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Originally published Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:46 PM

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Mission Ridge needs snow; turns to crash site for help

Desperate for snow, the Mission Ridge ski resort this weekend plans to try superstition by having people rub the wing of a bomber that crashed in 1944.

The Wenatchee World

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WENATCHEE — Execs at Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort have decided the obvious course of action to boost snowfall this winter is to wing it.

The snow-hungry facility will open a route to Mission Ridge’s Bomber Wing, the airplane part leftover from a 1944 crash that, says legend, brings good luck — and maybe snow — to those who rub it. Ski execs would like to see hundreds of snow enthusiasts give it a pat.

The Bomber Wing Rub-A-Dub Party will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. “We’ll have food and drink, our Snow Professor Tony and some general good cheer on hand as we attempt to appease the snow gods with a rub of our lucky bomber wing,” said Mission Ridge Marketing Director Jordan Lindstrom.

The Snow Professor is Tony Hickok, who handles snow reports for the Ridge.

In 1944, a B-24 Liberator bomber crashed into the side of Mission Ridge, killing all six crew members.

Most of the wreckage remains on the hillside under snow in the Bomber Chutes area of the ski resort.

In 1985, a wing from the wreckage was moved into the resort’s Hamilton Lodge for display.

In 1993, after several years of poor snow, ski-hill managers mounted the wing back near the crash site. And the snow returned, said Lindstrom.

“Somewhere along the line, the legend of the bomber wing grew, and now locals say you have to rub the wing for the snow to come,” said Lindstrom.

“So far this season, the runs that access the bomber wing area have been closed (for lack of snow). No one has rubbed the wing. We got to thinking: Maybe that’s the problem!”

Snow depth on the mountain hasn’t increased much since snowstorms in early November. Depth at the summit is 23 inches, at midway about 13 inches and at the base it’s variable as snow-making machines work to maintain good ski conditions.

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