ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) — The phrase doesn’t carry the weight of a more popular one.

But, yes…..spring is coming.

Proof can be found in the annual trek toward the top of Trail Ridge Road undertaken by snowplow operators on either side of the Continental Divide.

Those drivers began their task in mid-April and continue today.

A Rocky Mountain National Park snowplow augers through a bank of snow on the east side of the Continental Divide in late April. (credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is the highest continuous paved road in the United States (at 12,183 feet in elevation). That means, of course, a tremendous amount of winter’s accumulation must be cleared from the pavement before travelers can traverse its length and enjoy its views.

RELATED Crews Work To Clear Snow From Trail Ridge Road (2016)

Crews regularly encounter snowdrifts up to 22 feet deep and “are accustomed to plowing the same section of road over and over” due to repeated snowfall, stated RMNP spokesperson Kyle Patterson.

An RMNP snowplow approaches Rock Cut on Trail Ridge Road in late April. (credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

One such storm system is just days away.

This, to end a winter season that already brought a number and severity of avalanches that reached historic proportions in Colorado.

The goal is always to open the highway in time for Memorial Day, traditionally the beginning of the tourism season.

A park employee clears a previously plowed section of Trail Ridge Road on May 1. (credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

Trail Ridge Road, a federal highway, was completed in 1932. The earliest the road has opened was on May 7, 2002; the latest June 26, 1943. In 2011, the road opened on June 6.

A worker measures the wall of snow left behind after snowplows cleared Trail Ridge Road in the spring of 2016. (credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

 

 

 

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