I missed this thread somehow, but great read.
It was my diff that blew that night using the reverse technique.
Driving in snow/ice does take a little finesse, but as you gain speed and no traction, finesse is out the window, I just wanted to slow and stay on the trail. As Stan said I was using brake, e-brake and used the reverse a few times with light skinny pedal. This worked well until I was gaining too much speed on a downhill section and I think if I hadn't used reverse I would have ended up off the trail into a tree/rock with my wife and another passenger. Possibly rolling. I took the chance and "blew" it. Ha.
Good times though and again, thanks to all that helped get me rolling at the trail head.