- This Memorial Day weekend hikers and campers may discover their favorite trails and campgrounds under several feet of snow in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, in spite of warm spring weather. A long and late winter with record snowpack at low elevations is to blame.
- Of the 34 campgrounds normally open for Memorial Day, 24 are open, snow has postponed opening 10 and closed most of the trails. “I haven’t seen conditions like this in the 15 years I have been on the forest, with the snow so low and so late in the spring,” said Rodney Mace, forest recreation staff officer. He said more than a foot of snow blocks the road on the Mountain Loop Highway Deer Creek gate, which at only 1,200 feet elevation is usually open this time of year, and the snow depth tops six feet at Barlow Pass. “We had unprecedented snowpack this year and above 2,000 feet elevation you will encounter continuous snowfields, or lower, if the area is shaded,” he said.
- Campground openings that have been postponed include Silver Springs until May 30, and the following until June 13: Denny Creek, Miller River Group, Beaver Creek Group, Coal Creek Group, Wiley Creek Group, North and South Bayview, Mineral Park, and Silver Fir. Visitors can check campground opening dates by calling 541-338-7869, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and 541-822-3799, Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; or, by going to www.hoodoo.com.
- People who have reserved campgrounds that have been closed due to snow can negotiate a new date or get their money back by contacting the National Recreation Reservation System at www.recreation.gov or calling HooDoo at the above numbers. For updated information about road and trail conditions go to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/.
- “Even if the roads were ploughed, there would be no place to go, nowhere to park and avalanche hazard,” Mace added. Warm and wet weather raises avalanche danger, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center, which advises the public to check its website at http://www.nwac.us/ before visiting the forest.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The following email came into the AAI office this morning:
Posted by American Alpine Institute at 9:59 AM