Up in the Mountains, Snow Decides to Stay for Summer
The cloud-shrouded Pacific Northwest has been unusually cloudy this year, as UW meteorologist Cliff Mass noted a few days ago. Our non-spring and non-summer are still having an effect, even now that August temperatures have soared…into the 70s.
KING 5 reports that WSDOT isn’t even going to bother to try to plow the snow from the highway from Heather Meadows to Artist Point in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. There was more than 50 feet of snowfall over the winter, and 13 feet remains on the highway, about twice the normal amount. WSDOT estimated clearing the road would take about two months, and crews are needed elsewhere.
This atypical summer at elevation is everywhere you look. The Tacoma News-Tribune has a story on Mount Rainier’s now-more-challenging trails:
Most summers, the 3.8-mile round-trip hike to Comet Falls in Mount Rainier National Park is a popular, family-friendly walk. This summer, park rangers are recommending hikers use ice axes and crampons to navigate the route that is still covered with snow.
In many cases, you can take a look before you leap. Mountain webcams abound. Here’s Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Even if you’re not planning on going, it’s fun to stare wistfully at the Hurricane Ridge cam. Sigh.