Amid its snowiest winter in 20-years, 38 natural avalanches occurred on Snoqualmie Pass in one night, reports the state’s Department of Transportation.
WSDOT officials say the avalanches occurred overnight between January 6th and 7th following an intense snowfall within a short period. A record-breaking 27” of snow fell on January 6th.
Sixty-nine inches of snow accumulated on Snoqualmie Pass between January 3rd and 7th, a top-five all-time total in terms of five-day snowfall.
The largest known avalanche occurred on January 7th. A D4-classified avalanche happened on the west face of Kendall Peak above Commonwealth Basin above the Summit at Snoqualmie Pass Ski Area. The slide began at around 5,500 feet in elevation and slid around 1,000-feet, destroying acres of forest, throwing trees into the air, and burying trunks in snow over 50 feet high. The debris field from this massive avalanche was 1,500 feet wide and would easily cover multiple football fields.
A D5 avalanche is classified as big enough to destroy a railroad car, large truck, several buildings, or a substantial amount of forest.