We have received a lot of curious emails lately asking us why we close the mountain passes when there is risk of avalanche danger. I could tell you, but I thinks that these photos will tell the story better. When you see what an avalanche looks like and consider the danger of being buried by one, you can see why we take the closing of the passes very seriously.
Stevens Pass - February 2008 - Tunnel Creek
Snoqualmie Pass - January 31, 2008 - Cars stuck in both sides of avalanche
Did you know that there are at least 40 avalanche chutes on Snoqualmie pass alone!
SR 20 - January 2008 - Newhalem - Not just snow comes down in an avalanche, sometimes rocks do too.
SR 20 - January 2008 - Aerial View - Newhalem slide
Typical Avalanche at Snoqualmie Pass East snowshed - an avalanche of this size can cause the pass to be closed for two hours.
As you can see there is considerable risk to any vehicle that tries to cross the mountains when these dangerous conditions exist. We appreciate your patience while we take the appropriate time to make sure the highway is safe for travel.