Mild winter comes to pass on Chinook
But while crews are on track for the earliest ever reopening of the pass next Friday — save for 1977 when it never closed — it doesn’t mean the work is without challenge.
The warm winter, with lots of repeated melting and freezing periods instead of one deep freeze, has led to more loose rocks falling onto the roadway.
And working on the steep slopes above the highway, avalanche technicians on skis must be wary of exposed rocks, small trees and other hazards that are typically well-buried in snow. There’s just 6 feet of snow near the pass right now, instead of the normal 15 feet.
Image credit Yakima Herald.