2019 Road Clearing Operator Log
Log updates are posted when reports are received from operators in the field. The latest update may not reflect the current status. The road crew works Monday through Thursday, 10 hours per day.
June 14 - We punched through the last 1.5 miles of the park highway at 9:30 am yesterday. We swept almost to Summit Lake and blew through Summit Lake North Campground this afternoon. There is still 6 to 7 feet of snow in shaded areas. We will continue to work on the campgrounds next week and start hauling some equipment Monday morning. Once we get all the equipment down off the hill we will move on to Juniper lake. Thank you all for your support during road opening operations! It was a tough opening this season--the most intense and demanding season I’ve seen in my 8 years at Lassen. Thank goodness we had GPS this season; it saved us a few days of work and added to our safety and well-being.
June 6 - Today we ended our day just shy of the broken tree pullout, giving us a total mileage of 10.9 miles plowed. We are also finishing up clearing the rockfall and other debris along the section of highway between Sulphur Works and the Bumpass Hell parking area. There were two areas on the side of Diamond Peak where snow slides fell back onto the previously plowed road.
May 31 - Today we completed clearing to the switchbacks below the Lake Almanor Overlook. So far the snow depth has held pretty consistent at 16 to 18 feet! We were hoping that once we got past the Peak parking area there would be less snow, but it's looking like the snow depth probably won't start to lessen significantly until after we get past the Terrace Lake trailhead.
CalTrans blew out most of the snow from the Lassen Peak parking lot this week, but we will have to drop back in to do some more work with our loader in a couple weeks after the snow has melted a bit more.
Next week we will begin cleaning up all the rockslides, downed trees and brooming the road to the Bumpass Hell parking lot in preparation for opening the road to that point. We will also be digging out the bathroom so it can be serviced and prepped for visitors. Repairs were made to the big loader so we are back at full production again.
May 24 - It's been a tough couple of weeks dealing with the weather up on the hill, and we've gotten roughly 4 feet of new snow since Thursday of last week. The road is now cleared up to the Lassen Peak parking lot. We've spent the last four days stripping layers of snow from the lot, and we have it down enough for CalTrans to finish blowing it out. We have literally run out of room to
put the snow, so the parking lot is going to be a little smaller than normal for a while. Our big blower's loader lost all controls today due to a bad computer -- the replacement part is ordered, but still a few days out, so we will continue next week with just our small blower. Progress will be slow. We are hoping for a break in the weather!
May 16 - We made it to the beginning of the Lake Helen side hill yesterday, but visibility on that section of the road was too poor to work on that section of road today. Tomorrow we will work on the Warner Valley road into Drakesbad, and hopefully the weather will permit us to resume work on the main park highway on Monday.
May 15 - Previously opened sections of the park highway closed temporarily to vehicle traffic due to snow. The highway is currently closed beyond the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center in the south and beyond the Loomis Museum in the north, but will reopen when conditions allow for safe travel.
May 10 - The park highway has opened to vehicle traffic one mile past the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center to Sulphur Works. The road remains closed to vehicles beyond the Sulphur Works parking area.
May 8 - Road crew has cleared a total of 5.2 miles from the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. They are now next to Emerald Lake and working their way to the Bumpass Hell parking area. The snowdrift at the north end of Emerald Lake measured 28 feet high (photo)! The crew is expecting parts for the rotary blower next week, which will bring them back to full strength. Thank you to CalTrans, who is now assisting with snow clearing beyond the Devastated Area on the north side of the park.
May 5 - Upon resuming operations this week, we only cleared a tenth of a mile due to due to one of our blowers becoming non-functional. Road clearing will continue while the blower is being repaired. Going without this machine will delay progress a bit.
May 3 - We finished the day at the pullout just before the upper switchback east of Diamond Peak. We have cleared a total of 4.2 miles. We have Emerald sidehill in our sights and it looks deep! Staff also made an initial pass on Butte Lake road this week, but the road remains closed. Since it's a dirt road, we have to clear just above the roadbed and allow the remaining layer to melt and the road bed to dry.
April 25 - We are 2.5 miles up the highway from the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and 3/4 of the way across Diamond Peak sidehill. The drifts are deep!
April 23 - Completed initial pass of Sulphur Works parking area and cleared an additional half mile beyond Sulphur Works.
April 22 - We reached Sulphur Works parking area at the end of the shift today. We will begin clearing the park area on Tuesday, April 23, but it will take awhile to clear the restroom of snow.
April 18 - The highway opened to vehicles between Loomis Plaza and Devastated Area (10 miles). There is 4-6 feet of snow at the Devastated Area. Road clearing began today at the Southwest entrance! The snow is much deeper (~12 feet) than it is at Manzanita Lake to Devastated Area, so more machines are needed and the process of clearing will take much longer. Please stay clear of equipment. Operators may not be able to see you.
April 11 - The highway is cleared for approximately ten miles between the Loomis parking area and the Devastated Area parking lot. The highway remains closed to vehicles beyond the Loomis parking area.
April 2 - The highway is cleared approximately three miles from the Loomis Museum parking area. The highway remains closed to vehicles at the Loomis parking area.
March 28 - Snow clearing operations began on the park highway. Snow has been cleared from the Manzanita Lake Campground road and campground loops. The road remains closed to vehicles.