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Bridger opens Friday with 'some of the best conditions…we’ve seen in a very long time'

Bridger Bowl Ski Area near Bozeman is opening to skiers and boarders on Friday.

General Manager Hiram Towle says the ski area met its target opening date of the second weekend in December. The mountain is opening more than a week earlier than it did last year, when slopes opened on Dec. 21.

“Mother nature did a good job getting the whole mountain turned white and as I understand some of the best conditions for opening that we’ve seen in a very long time,” he said.

Towle says all lifts will open first thing Friday morning with the exception of Schlasman’s Lift, the experts-only lift that requires that you wear an avalanche transceiver.

“The snow on that side of the mountain was more wind affected so they are going to need a little more time on that one. They’ll crack it open as soon as they can,” he said.

With the Gallatin Valley growing and good snow already, Towle expects another busy season.

“That’s why we try to message to our guests do your best to take the buses, carpool, park smart in the parking lot, leave as much room as possible,” he said.

Towle also suggests arriving early and buying tickets online to spend more time on the slopes.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.