Driving in inclement weather is an extremely fun way to get closer to a machine. This might be the born-and-raised in Los Angeles side of me speaking because I don’t deal with weather most days of the year. When it does happen, it’s a fun novelty. This journey up Angeles Crest Highway in a storm became fraught with shocking rapidity.

  • Car: 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI “Six Iron”
  • Location: Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (@chrishasacamera Twitter, Insta)

I took my beloved 2010 GTI that I call “Six Iron” up to the mountains when I woke up and heard rain pattering against my windows. I love driving in the rain. It’s amniotic, and it saves tires — speaking of tires, I just got a fresh pair of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S on the front axle. I figured they could handle some rain but I got much more than I bargained for.

Venturing onto a canyon road deep in the wilderness alone is sketchy enough on its own, but I have logged many miles in these types of situations. Where it gets genuinely dangerous is when it is the first rain. All of the dust and grease that marinates on the road for months squeezes up to the surface. It’s slippery but manageable. It gets worse when all of the rocks that were at peace get dislodged by rushing water. There was a small landslide around nearly every corner.

After navigating the actual danger that I decided to semi-ignore, I got to my spot at Newcomb’s Ranch, took a breather, and continued up. That’s when I found a light dusting of snow. I took the photo we have below and enjoyed the vibes for a bit until I realized that the dusting of snow was rapidly becoming an inch. I decided to skip dodge. 

I was vibing down the road until I decided to brake and found out that the car did not want to slow down. The throttle did a similar thing. Suddenly, all I had left was a disturbing form of momentum driving with high stakes. Summer tires in even a little bit of snow is a non-starter, friends.

I got down the mountain. Barely. Enjoy the shots, please.

Chris Rosales
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