EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Mission Ridge and Stevens Pass first visit advice: powder day or wait for sun?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mission Ridge and Stevens Pass first visit advice: powder day or wait for sun?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm planning to take a little road trip out to Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge after my usual weekend at Alpental.  The forecast is looking snowier and snowier.  I love a powder day as much as the next guy, but I'm wondering if I'll really get a chance to see the mountains this way.  

 

I'm wondering if any of you familiar with these mountains has an opinion on this.  Am I crazy to pass up dry light mission ridge powder and a high quality day at Stevens?  Or would I get a better feel for the mountains by just waiting until it clears up a bit (but skiing at a mountain I know in the meantime)?  

 

FWIW, I'm going with my wife and 2 boys ages 5 and 9.  The older boy and I are pretty aggressive, but all of us can comfortably ski every designated run at Alpental.  So we won't be cruising groomers, but won't be hucking cliffs either.

post #2 of 16

When are you going?  I am usually at Stevens on Sunday. Visibility is usually not a problem at Stevens, there are a lot of different aspects, both on the front side and Mill Valley (back side).  There are trees all over the place, too.  Also, on the weekends there are a lot of skiers around, so you're not usually going to be stranded all by yourself someplace.

 

I've been to Mission a couple of times.  I really like MR.  Lots of tree runs, great snow (when they have it).  You're not going to get lost.

Might send a PM to Artemat, he skis there.

 

My .02 is go for it.  Sure, on a clear day you have stunning views, but most of the time when it snows neither area is plagued by truly horrible visibility where you can't see anything around you.

 

 

post #3 of 16

If you wait for a bluebird day to go anywhere in the Cascades, you may wait forever.  Just go.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks DU, that's the information I was looking for.  We'll just go, and hopefully find the time to go back soon.  The kids' lessons have us at Alpental every weekend through March, but it looks like the snow will still be there in April.

 

I'm heading to MR on Monday, Stevens Tuesday.  Short trip but I'll take what I can get. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

If you wait for a bluebird day to go anywhere in the Cascades, you may wait forever.  Just go.


Hah, true.  I guess I use the words "sun" and "clear" a little loosely.  "Sun" just means "not flat light" and "clear" means "no fog or heavy precip".  I didn't know what to do with myself this week when I had to ski in direct sunlight.

 

Anyway, I will just go.

 

post #5 of 16

Could see Adams, Rainier (of course), St. Helens, and Glacier Peak from Crystal yesterday. No view in the next few days, but the snow will be better for sure! smile.gif  2' to 4' on the way!


Edited by markojp - 3/9/12 at 8:24pm
post #6 of 16

 

Wow, there's actually snow in the forecast at MR? I've wanted to check it out for years and everytime I look at conditions, I just  shake my head. I'd love a report that tells me if it's really worth driving past Stevens to ski.

 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Couldn't see anything at Alpental today.  At least there were no lift lines and some of the trees were surprisingly nice.  

 

Have a look at this forecast for MR:

 

7-Day Forecast for Latitude 47.28°N and Longitude 120.42°W (Elev. 6255 ft).png

 

next Thursday looks good, but I'll be happy w/ Monday.  Well I've got to get packing.  

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

The trip was great.  I was worried when we showed up at MR - near zero windchill and the high-speed quad to the top was closed due to wind - but ended up having an incredible day.

 

My 9-year-old and I were getting fresh tracks under the lift lines at 2pm, and could have gone back and figure-eighted them if we didn't have other places to explore.  My only gripe is that without the lift to the top there wasn't much in the way of prolonged steeps, at least not that I knew how to find.  Not griping much though.  FWIW, the visibilty at MR on a storm day was better than what I expect at Alpental on a regular day.  Somehow, the light was not flat at all and you could see plenty to pick a line.

 

And Stevens yesterday was a blast.  The snow was a little heavy compared to MR, but those long unbroken double-blacks more than made up for anything we missed at MR on Monday.  I'm going to have to get back to both of these places.

 

So the correct advice was "just go".

post #9 of 16

It's great to hear that the trip was a winner.  Those two areas have a lot to offer.  I'm glad that "just go" worked so well, it doesn't always.  But if you don't go you never will.

post #10 of 16

I'm thinking of getting in a last ski of this season by taking a long solo weekend from New York to Seattle.  I've skied Crystal and Stevens before, but not Mission Ridge.  Do you know if there are affordable places to stay near any of them or have any recommendations otherwise for a 3-day weekend out there?  (Not sure if Mission Ridge is still open, though.)

 

I would fly out Thursday night 4/26 take the redeye home Sunday.  I will likely ski with a friend from Seattle Friday, but have no plans Saturday or Sunday.  I have a free place to stay in Seattle, but would prefer not do do so much driving every day.

post #11 of 16

Mission is officially closed.  They had a bonus day yesterday when they opened two chairs, but whether or not they'll do it again is unknown.  Stevens, Crystal, and Baker are all scheduled to be open on your days in question, as long as your 3 days are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Neither Stevens or Baker are open on Monday, I don't know about Crystal.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yes, things are closing down here but there is still plenty of snow and spring conditions have been great.  Alpental will also be open that Saturday and Sunday.  Here's a picture of what Alpy looked like a couple of hours ago:

 

International at Alpental - 4/15/2012

 

Lots of big soft bumps that move out of your way if you ask them right.  Loads of fun.

post #13 of 16
Looks beautiful. Next time I'll ask the bumps politely as I'm struggling down, exhausted! I made the plane reservation, so I'll be skiing 4/27 - 29. Can't wait!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKS View Post

Looks beautiful. Next time I'll ask the bumps politely as I'm struggling down, exhausted! I made the plane reservation, so I'll be skiing 4/27 - 29. Can't wait!


Hope you have a great trip. If you think you'll come by Alpental, PM me -- I should be there Saturday and Sunday.

post #15 of 16

OK, thanks Rolfe.  Will do.  I've never skied there.  My friend wants to ski Crystal Friday since the back side of Stevens is closed.  I might just stay at Crystal all three days, or perhaps move around.  Is Alpental worth a trip  on the weekend?

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've spent more than 30 days at Alpental this season and still want more, so I'd say it's worth a trip.

 

With that said, it's not for everyone.  There are only two intermediate runs on the mountain and they get choppy fast on warm spring days, so if you like cruising groomers you will be disappointed.  Crystal has much more more terrain variety on the smooth/not so steep end.  Also, Crystal is higher, so if the snow level is 4500 feet (realistic in late April) you'll get powder on top of Crystal and get soaked at Alpental.  

 

If you like rugged terrain and don't mind the driving I'd say Alpental is worth a try.  If you're staying in the Seattle area, you can always wait and see what the weather is doing before you decide where to go.  It's not too far to either mountain. 

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Mission Ridge and Stevens Pass first visit advice: powder day or wait for sun?