WENATCHEE — In 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort received 23 inches of snow.
That’s all John and Laurie Barr needed to know to drive over Thursday night from their home in Everett.
“The clincher was they got 2 feet of new snow and it was going to be sunny and blue,” John Barr said. “That’s all we care about. Winter wonderland. It’s nice to get away. Today is not about the skiing; today is just about being here, hanging out.”
Mission Ridge opened for the season Friday morning. It was the seventh time in the past eight years the resort has opened Thanksgiving weekend.
The Barrs said they’re season pass holders and have been visiting Mission Ridge for at least 30 years, spending every weekend at the resort. They usually average about 40 days of skiing, staying in their camper in the parking lot.
Laurie Barr said she likes the well-groomed runs and the friendly people.
Chair 1 and the Pika Peak Rope Tow were operating Friday, with Chair 3 scheduled to open Saturday.
“As we get more chairs open, more and more folks will show up,” Mission Ridge marketing director Tony Hickok said Friday morning. “It’s entirely dependent on Mother Nature — both natural snowfall and consistent cold temperatures — so that our snow-making crew can get out there and do what they do so well. We’re making snow on the upper part of the mountain today, working to get other chairs open.”
The resort is currently offering discounted ticket prices because of the limited chairs and terrain. It’s also expanded night lighting.
Nick Pieper and Kate Repp took 5-year-old Laremie Pieper and her 9-year-old brother, Wyatt, to celebrate opening day. This is their second year at Mission Ridge.
Repp is a nurse and often volunteers in the resort’s first-aid room. They spent about 20 days on the runs last year, she said.
“My favorites are probably the Bomber runs, and then I also really like going down Tumwater,” she said. “We’re going to stay the whole day, and then we’re going to come back up tomorrow too and get after it again.”
She and Laremie ski, and Pieper and Wyatt snowboard. Repp said it’s great exercise and a fun family activity.
“It gives me something to do in the wintertime, to be outside,” Pieper added. “We’re real outdoorsy people. We’re either here or we’re cross-country skiing. … I like just sticking with the kids on the bunny hill. When they get a little bit better, we go up to the top.”
The Bomber runs are his favorite, and Wyatt said the same.
“It’s steep, it’s scary, and it’s fun,” Wyatt said.
Mission Ridge will be open Friday through Sunday for the next few weeks, and then seven days a week from Dec. 20 through February. The schedule changes again in March and April. For more information, visit missionridge.com.