Washington Department of Transportation crews will begin clearing the North Cascades Highway on March 25 and might have the road open by early May, the agency said Thursday, March 7.
On Tuesday, avalanche-control specialists Mike Stanford and Harlan Sheppard rode snowmobiles from the Early Winters information center to Rainy Pass, measuring snow depths at more than two dozen avalanche chutes and other sites.
Snow depths at the summit of Washington Pass measured about 5 feet, compared to 7.5 feet last year, while the snow was 5.5 feet deep at Rainy Pass, compared to 8 feet last year.
Snow piles in the Liberty Bell avalanche zone ranged from 25 to almost 40 feet, compared to 35 to nearly 60 feet a year ago.
The department closed the highway for the winter on Nov. 20, 2012.
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