The car will go as fast as you want it too, no matter what gear it is in.
But if you are in a gear that is too high for the current speed, your car will not have the PULL and POWER that it would have normally. This is a good thing in snow.
Think about it, you are driving along behind someone going really slow on the highway, you want to pass them, but quickly, what do you do?
If you are in 5th, you drop it down to fourth, the engine roars a bit and you can accelerate REALLY fast, you have A LOT more power available to accelerate.
The opposite is true when you shift up too soon. You don't have a lot of power, and you loose the ability to accelerate quickly, VERY ideal for snow and ice.
Does this make sence??? It is really hard to type and get my point across.
Try going from a stop, in second instead of first. You might stall a couple times, but you wil see what I mean. Less power = Less chance to slip and slide
And yes, stay away from those hills. You have a front wheeled drive car, so you should be in WORLDS better of a situation that I am with my BMW. My car is old and ragged...but it has a lot of power and it's like a BOBSLED in the snow. I HAD to learn how to drive it in the snow.