SNOW BLOWS!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: November 4, 2023

Montana is also known as BIG SNOW COUNTRY! This latest blast of white stuff proves that. We had a similar blast, last year. It melted off fast though and Halloween went off without a hitch. A week later we got round 2 and it wasn’t until April that we saw our lawns again. 

Heavy snow in the mountains can ruin a hunting season. Ice has yet to freeze on the lakes. Skiers are excited to hit the slopes. Getting to work and other outside activities can become a bigger challenge. 

Early snow tends to be wetter, heavier snow. This means that the snow is heavy and harder to move. 1 cubic foot of snow = 20 lbs. Snow that arrives when it becomes very cold tends to be powderier and is easier to push. 

No shovel is best for moving snow. The type of surface that you plan to clear will determine which shovel to use. If you have a smooth cement or asphalt surface, you can easily push or slide the snow. A gravel path means more of a narrower scooper style shovel.

Power snow blowers are big time and body savers but also have a big price tag. The size and power will be determined by the space you need to blow. Choose a blower that you can comfortably manage. It needs to turn, reverse, and redirect the snow chute with simple manual controls. I prefer an electric start rather than a pull cord. Some come with chains, headlights, and other features. 

Plows are perfect for big areas and longer driveways. You do need a 4 WD truck to push the plow. A wheeler, with a plow can also make you the neighborhood’s welcome friend. 

It’s a good idea to have a couple variations of snow removal tools. A foam broom is perfect for removing snow off your trucks and cars without damaging or scratching them. A narrower scoop type shovel is good for areas where you need to throw snow further. 

Everyone hates having to deal with driveway snow jams. Usually, we clear the area, as good citizens should, only to have the plow truck leave pushed snow back into your space. Now you have heavy, icy, clinkers to remove. The snow blower can jam up, a shovel scoop is heavy, and even the wheeler plow can get stuck in the ridge of street snow and ice. At this point, you may need to use snowmelt salt or bring out the heavy equipment. 

If you have a roof rake, you can scrape snow off the roof edges and gutters. If you don’t, the gutters freeze, and the weight will eventually help them to fall off the house. By clearing a few feet of roof. The sun will melt the snow against the shingles and allow the melt off to clear the downspouts.

You may also want to take hoses off the outdoor spigots and cover them with an insulating bonnet, to keep them from freezing. You can make your own using plastic milk jugs, with the bottoms cut off. Wrap a cord or stiff wire around the spigot and bring it out of a hole cut in the handle. Leave the jugs cap on and fill with old insulation or plastic grocery bags. Pull the wire tight and secure around the handle. They can be trashed each year, after they have done their jobs. 

You also need to consider where you are throe=wing the snow once you have moved it off your paths and driveways. If it piles up too high, later snow shoveling means that you must lift the snow higher to toss it over the previous piles. It’s not uncommon for Montanans to have snow covering their lands until April. 

Think Spring!

Montana Grant

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