Mission Ridge Ski and Snowboard Resort near Wenatchee is benefitting from favorable conditions in the early winter season. 

The mountain received significant early snowfall in November and weather that aided snowmaking efforts, which resulted in the resort's earliest allowable opening date under its special use agreement. 

Mission Ridge spokesperson Tony Hickok says they saw a major spike in early season crowds. 

"We were one of the first ski areas open, not only in the state of Washington, but also in Oregon or Idaho," said Hickok. "So, we saw some increase in the number of visitors from outside the local area, due to being one of the only games going on." 

New Mission LLC operates Mission Ridge under special use permits from the U.S. Forest Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which own the land the ski area sits on. 

The opening date this year of November 19th is the earliest opening the resort has had in five years. 

Mission Ridge is currently open Thursday through Sunday, but will start seven days a week service next Thursday, December 15th. 

At that time, lifts operations will expand from three chairs to all lifts. 

The resort will be open from 9am to 4pm on Christmas Eve and 11am to 4pm on Christmas Day. 

Then night skiing will start the following day on Dec. 26. 

There's been a massive expansion in night skiing with lighting now in place all the way up the No 2. Summit Chair, which Hickok says will offer a nearly unparalleled experience. 

“We have one of the highest vertical, or elevation from the top to the bottom of the mountain night skiing terrains in North America, probably the second highest vertical. 

Mission Ridge has a Vertical Rise of 2,250 ft. from top to bottom. 

The night skiing experience on the mountain will include a much wider variety of intermediate and advanced intermediate runs. 

The resort is scheduled to remain open into the month of April. 

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