One of my favorite things is getting a phone call from my brother that goes like this: Let's go skiing. In March it was a double treat when he informed me we were going to Mission Ridge. Although I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and Mission Ridge's light powder is legendary, I'd never been to the Ridge.

Located outside of Wenatchee (a couple hours east of Seattle) the elevation's higher and the snow drier than at the passes. Fortunately Wenatchee is accessed via Stevens Pass - that meant lunch and skiing. The snow at Stevens can be a little sketchy (it's Western Washington), but the day we stopped in it was that dry light Cascade powder we only dream of. Needless to say, the skiing was great.

We stayed the night in Wenatchee and got up the next morning to ski. It was clear and sunny in Wenatchee, but there was something brewing in the mountains; they were socked in, and it didn't take us long to see why. At the mountain the snow was falling horizontally as walls of blowing powder stung cheeks and froze on eyelashes. The upper portion of the mountain was closed due to hurricane-force winds. We learned all the passes were closed as well. We had ourselves a bonafide blizzard. Upside: Small crowd. Downside: No mountain to share it with.

The next day brought more of the same weather. We monitored the reports and decided it'd be a good day to venture into Chelan - a nearby resort community - where we tried our luck at the Mill Bay Casino. And won. We stopped by Peshastin Pinnacles State Park with its striking rock formations on our way back to Wenatchee. The following day we headed up to the Ridge. There'd been no change in the weather and we were informed that the wind had blown so hard up top it had actually bent the chairlift rendering it unusable. Despite the wind and pounding snow we decided to at least ski the lower runs. It was fun, but the wind ultimately proved victorious, blowing the powder off the ground and laying bare rock and dirt. It was light all right. The next day we headed home over Snoqualmie Pass with enough of a taste of Mission Ridge to want to return for a second helping.