Tuesday, February 05, 2008

How I Earned My "Mountain Girl" Degree

Welcome to my (snowy) world.

This post is not related to ancestral family history, but it certainly is to my own personal family history. I can't refuse footnoteMaven anything, and she just asked about the current difficult conditions where I live, in the Cascade Mountains at Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. Since Maven and I haven't been able to hobknob in person recently, I'm going to tell all about it all here.

Well, there has been a lot of weather coverage about our area recently, and all of it is true. Blizzards? Avalanches? Road closures? Power outages? Record breaking snowfall? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. I'm sure our local ski resort owners are crying in their beer mugs, because in recent years there has been a shortage of snow. This year, there is plenty... but, who can get there to enjoy it?

Life at Snoqualmie Pass is beautiful, but unpredictable this time of year. We're used to snow, but not this much in a such a short period of time. Case in point: this image taken from an I-90 freeway cam just west of the summit. What's that? You can't see much? Exactly! Record snowfall this season has created a snow removal nightmare for WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation). You can see the rest of the conditions report on this website:
WSDOT Mountain Passes, Snoqualmie Pass, I-90

Pass Report for 1:41 pm, 2/5/2008:

Temperature: 29ºF / -2ºC

Restrictions Eastbound:Traffic Delayed for Avalanche Control

Restrictions Westbound:Traffic Delayed for Avalanche Control

Conditions & Weather:Avalanche control work is in progress. Eastbound traffic is stopped at milepost 47 near Denny Creek, westbound traffic is now stopped at milepost 71. // Overcast skies with light snow

Here's our chalet pictured a few years ago during a relatively tame winter. Photo courtesy of Billie Lawson.

My usual daily commute, 55 miles from the Pass into Seattle, begins with all of this. Now Maven, don't you worry; we're all safe and sound. But, I certainly hope there isn't much more snow, because our chalet is already bridged on three sides and is more like a cave than a house right now.

For more photos and news:

"I-90 still closed in Wash. by avalanche danger", USA Today, 1/29/08

"...governor declares state of emergency" The Seattle Times, 1/31/08

Snoqualmie Pass reopens, KOMOTV.com, 2/2/08

Heavy snow forces another brief closure", KOMOTV.com, 2/5/08

Avalanche control photos, WSDOT, Winter 2008.


  1. Mountain Girl:

    Thank you so much for the update! You have been on my mind.

    Were I up to it, I'd drive to the pass to see this in person. I really think this is a once in a lifetime thing and I'd like to experience it (for about 30 minutes - not live in it - I don't know how you do it.)

    So where is global warming when you need it?


    P.S. The blog looks marvelous! You really have been busy.

  2. Dear Maven - unfortunately, I think this IS global warming. If you'd like to see it all in person, hey, come on up. For fun, bring your sled, but don't forget a full tank of gas... chains... patience... extra warm clothing and boots... and, oh yes, an emergency pack!