Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday was a Challenge

Today was a tough day on the mountain. As a consequence, we're feeling less certain about getting open on Saturday morning. We're still trying for it, but it's going to be tough. Here's the story.

Tuesday brought the snow, and by Wednesday morning we had at least 15" of new snow on the ground at the base. More at higher elevations. We had success clearing a lane to Winter Cutoff by early Wednesday afternoon. Now, a clear lane doesn't mean it's down to bare, dry pavement. It simply means that the bulk of the snow is gone, but in most cases it's still a chains needed or, at least, four-wheel drive scenario. We need this lane open so the Road Crew can get back up high to ensure that the work already completed—open culverts, clear water bars—is still intact. Essentially, we need to be in two places at once. It's a bit tricky, but things were moving along. Then, Thursday happened.

We had hoped for a clear, calm day. Sun on the Road would not only shrink the snowbanks, making clearing easier, but it would also continue to dry out the road surface. But, no such luck. On Thursday, the mountain was primarily in the clouds and flurries fell throughout the day. Worst of all, it was windy. Windy enough to cover the Road with three foot drifts in places. The lane we had cleared had to be recleared. It was almost like starting over.

Here's the good news: the forecast for Friday looks good. And, we're not giving up. The Road Crew is going to head back up the Road tomorrow and keep clearing, and clearing, and clearing. Hope for sunny and calm skies. I'll have an update late on Friday with our plans for the weekend.

- Ryan

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