From the 6,820-foot elevation at Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, the peaks of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier are visible to the southeast. The view is the first of several spectacular vistas at the resort, where 36 trails span across 2,000 acres and sunshine and dry snow occur regularly. Trails in the Cascade Mountains range from double-black-diamond plunges at the top of the mountain to easy green runs for beginners. The B.24 Terrain Park and JIBerator Rope Tow Park feature freestyle terrain for skiing and boarding, along with rails, boxes, and jumps. Experienced slope-conquerors offer lessons for fledgling mountaineers, and the resort brims with shopping, dining, and lodging options nearby for long-term visitors. Wineries and breweries are also nearby, and Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort is 19 kilometres from Wentachee and 56 kilometres from Leavenworth.
Draped across half a dozen peaks adjacent to Mount Rainier National Park, Crystal Mountain immerses visitors in more than 2,600 acres of snow-covered terrain. Skiers and boarders strap into their speedy planks and hitch a ride up the mountain on 1 of 11 chairlifts. After unloading, they point their tips toward sea level, fire up their boots' afterburners, and zoom down more than 50 named trails that range from the winding, novice-friendly Queens Run to the backcountry bowls of Penny Dawg's Cliffs and Paradise Trees. Those in need of a trick fix can head to the Sasquatch Jib Park, where a series of rails, boxes, and pole jams offer ample opportunities for grinding and sliding. Crystal Mountain averages 367 inches of snowfall per year, ensuring enough powder to satisfy thrill-seekers and still leave enough to sprinkle on an après-ski belgian waffle. In addition to the slopes, Crystal Mountain hosts the Mt. Rainier Gondola, which hauls visitors up 2,500 vertical feet in 10 minutes to the mountain's cherry-strewn summit. There, they feast their eyes on panoramic mountain views sprawling in every direction or dine on international cuisine at Summit House Restaurant, the highest restaurant in Washington state.
Following a strict Leave No Trace philosophy, Backcountry Adventure Guides instills environmental stewardship in each of its participants as they venture on fitness-filled nature jaunts. Whether climbing, skiing, or snowshoeing, the trio of guides—all of whom boast extensive outdoor sports backgrounds—uses each trek as an opportunity to stress the importance of preserving our natural surroundings and refusing to shave Bigfoot no matter how much money he offers.
Emerald City Trolley's cars may not run on tracks any longer, but their road-ready tires are just about the only thing that differentiates them from the old-fashioned trolley cars of yore. At the helm of this green, yellow, and wood-trimmed beauty is an experienced guide, who pilots it around Seattle with stops at notable city sightseeing destinations. Hop-on/hop-off routes change with the seasons, but in the winter passengers might visit The Space Needle and the Seattle Art Museum, while the summer route takes them off the beaten path to The Ballard Locks and the Experience Music Project.
In 1960, Sally Strand, a Northshore District High School science teacher, had a dream of sharing her love of skiing with her students. This led her to start the program that would eventually become Mohan Skiing & Boarding. Today, the non-profit ski school services six school districts with lessons, leadership training, and scholarships for any youngsters hoping to learn to ski. Led by veteran skiing gurus Rob Stimmel and John Mohan, the academy?s staff leads instructional expeditions on the snow-swathed slopes of Snoqualmie Summit Central, teaching students of all ages how to carve through powder, zoom down steeps, and use giant icicles as makeshift ski poles. Guests can schedule a private lesson for one-on-one instruction or register for one of their weekly group sessions, which range from weekend lessons for children ages four and a half and up and Thursday executive ski sessions for adult alpinists.
Every winter, Alpine West Ski & Snowboard School peeks through blanketing snowdrifts and evergreen groves at the Summit at Snoqualmie, as it has done since 1980. The chalet is home base for founders Ron and JoAnn Mattila and their staff of instructors, who take every skiing and snowboarding trainee under their ski poles and help them improve their balance and controlled turns. The certified school has something to teach every level of rider, through private lessons and in groups organized by both skill level and degree of horror exhibited at the mention of the word "mogul."