Monday, February 22, 2010

Adventure on Snoqualmie Pass

I really miss being up at the pass a lot. It makes me sad. But today while I was looking for pictures for my previous post, I came across this picture:

 
Thanks to Seattletimes.com

It's a picture of a wreck on I-90 that happened a couple of years ago on Snoqualmie Pass. If I remember correctly, it happened at about 4 pm, right as me and my dad were exiting off of I-90 to go skiing. We soon found out from the lift operator that the route down the mountain was closed until they cleared the accident. We figured, oh no big deal, it's probably only like 2 or 3 cars so it will be only an hour tops.

Weren't we wrong. It turned out to be a massive pileup that took forever to clear. The first estimate after that said the pass was going to be closed for a few hours then we could go home. Oh and by the way, it had started to snow like a blizzard. So we just kept skiing, hoping that they would get it cleared sooner. We soon wore out and had already had dinner and hot chocolate and were bored. Soon, the few hours wait turned into a few more hours, and eventually became till morning. 

We figured, alright, we will just drive east and then go over another pass that will take a few hours but at least we could get home before midnight. Well, as soon as we got on the freeway, there was a policeman detouring all traffic going the other way off the freeway. We stopped to ask him how the conditions were over the other passes, and he said they were just about to close all of them because the weather was even worse. We asked him if we could just back down the on ramp and he said no, we had to go to the next exit and then turn around and come back. 

This normally would have been no problem. The next exit is at the other end of the lake, and the trip would have taken maybe 20 minutes. It took us about an hour to make the trip. We went about 5 mph the whole trip and had to stop every few minutes because the snow was turning to ice on contact with the windshield and the wipers so we could not see. It was not a fun trip.

After getting back to the exit for the ski areas, I-90 was still closed, so we went back to the lodge to have more hot chocolate and rest. Finally, I think the freeway opened at about 11 pm, 7 hours after the accident. We were one of the first ones to get on the freeway and just as we were passing the scene of the accident, they were just finished hooking up the last semi. 

What a crazy night. But I got lots of skiing in. Here's the full article if you would like to read the particulars.

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