The Mission Ridge snowboarding resort actually has a pretty decent amount of terrain despite only having 4 chairlifts – it is designed well enough to only need that many to cover all of its terrain.
Mission Ridge is located in Washington State not far from the town of Wenatchee.
They don’t get a huge amount of snowfall (5.1metres [200 inches]) but they do get a lot of sunshine (300 days a year on average!). And they claim to get light dry powder due to the drier conditions and the elevation of the ski area.
They seem to have some pretty extensive snow making facilities so that probably helps with their low annual snowfall.
It has a decent amount of space when you include the backcountry – and your chances of a nice day up there? Pretty darn high when you consider the amount of sunshine days they get.
|Mission Ridge Mountain Stats|
|Resort Elevation: 2,078m (6,820ft)|
|Vertical Drop: 686m (2,250ft)|
|Ride-able area: 2,000 acres|
|No. of Lifts: 6 (4 chairlifts, 2 rope tows)|
|No. of trails: 36|
|4 (10%) Beginner (Green)|
|21 (60%) Intermediate (Blue)|
|11 (30%) Advanced (Black Diamond)/Expert (Dbl Black Diamond)|
|Backcountry: Decent – both lift accessible and hiking|
|No. of parks: 1 (see below)|
|Night Riding: Yes (limited)|
Freeriding and Trails
Mission Ridge sounds like an un-crowded mountain and you are unlikely to run into any lift lines – which is always nice!
A majority of the trails are intermediate to advanced so not too much terrain for the beginner. But I don’t think this necessarily stops the beginner from riding here. You should be progressing on to those intermediate runs fairly quickly and the need for terrain variety is less pertinent when you are still learning.
There’s a decent amount of backcountry too, some of which is lift accessible but the best stuff might require a bit of hiking.
Mission Ridge has one main park with two lanes. It seems like a decent park and has a dedicated rope tow for it so you can get in heaps of laps in a day – hence why they called it the “100 laps” park.
They also claim that the park is wind protected. So even though there’s only 1 park it sounds like a good one.
Yes they have night riding. Unfortunately it only operates on Saturday’s and only scheduled for 9 days of the season (Saturday’s between January 3rd to February 28th).
The good news is that you can get a night skiing pass for all 9 of those days for just $99. So if you made every session it would be just $11 per night!
Night sessions run from 4pm to 8pm.
Where to Stay
Check out the page at the link below for options for places to stay around Mission Ridge
How to Get There
If you are flying in from outside the area you can fly into Wenatchee. With the Pangborn Memorial Airport being only 30mins away, it’s pretty convenient. Flights are probably cheaper into Seattle but then you have to add on the cost and extra time of getting there.
Also if you plan to stay in Wenatchee then that airport might be the better bet.
If you drive from Seattle you have to go through Wenatchee to get there anyway.
Wenatchee: 25 minutes drive without traffic
Leavenworth: 55 minutes without traffic
Seattle: 2 hours 45mins without traffic (expect longer in traffic and winter conditions)
Spokane: 2 hours 55mins without traffic
Trains also run to Wenatchee and Leavenworth which is pretty convenient especially when you consider the shuttle you can get from Wenatchee (see below).
Check out Amtrak’s site for more details.
The Skilink shuttle bus travels between Wenatchee and Mission Ridge and is only $2.50 one way. What’s more it’s free, that’s right free, for season pass holders. Sweet deal!
Checkout the linktransit website for more details. Only seems to run weekends and some holidays.
There is also a shuttle you can get from Seattle – see more here
Usual opening date
Typical opening date is mid to late November. With extensive snowmaking they seem to be able to keep this pretty constant – even if early season terrain is limited.
Past 5 years opening dates:
2010/2011 Season: November 6, 2010
2011/2012 Season: November 19, 2011
2012/2013 Season: November 23, 2012
2013/2014 Season: November 23, 2013
2014/2015 Season: November 28, 2014
Usual closing date
Pretty consistent closing date too. Usually around mid April.
Past 5 years closing dates:
2010/2011 Season: April 17, 2011
2011/2012 Season: April 14, 2012
2012/2013 Season: April 6, 2013
2013/2014 Season: April 13, 2014
2014/2015 Season: Yet to close at time of writing
When not in night operation the lifts typically run 9am to 4pm. According to their schedule it looks like they are closed Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s outside of holiday periods for the 2014/15 season.
Have You Ridden Mission Ridge?
If you’ve ever had the chance to go snowboarding at Mission Ridge would love to get your opinion. Any other questions or feedback also welcome in the comments below. I’m always looking to improve the usefulness of these profiles so if you have any suggestions happy to get those too.
Photo Credits from top:
Photo by butter_fry [CC BY 2.0], via Flikr
Photo by PJ Johnson [CC BY 2.0], via Flikr
I’d love to go snowboarding properly… I know I’ll make it happen at some point in the next few years and, when I do, I’ll be sure to come back here for your advice/info!! =)
Hey Zoe – thanks for stopping by. You won’t regret starting snowboarding. If you’re like me anyway it will quickly become an addiction – a satisfying and constructive one!