaming up the culvert completely (that we can't see the other end of) and it's black in there except for truck lights. So the sami is completely on it's right side and the right wheels arn't even touching the bottom of the culvert there's so much water. Nowhere to winch to, nowhere to get traction and we can barely open our doors. We slam it in reverse, slam it in 1st, slam it in reverse, ect and all that does is mangle the **** out of my shackles on the 3 inch thick layer of ice. Great. So me and buddy wait in the truck (still running) and we send out the warmest dressed guy to START WALKIN! Everytime you put your foot on the bottom, it's immediately soaked and starts to freeze to the bottom. A real treat. Now we're in northern alberta. That means people don't just put up houses ever 3 acres, that means he's walkin all night.
So we wait probably only 1 hour (shutting of sami and starting to save gas) and wholey ****, we see headlights at the opposite end of the tunnel!!!! It's our buddy with a quad! (the only other thing that could fit in the culvert) But what do you do in a ****ing culvert with nothing to winch to or tie to or anything? We snatchblocked the quad to the opposite end of the culvert edge and used both winch lines to get maximum length. We started winching and we broke all 4 ******* tires through. AWSOME, it is now resting on the exhaust and axels.
We then snatchblock the quad to the end we came in, and managed to winch it backwards using just the quad winch (thank god the sami is only 1500lbs). So that's great and all, but we're still not out of the river valley. We had to snatchblock the **** out of the quad to every tree we could to get it up the valley. We wrapped the quad around 4 or 5 trees to keep it anchored while realing the lines in.
Bla bla bla, we did make it out at about 2:30AM with only 11 frozen black toes and fingers, and smashed leafs and shackles. I'm not even going to talk about the guy's backyard wooden walking bridge we had to go over to get out.
Oh yah, and when I get home I see that my axels and brakes and everything are completely engulfed in ice. You can't even see the components. I took it to an indoor pressure washer (because it ain't going to melt for at least 3 more months of winter) and spent $40 just letting the water spray on the solid blocks of ice. Wow, I had brakes again!
NEVER WANT TO SEE A CULVERT AGAIN.
This was the samurai:



Last edited by KIROUAC228; 08-21-2006 at 04:00 PM..
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Unread 08-21-2006, 07:41 PM   #2
ImSuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIROUAC228
So one evening in Northern Alberta, in the dead of winter we decided to head down to this tiny rivervalley that meanders through this larger river valley for something to do. It's -40 celsius, and about 8pm, dark and there's 3 of us in a soft top Suzuki Samurai. We're alone.
We head down this cliff embankment and realize we wont be able to come out that way. It's pure ice and we roost off the edge onto the river (which is frozen solid and covered with 3 " of snow) So we figure we'll just cruize along the river and find a less steep way out. NO. NO LESS STEEP WAYS OUT ANYWHERE. We have a winch, but the nearest trees are at the top and WAY past our line limit. We drive for about 8 miles winding along this river totally smoothe. At this point my feet (in steel toes) are frozen solid (barely any heat in Samurais). Suddenly we come up on this massive set of culverts under some train tracks routing the river under the tracks (big enough to drive through easy) but there's huge beaver damm frozen into the river right before it. We rammed the **** out of the sami trying to get over this damm and it took us forever to get up the the upper ledge of the frozen water but we made it. So we're right in front of the culvert and so we start driving though it. I started thinking, ok, water still runs under this ice, that means it goes through this culvert, that means......SNAP!!! Our front right breaks through and we're teetering on 2 wheels. Buddy gets out and there's running water under the front right but a huge space between the top layer of ice and the bottom of the culvert. Meaning NO TRACTION. Ok, so let's back up right? NO, the rear right breaks through and again NO TRACTION. Now keep in mind, the exhaust is steaming up the culvert completely (that we can't see the other end of) and it's black in there except for truck lights. So the sami is completely on it's right side and the right wheels arn't even touching the bottom of the culvert there's so much water. Nowhere to winch to, nowhere to get traction and we can barely open our doors. We slam it in reverse, slam it in 1st, slam it in reverse, ect and all that does is mangle the **** out of my shackles on the 3 inch thick layer of ice. Great. So me and buddy wait in the truck (still running) and we send out the warmest dressed guy to START WALKIN! Everytime you put your foot on the bottom, it's immediately soaked and starts to freeze to the bottom. A real treat. Now we're in northern alberta. That means people don't just put up houses ever 3 acres, that means he's walkin all night.
So we wait probably only 1 hour (shutting of sami and starting to save gas) and wholey ****, we see headlights at the opposite end of the tunnel!!!! It's our buddy with a quad! (the only other thing that could fit in the culvert) But what do you do in a ****ing culvert with nothing to winch to or tie to or anything? We snatchblocked the quad to the opposite end of the culvert edge and used both winch lines to get maximum length. We started winching and we broke all 4 ******* tires through. AWSOME, it is now resting on the exhaust and axels.
We then snatchblock the quad to the end we came in, and managed to winch it backwards using just the quad winch (thank god the sami is only 1500lbs). So that's great and all, but we're still not out of the river valley. We had to snatchblock the **** out of the quad to every tree we could to get it up the valley. We wrapped the quad around 4 or 5 trees to keep it anchored while realing the lines in.
Bla bla bla, we did make it out at about 2:30AM with only 11 frozen black toes and fingers, and smashed leafs and shackles. I'm not even going to talk about the guy's backyard wooden walking bridge we had to go over to get out.
Oh yah, and when I get home I see that my axels and brakes and everything are completely engulfed in ice. You can't even see the components. I took it to an indoor pressure washer (because it ain't going to melt for at least 3 more months of winter) and spent $40 just letting the water spray on the solid blocks of ice. Wow, I had brakes again!
NEVER WANT TO SEE A CULVERT AGAIN.
This was the samurai:
wow thats one hell of a story man to bad you didnt have any pics of it while u were there
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Unread 08-22-2006, 12:24 PM   #3
HawkeyeWJ
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Wow... I literally am COLD after reading that story... Glad you made it out! I woulda been ****ing!!!
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Unread 08-23-2006, 12:11 AM   #4
Awshux
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That's a great story! Makes me glad I live in the desert!
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Unread 08-23-2006, 12:46 AM   #5
paultyler
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Good story. Although stressful, I bet you guys had a lot of fun.
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Unread 08-26-2006, 10:33 PM   #6
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Bet you don't take that rout again. Unless you have someone else along with another rig too. Oh and you can have that extreme cold stuff too. Glad to hear you are ok though.
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Unread 08-29-2006, 09:24 AM   #7
Benjamin Dover
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I know what you are talking about. Here in southern Alberta it can get that chilly, especially when we get into the mountains. 300' climbs to get out of a waterway in the winter can be a challenge, and it becomes worse when the winch-cable is only 100' long.

I normally carry a few extra snatch-straps along that I can tie together to get the extra length required to get to the top, if I am lucky

Glad you got out ok, and that we could read it in your own words instead of the writings of a reporter for a local newspaper.
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Unread 09-12-2006, 05:08 PM   #8
KIROUAC228
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Thanks guys, yeah anyone from Alberta knows what I'm talking about when I mean cold. I'm from the Yukon and the wind in Alberta hands down beats the -50 celcius up there. That, and even if there WERE trees to winch to, pretty much all trees in Alberta are only about 6" in diameter MAX for some reason. That makes for interesting 4x4 trips along the way.
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Unread 09-12-2006, 11:42 PM   #9
Jeepin_Al
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know the cool thing about -40 C? It is the same as -40 F. Interesting things you learn living in Alaska. I have a much better understanding of how dangerous a situation you where in. You are really really lucky. Glad to hear you made it out.
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Unread 09-13-2006, 09:21 PM   #10
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I am now even more glad I live in the desert :P
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