SR 20, North Cascades Highway annual snow-scouting trip - 2012
It's that time of year again - the annual snow-scouting trip up the north Cascades Highway.

We hopped on our snowmobiles and snow cat and trekked up the snow-covered highway on Wednesday, March 7, from the east side of the mountains.

Our avalanche and maintenance crew members found snow depths that were somewhat lower than normal. Though, they expect the snow to be in the normal range, about 50-60 feet deep, in the Liberty Bell avalanche zone by the time we get around to clearing the highway.

We plan to start clearing work the last week of March and hope to have Tootsie serving cinnamon rolls the first week in May. Last year, you may recall, we started clearing on April 11 and didn’t get the road open until May 25 – the second latest opening ever.

We can't start work on the North Cascades Highway until the avalanche threat at Stevens Pass diminishes.

When the highway opens, you can take your own great shots of the North Cascades. Some of our favorites are included in this Flickr gallery:
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