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Heavy snow and avalanche danger temporarily close Chinook and Cayuse passes

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Date:  Sunday, November 17, 2013

Contact: Meagan McFadden, WSDOT communications, 509-654-0697
Kris Olsen, WSDOT communications, 206-437-6314

CHINOOK PASS – Heavy snow and increased avalanche danger has prompted the temporary closure of both Chinook and Cayuse passes.

The Washington State Department of Transportation determined the avalanche risk is too great to allow traffic to safely cross State Route 410/Chinook Pass and SR 123/Cayuse Pass. More snow is in the forecast, which could produce several more feet of snow by Monday, Nov. 18.

WSDOT maintenance crews plan to evaluate conditions after the storm to determine if the passes will reopen or remain closed for the season.

Approximately 20 inches of snow fell on the passes since Friday, Nov. 15.

Chinook Pass, elevation 5,430 feet, is closed from Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit to Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit.

Cayuse Pass is closed within Mount Rainier National Park from the 4,675-foot Cayuse Pass summit to Stevens Canyon Road.

WSDOT offers a number of ways to get travel information:
• View the Chinook Pass Web page
• View the Cayuse Pass Web page
• Download WSDOT’s free smartphone app to check statewide pass conditions.
• Tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM
• Call 511 using a hands-free device
• Refresh your memory on winter driving


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