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Bronco

HWY 20 now closing at Thunder Arm for Winter

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See here: https://wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2018/11/change-means-more-room-to-roam-for-sr.html?m=1

This adds 8 miles round trip (probably a lot of it will be road walking) to the standard Ruby ski tour and sled access will be pretty limited with the new closure at 1,400' elevation (not much snow).  What chaps my hide is the way WSDOT is spinning it as some sort of great accomplishment for recreational users.

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They added this statement to the top of the blog post: 

Thank you to everyone for your feedback. We heard you. Here are the changes we’re making in response:

  • We will close the gates on SR 20 at milepost 134 just as we have every year when the avalanche risk increases.
  • We are committed to keeping the western closure point at that location through at least Jan. 2, 2019.
  • After Jan. 2 we will continue to keep the road open to the gate at milepost 134 until there is significant snowfall to the west, to alleviate concerns about large patches of bare pavement beyond the new closure point at milepost 130.
  • We have heard from many snowmobilers concerned with the change in our operation. We are working with local snowmobile groups to attend/plan a meeting next month to discuss your concerns and talk more in depth about the issues we face on SR 20 while accommodating winter users.
  • Rawk on! 1

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Yep. Hopefully we can keep this open.  It's not like there is ever a crapload of snow at the old gate, maybe 2-3' in early spring?  Don't they need vehicle access to the Ross Lake Dam and resort?   I have to imagine Seattle City Light signed off on the additional closure.  Seems kind of crazy!

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I have inside info that the Park Service wasn't in favor of this also.  WSDOT has obviously hearing about it on multiple fronts and the original decision shows out of touch they were with the soaring popularity at that road end. 

Did not hear about the resort or SCL's positions but they have other ways of getting to their infrastructure from below I think.

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Road gated at Colonial Creek CG as of a few days ago....contrary to their website.  Grrrrrr.

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6 hours ago, JasonG said:

Road gated at Colonial Creek CG as of a few days ago....contrary to their website.  Grrrrrr.

Sounds like maybe you drove there.... did you get a look at Colonial perchance? any photos? Thank you!!

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And 20 will stay closed at the CG until they start clearing the highway, per WSDOT's Jeff Adamson.  If you are unhappy with this decision he said to contact the Sedro Woolley Maintenance Facility (who did the cost/benefit analysis that resulted in this year's Colonial CG closure).  It won't do any good this year to complain Jeff said, but it might factor in for next year's planning. 

Emphasis on might.  Basically, I think, it was a polite way of telling me to buzz off.

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Interesting.... Should we be expecting a new TR from you soon Jason?

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On 3/7/2019 at 5:00 PM, Phil K said:

Should we be expecting a new TR from you soon Jason?

Not unless you want to know how fun (not very) it is to approach the base of Colonial with skis on your back.  We didn't really do anything besides look at some cool icicles.  Very few turns, lots of post holing and deadfall.

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