Easy, driving my 2000 Nissan Xterra in the east Cascade Mountains in the spring checking snow melt levels while I was in college. I was an avid mountain biker and it was a tradition for me to go on recon missions around to my favorite trails in the spring to get an idea when they would be clear to ride

On this particular day I reached a saddle road between two peaks around 4000 ft elevation and the road happened to be just half covered with snow against the hill and about a 3 foot patch of clear gravel on the cliff side (no barrier, logging roads). I determined I could keep my left side tires on the gravel and cruise through to get down to an area I wanted to check out on the sunny side of the hill that should be clear of the white stuff. I determined wrong, the road was deceptively drenched just under the gravel and slid out after I made it roughly halfway through. My poor Nissan started glacially sliding sideways down the 50 degree embankment! Everything I did made it worse, reverse, forward, even turning the wheels accelerated the drift downhill. I decided to hike out and call for a ride and I’d return to get it in a couple days when the snow had hopefully melted off and I could have a buddy tow me back out. In my youthful exuberance I had foolishly gone alone so I ended up with about a 12 mile hike before I picked up a cell signal, my mood was not good.

A week later I returned with a friend and to my dismay the Xterra had migrated 20 ft down the slope and come to rest against a large boulder. We didn’t have a tow rope that could reach it and I realized there was probably no way a tow was going to work anyways. I had to dip into my meager college student savings and cough up $500 for a 4x4 rescue tow truck with the proper winches to drive up there and haul it out. I learned my lesson, I never go out in the spring snow alone anymore and I added a tow hitch winch to my standard equipment as soon as I could afford one.