Access to Mission Ridge during Snowmaking and Early season limited operations for 2018/19 Season
Mission Ridge Early Season uphill and downhill traffic update.
Due to the complexity and variability of our pre-opening mountain setup and snowmaking operations we are currently closed at all times to any uphill skiing, snowshoeing or hiking in the areas and runs as indicated on the attached early season map. Closed runs are Mimi, Compromise, Lower Chak Chak, Sitkum, Tumwater, Lip Lip, Nastar, Nertz, Sunspot, Katsuk, and areas around and above Midway. Ski touring (up or down the ski area), snowshoeing, or hiking within these zones of the ski area is prohibited. At this time of year things change rapidly and the mountain operations departments are working hard to get us ready to open. The safety of the public and our staff during this timeframe is our top concern. If in doubt - stay out.** We are also CLOSED to all uphill skiing, snowshoeing or hiking from 7am to 5pm on all operational days.
On Closed Days - The areas outside of the Closure zone are open for public access but may require hiking up and/or down due to low-snow coverage.
On Open Days - The Standard Uphill policy is in effect and Uphill Travel anywhere within the Ski Area is prohibited starting at 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM or when TCP is complete.
Typically the routes become safe and clear when the majority of the mountain is open with natural snow and the snowmaking equipment is cleared from the runs. At that point, we will revert to the standard uphill policy. We ask that all users understand that we are all working together to provide opportunities for amazing winter recreation.
** Currently the ski runs are strewn with high-pressure hoses and high-voltage electric lines for snowmaking. Skiing/hiking over these lines and hoses can cause expensive damage to the lines and could result in injury or even death to you. Damage to the lines also puts our employees at risk while they handle and move the lines. The electric cords carry 480 volts of current and the hoses hold water at 500-850 psi. so nicks or cuts in the lines is incredibly dangerous for our workers.
Lakes Trail to Mission Peak early season route:
- Follow the Lakes Trail at the parking lot entrance up to Clara Lake and then head generally in a southwesterly direction toward Mission Peak. Most of this terrain lies northwest of the Ski Area Boundary.
- Downhill early season access into the ski area is allowed only through Central Park and then by accessing the Summer Service Road below the Terrain Park Rope Tow. No access to the Service Road is allowed above the Terrain Park or in the Terrain Park during early season or during other snowmaking closures.
Standard Uphill Travel Policy 18/19
Within the Mission Ridge Ski Area Boundary, uphill travel is permitted only on designated routes when conditions do not adversely impact avalanche mitigation, grooming, snowmaking, parking, snow removal, maintenance or other ski area operations. Uphill travel is restricted within the Special Use Permit area during periods of avalanche danger or avalanche mitigation. Uphill travel is always closed within the Ski Area Boundary on designated trails and runs between 7:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. on operational days and anytime while lifts are in operation. Uphill users need to be off of the mountain and back in the base area by 7:00 a.m.
The designated routes may be closed at any given time due to safety or hazardous conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to; avalanche danger, mitigation work, construction, snowmaking, grooming or maintenance operations. Winch cat operations may take place at any time on the mountain and will be marked with signs. Stay far away!!! EXTREME DANGER. Runs undergoing winch cat operations are CLOSED to uphill and downhill travel. If Bomber Bowl and the standard uphill route is closed due to winch cat operations then uphill skiers can use Tumwater and Sunspot to reach the top of the mountain.
Rules of Use (Designated Routes)
- Vehicles must be parked at the Lake Clara Trailhead parking area at the entrance to the lower parking lot. Cars parked in other areas impede our ability to plow the lot and will be towed.
- No trespassing on Mission Ridge structures and developments during non-operating hours.
- Dogs are not allowed within the Ski Area Boundary and are never allowed on the Designated Routes during winter operations (including days when the lifts are not operating).
- Uphill travelers must be visible (by wearing headlamps during hours of darkness).
- Yield to all downhill traffic whether person or machine.
- Uphill travelers must stay on the trail edge --'uphill right on Bomber Route and uphill left on Chak Chak Route '.
- Once Mission Ridge has opened for the ski season any terrain that is closed during operations remains closed to entry even during non-operational hours. Closed terrain is closed at all times.
- Uphill travelers are subject to RCW 79A.45.030, Your Responsibility Code and other Mission Ridge rules and policies.
Designated Routes (where you can go inside the ski area)
These routes are open at 5:00 p.m. on operating days and are open until 7:00 a.m. unless the policy is closed or restricted. Uphill users should make route plans that allow them time to be back in the base area no later than 7:00 a.m.
Within the Mission Ridge Ski Area Boundary and to the summit of Mission Ridge:
- Route #1
- Uphill Route #1 follows the Summer Service Road behind Hampton Lodge to Midway (snow permitting otherwise 'uphill left’ on Mimi)
- From Midway, uphill travel follows Bomber Run to North Bomber to the Boundary Road. See attached map.
- Downhill Route. Reverse of the uphill route skiing to the skier’s left side of the run down Boundary Road, North Bomber, Bomber to the Summer Service Road (snow permitting otherwise ‘skier’s right’ of Mimi). All off-piste terrain lying to skier’s left of Bomber is also available for the descent, but only if that terrain is open (off-piste terrain the Ski Patrol has marked ‘closed’ cannot be used as a downhill route).
- Route #2
- Uphill Route #2 follows uphill left of the Chak Chak ski run to the top of Chair 4.
- Begin this route at the east edge of the parking lot in the base area (behind the RV parking lot).
- Hike up the lower portion of the Outback (passing through the center opening in the fence) then head to the lower Chak Chak ski run. See attached map.
- Continue upward on the uphill left of Chak Chak to the top of Chair 4.
- Uphill travel into Bowl 4 from the top of Chair 4 is not allowed.
- Downhill Route. Reverse of the uphill route staying to the skier's right edge of the run, finishing near the RV parking area. All off-piste terrain skier’ right of Chak Chak is available for downhill traffic, but only if that terrain is open (off-piste terrain the Ski Patrol has marked ‘closed’ cannot be used as a downhill route).
- On Closed days (typically non-holiday Tuesdays and Wednesdays) any area that has been opened for skiing is available for uphill use with the exception of Tumwater, Toketie and Skookum, which remain closed. Rules of Use (above) apply.
Nearby Backcountry Routes
Even when the Designated Routes within the Ski-Area Boundary are closed (e.g., early-season conditions, avalanche control, ski area is operating, etc.), two backcountry routes outside of that boundary remain open at all times and can be accessed from the Mission Ridge Ski Area. One of these routes uses the Lakes Trail to access Clara Lake and the Mission Peak environs; the other uses the Outback to access Stemilt Basin. For both of these routes, park at the entrance to the lower lot as close as possible to the Lakes Trail Trailhead.
- Use of the Backcountry Routes is allowed even when the Designated Routes within the Ski Area Boundary are closed. Uphill skiers using the Backcountry Routes cannot descend to the parking lot via the ski area if the Ski Patrol has closed the terrain being used to enter the resort.
- Click here for more details about the Backcountry Routes.
Backcountry travelers are encouraged to check in with the Mission Ridge Mountain Patrol when leaving the Ski Area Boundary. Mission Ridge requests that backcountry travelers park outside the Mission Ridge parking lot at all times. Overnight camping is not permitted within the Mission Ridge Permit Area. Overnight RV camping is permitted in designated zones in the base area.
The Mission Ridge Ski Area recognizes the enthusiasm of the public to be outdoors enjoying the mountains while participating in different activities. Since 2004, the ski area has experienced a rapid increase in winter snowshoeing, snowboard hiking and the use of alpine touring equipment as a means of uphill travel to access terrain in and outside the resort's Permit Area. This type of recreational use raises safety concerns during operating hours and during non-operational hours when maintenance operations or avalanche mitigation may be occurring. Maintenance operations routinely occur on the mountain during all non-operating hours. Machinery can be found working anywhere on the mountain at any time. This policy helps mitigate safety concerns of recreational use during maintenance operations, while allowing recreational access to public lands.
Mission Ridge asks uphill skiers to respect the work of our grooming staff by following the designated uphill routes, knowing the policy, and by skiing downhill via the same uphill route or skiing entirely off-piste. As a courtesy and general practice, please avoid freshly groomed runs -- skiing these runs damages our product and if skied at the wrong time can even create significant safety issues for guests the next day.
If you have questions or comments on the uphill policy, we encourage you to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org anytime and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Mission Ridge accepts no liability or responsibility for accidents that occur as a result of uphill travel. RCW 4.24.210