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  1. #1
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    Mission Ridge Conditions- 2015/16

    Saturday December 12, 2015. Coverage at Mission Ridge is currently excellent. The rain in Wenatchee over the past week came in as a combination of rain and snow at Mission and created a firm base. Roughly 6 to 8 inches of fresh snow was sitting on top of the base. All this provided great coverage we haven't seen at this time of year for several years. Virtually all of the named, inbound runs had adequate coverage and the firm underlying base, even if wasn't deep, kept skis from grounding out. On the fringes of the resort skiing in Central Park and out along Windy Ridge had decent coverage as well. All of this made for a superb day of skiing. It was snowing hard (and blowing hard) at closing time -- meaning Sunday skiing will probably be equally good. Wind slab was building so Sunday will likely see higher avalanche hazard.

  2. #2
    Very good skiing Sunday. A nice reminder why we all enjoy skiing. Was pretty grim the last two years.

  3. #3
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    Sunday December 20, 2015. Another bumper weekend at Mission with excellent skiing (I'm told) on Saturday and excellent skiing I sampled on Sunday. Especially strong visitations on Saturday -- cars were being parked down by the Beehive Reservoir road by around 10:30 a.m. Sunday was interesting in the morning with rime frosting up people's goggles for the morning hours. A credit card proved to be a handy tool for scraping ice off goggles. The skiing was good enough to endure this minor inconvenience. Coverage is sure good right now. So far we're seeing the Jekyll to last year's Hyde winter... or should the analogy be the other way around?

  4. #4
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    Saturday December 26, 2015. Awfully fun skiing today. Great coverage and excellent snow quality all around the mountain. Been long enough now since the last dump that fresh turn within the resort are getting hard to find (there are still some small stashes to be found). Getting so that you need to hike for fresh turns.

  5. #5
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    Sunday January 24, 2016. Matt Dahlgreen and I arrived at Mission Ridge at about 9:30 a.m. and cars were already being directed down toward the Beehive Reservoir for parking. We had intended to backcountry ski to climber's left of the Outback and take a lap or two in the Stemilt Basin. We quickly re-calibrated and decided we'd ski up to Mission Peak via the Devil's Tie-In trail, but by the time we arrived at the switchback parking area, that little lot was full, too.

    "Let's ski from Stemilt State Park to the top of Stemilt Basin" I suggested as we kept driving downhill.

    Ever the optimist, Matt effused, "How cool is it that we have all these options along such a short section of road?"

    I kept my mouth shut but, because the freezing level had been quite high a few days earlier, I was thinking, We'll see how cool you think it is when we ski a few thousand vertical feet of breakable crust.

    There was no competition for parking at the state park and off we went up through a little dust on breakable crust, then through two inches of powder on breakable crust, then through about four inches of powder on a firm crust, and finally through boot-top powder with no crust whatsoever.

    Of course as fate would have it, what we found on the open slopes of the Stemilt Basin was a whole different animal than what we were taming in the forests to the side of the basin. The slopes below us in the basin were a combination of stiff powder, soft styrofoam snow, and thinly crusted snow. The texture of each type of snow was different and you might get to enjoy two of these snows on any one turn.

    We weren't really sure, however, whether we should venture onto the slopes at all. As we looked over the basin slopes to our southeast, big slab avalanches had rampaged most of those slopes. Matt estimated we could see crowns capping the top of nearly a third of the basin's total area. The crowns looked small but the distance was long and we guessed that perhaps the top two feet of snow had flushed off all those slopes.

    By picking our slope carefully we snuck into the basin along a line of very moderate angle and then kept mining the slopes of least resistance downward toward the Wheeler Reservoir.

    Near the reservoir, we skied a combination of glades and thick brush. Below the reservoir we entered that magical domain of dust on breakable crust. The combination of challenging snow and woody matter in the forest made for slow skiing. We made faster progress here going down than we had made going up, but a good Ski-Mo racer would have probably made it up the slopes faster than we made it down. Still we were successful in getting down without blowing an ACL in the breakable crust, without impaling ourselves on a branch, and without concussing ourselves on a tree trunk. That made the descent a smashing success, in a non-literal manner of speaking.

    The map shows our route. Take a close look at the picture and you'll see a crown capping all of these open slopes in the Stemilt Basin.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6


    Sled buried 14ft deep at Lake Marion

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NateW View Post


    Sled buried 14ft deep at Lake Marion
    I knew this day was coming. No injuries? There are some gnarly terrain traps back there. Is that a female rider with the deployed airbag?

  8. #8
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    From what I understood from Jamie Tackman this happened on Monday January 25 -- the day after I reported being spooked about the Stemilt Basin.

    Also an interesting irony -- I believe this happened in one of the new non-motorized areas defined by the Naneum Ridge Recreation Plan. No official boundaries have been posted by the DNR about this to non-motorized area so no foul, but still interesting. Mike Rolfs posted more about this slide at Turns All Year.

  9. #9
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    Mission Ridge is hosting a 3 night uphill series starting this Saturday (tomorrow). Info here: UPHILL SERIES

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerolfs View Post
    Mission Ridge is hosting a 3 night uphill series starting this Saturday (tomorrow). Info here: UPHILL SERIES
    The first night happened with 4 participants. Then the race was changed to a 2 night series. There was no advertising for the series, but I did get an email from El Sendero telling me about the race. The second night happened with 4 participants. Congrats to Tom Janisch who won the night. There is one more organized uphill race this coming Saturday. I don't have a link to share because there is no info on the internet about the series. Nothing on the Mission Ridge website. No announcement. Weird.

    There are cool prizes. I won a backpack on the first night. $10 entry fee, gets you one beer and a chance for a tee shirt or other prize. I heard rumor of a Mtn Eqp Jacket to the series winner.

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