Having studded Nokians is like cheating

Vermont has had its share of nasty weather recently. Our first genuine snowstorm of the season was followed a few days later with an ice storm that seemed to never end. Several days of freezing rain closed the northern part of the state down and left thousands without power.

Both instances proved to be great tire testing so I decided to take my wife’s Subaru Outback which has studded Hakkapeliitta 7s.

I drove to Sugarbush ski area to get our first powder day of the season and the tires, coupled with the all wheel drive, made the Suby a tank. Despite seeing multiple cars off the road, my drive to the mountain was drama free and allowed me to catch the first chair to the top. For the drive back home I once again chose to go over the Ap Gap and marvelled at how the tires hooked up in both the ascent and descent.

For the ice storm, things were a bit more serious. The police warned people to stay off the road unless it was an emergency. As the storm wound down 1/2 an inch of ice coated everything and the plow trucks didn’t even attempt to clear the roads. A trip to the ski area was not advisable but I did need to make some short local trips. It was remarkable that the car felt normal even in the tough conditions. While I treated the roads with respect, I was at ease and certainly didn’t feel like I was risking my life. In the last photo you can clearly see the ice build up on the curb and trees.

In both cases while the others were unable to drive or were doing so while super nervous, I was cheating. Driving with studded Hakkapeliittas in bad weather is like having an unfair advantage over the other drivers.

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