Mission Ridge Ski Resort has light powder snow, which is somewhat rare in this state. The snow at Washington State ski resorts is sometimes criticized for being too wet and heavy.
The heavenly dry snow that makes Mission Ridge skiing
so renowned comes thanks to the resort’s high altitude
and inland location on the eastern slopes of the Cascade
Mountains. At 4,570, the base at Mission Ridge is
the highest of any in Washington State. Because of the
powder and sun, Mission Ridge skiing has drawn comparisons
to skiing at Alta
in Utah, Sun
Valley Idaho, and other famous destination resorts.
The four lifts at Mission Ridge Ski Resort cover 2,000
acres (1,000 of which are skiable terrain) with a vertical
drop of 2,250 feet. Most of the 36 named runs at Mission
Ridge Ski Resort are rated blue and are well suited to
intermediate skiers. From the base area ticket holders
have two options: Chair 1 to the right or Chair#4 to the
left. Beginners should head up Chair 1 and ski one of
just two green runs. Both runs are main thoroughfares,
so Mission Ridge Ski Area is probably not the place for
first-time skiers or snowboarders, though some of the
blue terrain is manageable for advanced novices.
Experts and Intermediates can take Chair 1 and traverse
to the Liberator Express (Chair 2) to get to the peak
or get some warm up runs off Chair 2. Chak Chak is also
good place to start, and you can find its more challenging
terrain off of Chair 4. Wounded Knee is another run accessible
off of Chair 3.
The two lifts from the midway station at Mission Ridge Ski Area serve a good variety of intermediate and advanced terrain. The most challenging runs for Mission Ridge skiing are to skiers right from the top of the Liberator Express: Alah, Maggie, and Lemolo. There is also some challenging off-piste terrain in the Bomber chutes and Bomber cliffs off Liberator.
Snowboarders will enjoy the 3.5-acre terrain park at Mission Ridge Ski Area. Head skiers left from the top of the Liberator Express and take the second trail on the right.
Mission Ridge Ski Area boasts three things: snow, sunshine, and wide-open spaces. It is usually sunny, the powder is dry, and there are spectacular views of Mount Rainier and Mount Stuart to the south and the Columbia River to the north. In good seasons, nothing in Washington State beats Mission Ridge skiing.