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.
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."
"We speak fluent shred," says Lyon Ski & Snowboard School's website, and it isn't fibbing. In addition to teaching their snowboarding students what "stomping it" means, the instructors cover the fundamentals of beginning, intermediate, and advanced alpine skiing and snowboarding. Their 7-week programs help kids, teens, and adults to master the slopes.
Mini Mountain helps people of all ages experience the thrill of outdoor extreme sports, even if they can't be outside. Thanks to the training center's unique downhill treadmill-like machine, visitors can ski and snowboard year-round?they just happen to be indoors. The wide, sloping treadmill features a smooth surface and runs on a perpetual uphill loop, mimicking the sensation of gliding down a snowy slope. Private lessons help students master their maneuvers and turns, relying on guidance from professional instructors and the same rental gear they'd use on real slopes.
But the students sometimes still venture outdoors?those who complete enough indoor work are eligible to join the small-group skiing lessons that explore the Summit at Snoqualmie. And rock-climbing day camps travel to various nearby cliffs, so students can work on improving their climbing skills and beating mountain goats at staring contests.
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.