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Avalanches close highways, park roads

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Big slides closed several roads Friday and had backcountry travelers frowning as the avalanche danger rose.

Avalanche danger throughout the state was high on the heels of Thursday’s storm, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

That was evident with slides that shut down Stevens Pass for most of Friday, forcing Stevens Pass Ski Resort to close for the day.

Mount Rainier National Park tweeted early Friday that avalanche danger meant the road to Paradise would not open, which proved to be a good decision since two huge slides hit the road hours later.

Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park closed Friday as well due to an avalanche on the road.

In the North Cascades, state Route 20 east of Newhalem shut down after a large landslide blocked the road. The state Department of Transportation said it would reassess Monday.

The closure means an extended trip for about 40 students from Henry M. Jackson High School in Everett who were on a field trip to the North Cascades Institute, KOMO reported.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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