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

The Great Mission Ridge New Year Deluge

A slightly solid, slightly low snow Mission Ridge on New Year’s Eve gave no hint of what was to come on the first two days of the 2017. The weather was sunny and cold, and base was good but about a foot short of ‘ski anywhere’ coverage. 2 days later and 39 inches of blower pow, that problem was put to bed. For the season.

Not even the weather forecast bore clues of the impending deluge. A couple of inches were forecast for New Year’s Day, with just a few flurries afterward. The reality was very different.

The snow started innocuously enough about 9.30am on New Year’s Day, and the steady light snowfall did a very welcome job of refreshing the groomers. By noon it was really coming down. Puking. We declared a powder day by 1pm when a run down Allah in 4-6 inches of super light wind loaded pow brought whoops of delight all around.

By the end of the day, the conditions were quite wonderful. A liftie at midway measured 11 inches of new snow on the seat of a broken chair. Every run had at least half that amount just begging to be smashed by the 200 or so people left on the mountain (the Seahawks were playing!). Every drop in off Windy Ridge was face shot territory. What a day.

The forecast for the next day had the snow petering out overnight. So imagine my surprise when I rolled groggily down to breakfast and ski buddies said 28 inches had fallen overnight. 28 inches at about 17F. 28 inches. This is Mission Ridge. 28 inches. That doesn’t happen here.

It did. There was so much snow the mountain opening was delayed, but soon after 10am we were riding Chair 4 and choking on snow on every turn. In places there was actually too much snow. You needed some angle to gather speed and hence the flat spots were a struggle. But runs like Johnson’s and Tyee and Mission’s many tree shots, that the day before were marginal, were now trips to the White Room.

I guess it was one of those occasions that you just had to see to believe. I suspect the locals will talk about the start of 2017 for many a year. I very glad we got to experience it. 39 inches in 24 hours at Mission Ridge. Really ….

Mission Ridge 8100m, 10100m, 5500m vert

Snoqualmie 6400m vert

Season totals 19 days,  145,100m vert, 8 powder days


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