PUBLIC LANDS -- The seemingly rentless grip of snow on the high country is giving way.
Road No. 25 on the east side of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument will be open from Pine Creek to Randle by Friday.
Paul Seitz of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest said the snow will be cleared by Thursday, then crews will turn their attention on road No. 99 leading to Windy Ridge.
"We'll start pushing through the 99 by Friday,'' Seitz said. "There is still a lot of snow up there and who knows what kind of damage we’ll find as we work our way in.”
Many secondary roads remain closed by lingering snow.
"In my 21 years on this forest, this is the latest opening we've ever had,'' said Ron Freeman, GPNF public services manager.