Looking Back at 2021

2021 marked the 4 year anniversary of SNORR. We have performed 557 recoveries during the year, not including the vehicles recovered as part of regular Snow Patrol runs during snowy days on Mt Charleston. Of the 557 total recoveries, 339 were within the boundaries of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in partnership with the National Park Service.

An additional 58 recoveries were canceled because either the driver or a good samaritan passing by recovered the vehicle before we got there. Lastly 3 recoveries could not be performed either because we could not obtain consent from the owner or the vehicle was structurally damaged beyond the point of recovery. All together we estimate that our volunteers have driven almost 80,000 miles this past year.

As of the end of the year we have over 60 active members and we are always looking for more. If you are interested in volunteering with SNORR please get in touch. The best way to get started is by attending one of our off-road recovery classes. During 2021 we have performed 7 classes and trained over 200 off-road enthusiasts in the basics of off-road recovery.

Our recoveries have ranged from simple cases of 2WD vehicles stuck in sand to complex high-angle technical recoveries of vehicles that have gone over an embankment. For example on Sunday, December 29th we responded to a Jeep that had slid off an icy trail at 6232’ elevation and was hanging precariously over a 250ft gully. The owner had attempted to winch, but the vehicle slid further down the hill during the operation, pivoting by the winch line and overloading the winch in the process.

Our volunteers made the determination that it was unsafe to perform this recovery at night and provided a ride home to the driver and passenger for the night. On Monday morning the team returned and worked throughout the day to secure the vehicle. Team members had to safely lower themselves off the trail on a steep snow covered incline to reach the Jeep and attach the necessary rigging. After several hours of tireless work we got the Jeep back on the trail and down the mountain.

During the past 2 weeks our volunteers have also spent countless hours patrolling the roads in and around Mt Charleston during the snowy days, assisting NHP in recovering vehicles that became stuck in snow. Even when the main roads are clear, due to limited parking, many vehicles attempt to park on the side of the road, pull over into snow which is too deep for their ground clearance, and are unable to leave at the end of the day. Using traction boards, shovels and kinetic recovery straps our volunteers work to quickly recover these vehicles while minimizing disruption to the road traffic.

And the roads aren’t always clear. Ice formation on the winding roads has resulted in hazardous conditions on multiple occasions. Fortunately our team is prepared with properly equipped 4×4 vehicles and experience driving on icy roads. As we close out the year the SNORR Snow Patrol team will continue to be on the mountain ensuring that everyone can make it back home safely.From everyone at SNORR we wish you a Happy New Year and even more fun and off-road adventures in 2022.