I've been subscribing to the Washington State Department of Transportation's email list for the North Cascades Highway for several months now, and I can say the stories Jeff Adamson tells are just awesome!
Crews are busy up on the North Cascades Highway trying to clear 50 feet of snow from some avalanche chutes! They hope to be done by the end of May. The drive is spectacular, but hearing what they have to go through to get the darn thing back into shape each year would probably make a majority of Washington tax-payers a little ticked... but, in my opinion, it's worth every penny!
They're always updating pictures on the opening of the NCH on their flickr site.
The latest from Jeff:
If anyone wants to get Jeff's emails, you can sign up for free at the WSDOT. I keep mentioning this because the emails are fascinating stories, and the pictures are just amazing. After a while you begin to feel like you know these guys.Hi all,
Just a quick update from the weekend and Monday: We only got 2 inches of new snow, so crews found nothing to hold them up Monday morning. Most of the crew continues to work clearing the 50-foot piles of snow below Liberty Bell Mountain using caterpillars, loaders and excavators instead of snow blowers due to the rocks that came down the avalanche chutes, just east of Washington Pass. However, we were successful in ferrying the snow blowers past LB4 so they could start clearing the 1/2 mile from there to Washington Pass and beyond.
Avalanche Control Tech Mike Stanford took two photos showing blowers at work clearing to Washington Pass and two more showing a snow cat and a blower working about 2 miles west of Washington Pass (toward Rainy) below Whistler Mountain. They were just posted a few minutes ago.
So, anyway, if you're looking to head over the NCH any time soon, it's probably not going to happen for about another month, unless these guys find some easy work further up the pass.
Just thought I'd pass it along.