The Adventures, Experiences.

Winter riding has been a dream of Ray’s to bring to the South Wind, allowing for a new take on the trails that many have come to call their favorites while providing a new set of challenges along the way. Winter riding allows for the cold embrace of the snow and ice to make trails more difficult, while providing a new rush of fear or ambition as trails paths become less clear five feet ahead of you. For those whom seek the thrill of winter riding, or want to test out their prowess during the colder months, Just Jeeps‘s Adrian Collison who has quite the experience Winter riding on the South Wind Trails explains the requirements that every Jeep and 4x4 driver should have on hand:

  • Functioning Winch
  • Proper Recovery Straps
  • Proper Winch Recovery Kit (Including Snatch Block and Tree Saver)
  • Air Compressor
  • Minimum 35" Tall Tires
  • Reliable Shovel
  • Non-perishable Food
  • Spare Clothing / Garmets

Snow wheeling is a different ball game then summer wheeling. Techniques are completely different depending on snow conditions. Light fluffy stuff you want momentum, hard packed you want to crawl trying not to break traction and hills again are normally tackled with momentum. Do to this and the tight technical trails you find in Ontario and body damage is a good possibility.

Never attempt Winter wheeling alone, always go out with a group of riders who all have the above equipment!

Winter Jeep

These requirements and techniques are learnt through experience, and lessons. Adrian was kind to share his recount of a recent three Jeep rescue on the TMT trail with the help of Richard Andrews, Christopher Miles, Ray Gervais and the South Wind staff:

First off I want to send a big shout outs to Richard Andrews (DFT) and Christopher Miles (Lugnuts). Could not be prouder to be part of a team that worked safely, quickly and effectively to perform an effective recovery of 3 vehicles from South Wind Motel & Campground. It all started with a phone call at 9am from Richard requesting backup to go recover Jack Zha from the property at South Wind. Apparently he had been out there for 3 days with broken axle shaft and stuck in 3' of snow down a 3 foot ditch 1at the bottom of a ravine close to a swap...ya not fun. So that meant I had to drive down to Toronto from Barrie, pickup the shop Jeep, meet Luguts at Hwy 88, then meet DFT at the shop then drive back through Barrie to Minden. Three hours later we arrived at South Wind to find out the plot had thickened.

Once we got there we found out Jack had 3 other friends which had tried to come and help but that only made the situation worse. One got stuck down by Jack (Tony), another got stuck just trying to get to the trail head and the last guy got stuck a few times, got himself out and decided to leave due to previous commitments. So now if you count all that it means there is now the requirement to rescue 3 Jeeps. I'll let the pics do the talking, remember they never do angles justice. After 5 hours we had successfully recovered all three Jeeps (one 2wd due to the snapped shaft) with no additional damage done to any of the vehicles. What made the recovery most challenging was the changing snow condition's. They went from light fluffy stuff to hard packed to ice. Nothing was easy and I'm sure the other guys can attest it took everything the three of us have learned in over 30+years of wheeling to get these guys out as quickly and safely as we did.

Broken Jeep

Jeep Winch

Ray Gervais, owner of the South Wind and soon-to-be fellow 4WD enthusiast noted the following comment about the rescue, the support and the Jeep community: “I'm without a doubt in my mind, proud to be apart of a community that truly will go out of one's way to help their fellow Jeeper, and show support in ever way they can. Everyone made it out safe and sound, and are content that the rescue was successful in every possible way.”