The ‘New’ Bridger Bowl

It’s not the first time that Bridger Bowl has changed the location or configuration of their Bridger Lift, but it is the biggest change to the way the terrain it services will be skiied since the midway loading station was removed from the Bridger lift almost twenty years ago. Besides having a new location for loading just outside of the Deer Park Chalet and the obvious fact that it is now a triple chair lift, the biggest difference is the Lack of the Deer Park Road. It was removed during the installation of the new Bridger Lift. By removing the Deer Park Chair, Avalanche Gulch, which used to be dissected by the Deer Park Road half way between the High Traverse and South Bowl runout, is now one long 1,500 vertical run. As is the Sluice Box and Bronco Face.

I must admit, I missed the Deer Park Lift, at least the idea of it. It did offer a big bang for your figurative buck. Fairly steep right to the bottom with no runoff or lift lines. But upon some realization and reflection, you will see that the new Bridger lift is keeping up, with no lift lines to speak of either, and if you got off at the midway unload spot, it is almost like skiing off the now historical Deer Park Lift. It turns out the New Bridger lift is a quick ride too. Only seven minutes from bottom to top, making it a great chair for doing some big laps on.

With the changes to the Skiing on Bridger’s terrain and 2010’s unprecedented addition of the Schlasman’s lift which added 311 acres of expert only ‘ridge terrain’, Bridger Bowl is finally catching up with their base area improvements on the mountain itself. The new lifts have made people excited for more improvements in the future. Already while riding the Bridger lift I have heard happy people talking about more future improvements. Although lift expansion is in the plans at Bridger, there are many obstacles standing in the way before we see another big change. But still, giddy riders are dreaming of things like moving the Virginia City lift which is now almost useless and unused, to where the old South Boundary area used to be, or on the back side between Pierre’s Knob and Schlasman’s.

“If Bridger Bowl were to put a lift there it would open a huge amount of riding up to people who do not like taking the (PK return) road.” one snow boarder stated.

Another future plan Bridger has had for several years now is replacing the Alpine lift with some newer, faster more strategically placed lifts on the north side of the Ski Area. While skiing at another ski area recently I had a telemark skier ask when the lift will be put on the Apron. That would be cool wouldn’t it?

On January 14th be sure to check out Bridger Bowl’s 56th Birthday Bash. It’s $15 lift tickets for all carloads of skiers/riders of 3 or more because it’s ALL about Sustainability! There will be park and ride space at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds located on Tamarack off N. Rouse, plus preferred parking in Lots A-D. You MUST have 3 on a wheel to get the DEAL!! Regular prices are in effect for carloads of 2 or less and parking in lot E and lower. Season Pass Holders get 15% discount on food and preferred parking when 3 or more to a car. Also – $15 Group ski & snowboard lessons and FREE Birthday cake (while it lasts). On January 21st it is Bobcat Ski Day. All the same deals as Bridger’s  Birthday Bash except the free cake.    B