Steve - yow, that's a good snowfall! I guess moving the engine back relative to the rear wheels does a lot more good than it seems; a 2wd truck would be unusable in that picture (maybe with the bed full of snow it'd go somewhere....), but The Van? Clear the windshield and drive away.
They're pretty astounding in snow; I get lots of crosseyed looks from the other snowmobilers, but I've yet to get it stuck on the forest service roads (most snowmobilers drive great big diesels with 20" wheels and stupid tires and exhausts sticking out of the bed.....). One place we rode this winter just Did Not Seem Right. Followed the internet directions, turn right into condo complex, turn right again, all the way up to FS road X, left, park. Long story short, the tire tracks over the snowbank into the woods WERE correct, and the guy told me that if I "did not lift" I'd get up to FS Road X.
So...faith in the guy at the snowmobile rental place, plowed over the snowbank, onto the semi-packed surface, road went up into the woods, bore left out of sight, rounded the bend, it got STEEPER, dammit, yikes, kept my foot in it and it popped out on a wider, but flat/semi packed road. Got up on the flat, fine.
Driving out, there was a 4x4 truck stuck in the soft stuff on the side. Dunno if he did not heed the "don't lift" advice, or if he had to move over to let someone down, but when I stopped to ask if he needed a hand, he said no, his friend was coming back with a strap...."is that thing 4wd?" Nope.
The look of bewilderment on his face was priceless.
Iain (admittedly, I'd have been stuck if I'd made a mistake, at which point, chains - put chains on? You can go pretty much anywhere. That said, driving a 2wd van onto what is considered a 4x4 road in the _summer_, let alone when there's 30-50" of settled snow on the ground, with a trailer/1000# of snowmobiles on the back is REALLY stressful....)