post #31 of 31
At Mission Ridge in WA, Bomber Bowl has a wing from a WWII bomber that crashed in the area in the 1940s. (STORY BELOW)

And it must be the only ski area anywhere that enshrines a crashed WW II bomber. The story of the B-24 Liberator that crashed in 1944 on what would become a Mission Ridge slope -- with the loss of all six crew members -- is a curious bit of local lore.

Although wartime security kept publicity about the crash to a bare minimum, apparently over time the curious began hiking up to the crash site and taking home pieces of the wreckage as souvenirs. Local legend then developed that the ghost of one of the crew members, the prop man, began wandering the mountain at night in an agitated state.

In 1992, ski area owners decided to mount a piece of the ill-fated bomber's wing on the slopes as a memorial. Perhaps not coincidentally, the season of 1992-93 marked the end of a seven-year drought with record snows, and the wing became linked to that good fortune. Local people then began returning pieces of the wreckage to the ski area, and the twisted and rusted relic of a .50-caliber machine gun now rests on the general manager's office wall.

"Bomber Bowl," not far from the crash site, has since become the area's hallmark run, snaking steeply down alongside and then beneath an impressive band of basalt known as Bomber Cliffs.