Pacific Northwest Ski blog (and a few other places!)

Lots or reports from skiing around the Pacific Northwest, with some East Coast excursions thrown in for good measure

Closing weekend at Mission Ridge

The Cascades have some great ski terrain. In Spring the Cascade ski areas really come in to their own, with deep cover and more reliable weather. Mission Ridge, on the east side of the ranges, gets less snow than the other Cascade hills, and hence typically closes earlier. This year it closed Easter weekend, and the good snow coverage and benign forecast (not to mention free skiing with our White Pass season passes) tempted us over for a weekend.

Most of the best terrain at Mission is accessible from the fast Liberator chair that takes you to the top of the ridge line. From there, choice abounds. Traverse to the skier’s right to find numerous bumpy steeps and wide open trees. Head left down a groomer for access to the steeps and chutes of Bomber Bowl. And follow the chair for long, fast cruisers interspersed with diversions of bumps and trees.

In two days we took all these options, and then some. Saturday was warm and the slush was a little hard work at times. But Sunday was much firmer and faster, and almost deserted. The bumps on Johnsons, and some of the mid-mountain tree lines were almost perfect spring skiing. In fact it was a great bump skiing weekend, with the soft conditions conducive for my overworked knees to hit the deep ruts between the VW-sized moguls.

No lift lines, few people –  no shock then that we racked up some decent verts. A slightly late start Saturday limited us to 9200m. But Sunday, we went to last lift (actually 3rd last loaded chair of the season!) and registered a very respectable 11400m.

This was really a perfect exploration weekend. I now feel that have a much better appreciation of Mission’s terrain and know how to find some of its gnarlier lines. It’s a very underrated ski area, with big, varied terrain. But given its location, remote from Seattle and Spokane, its likely to remain pretty much a hill belonging to the people of Wenatchee and the broader Eastern Washington area. We’re very lucky to have it.

Saturday 9200m Sunday 11,400m

Season totals: 52 days, 22 powder days, 421,100 verts

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