Mission Ridge, WA, Feb. 24, 2021

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Mission Ridge, WA, Feb. 24, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:02 pm

We drove over 2 hours to Mission Ridge from Yakima, stopping in Wenatchee for windshield washer fluid which had run dry. This was the first sunny day Liz has seen on our road trip (I had one at Squaw Valley while she was in Florida). Mission Ridge has varied interesting terrain. The key lift #2 that serves over half of it has recently been upgraded to a high speed quad and had only been open for a week.

The new lift was stopped when we got up to it at 10:45, so we took a warmup groomed run on chair 3. It stopped several other times but not for long and we took 11 runs from it. We started with cruisers on Sunspot and Bomber Bowl. The latter is named for a 1944 wreck of a B-24 training flight.

Mid-mountain between those main groomers are some tree shots like Squirrel Chute and the Ka Wham Chutes. We didn’t see those names; we just explored where it looked good.


Mission Ridge has a more continental climate than most of the Northwest. Snowfall is modest but low density, so occasional powder stashes like this were light and dry as Larry Schick had advertised.

It was sunny all day, with light wind on the chair but none on top. Views off the back were impressive. Mt. Stuart, 26 miles away, second highest non-volcanic peak in the Cascades at 9,415 feet:

Mt. Rainier from 68 miles:

Mt. Adams from 89 miles:

Mt. Hood is 146 miles away, we thought we could see something live but not in a picture.

Everything was packed powder with a rare manmade base detectable on a couple of groomers. After noon we started working the ridgeline looker’s left of the top of chair 2.

Runs we skied up there included Lemolo, Gary's and No Name, and I followed a local father and son to a tree stash just beyond Maggi. Here Liz emerges from one of the tree runs off the top ridge:

These runs end on a catwalk that leads to the upper 80% of chair 3’s runs. Before chair 3 you can take steeper runs like Johnson’s and Tyee. A couple of the groomers have huge rock outcrops which were left in place.

We took a short break at Midway, which is at the base of chairs 2 and 3. After skiing to the bottom, we took a final run on the deserted chair 4. Sitkum to lower Chak Chak still had corduroy marks after 3PM.

I skied 20,500 vertical and we think we saw Mission Ridge in optimal conditions. During the recent stormy days the upper lift was on wind hold. It was a good enough day that we skied to 3:30, despite needing to drive over 4 hours to Sandpoint, ID with a dinner stop in Coeur d’Alene.
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
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Re: Mission Ridge, WA, Feb. 24, 2021

Postby snowave » Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:31 pm

When I lived in Leavenworth for a year, I enjoyed going to Mission Ridge over Stevens Pass. As mentioned, the snow is much drier, and I think the terrain is pretty fun and varied. The year I was there, they also had a pretty good snow year, which made it all the better.. as they usually get shadowed quite a bit from the higher Cascade Crest, to the west. Glad to see they got the HSQ up and running!
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Re: Mission Ridge, WA, Feb. 24, 2021

Postby ellytilton » Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:13 pm

Cool clouds Tony! Glad you're getting some skiing.
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