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Wed., July 20, 2011, 10:23 a.m.

Finally! Mount St. Helens snow retreats; road opening

The fresh vapor trail or
The fresh vapor trail or "contrail" of a streaking airliner creates a linear contrast to older, more diffused trails of similar jets that have already passed over Mount St. Helens in this 1994 photo. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

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.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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