Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

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Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby EMSC » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:45 pm

Annual guys trip.

Just missed a big storm cycle that had 26+ inches. Skied mostly Shlasmans lift with one ridge hike. Fairly warm compared to recent weeks with temps right on the edge of putting a tiny bit of melt on the surface of the S facing parts, but lots of leftovers and very soft on all other aspects (the main exposure is east, bit with plenty of bowls it ranges fro SE to NE).

Very nice terrain, but have to be careful at all times to not get cliffed out and despite a very robust snowpack, still plenty of rocks to see and avoid in spots . I'd hate to see it in a low snow year.

As it was, very nice day of skiing. More Bridger tomorrow when the rest of the gang will have arrived in addition the the 3 experts skiing with avi gear today.
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Bridger lift
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:43 am

Good to see your group getting a bit more offbeat with destinations. I assume that you're also hitting Big Sky?

EMSC wrote:Very nice terrain, but have to be careful at all times to not get cliffed out and despite a very robust snowpack, still plenty of rocks to see and avoid in spots . I'd hate to see it in a low snow year.

Speaking of Big Sky, I remember someone years ago saying that there are rocks that never get covered and if you see a stretch of completely untracked snow, don't go there because you'll get speared by something lurking just below the surface.
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:21 am

James is right on with that Big Sky observation. Liz and I thought Schlasman's really improved Bridger a lot, and since it was dumping snow on our day there we never used it to get up to the Ridge.
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby EMSC » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:40 pm

Spent much of today on one primary objective - Saddle Peak. Which is out of bounds. With no new snow things were mostly soft, but starting to get skied to firm in a few spots and with full avi gear we decided to run a very popular side county run down the ridge. It's around 550 verts of climbing including some very narrow sections. You have to hike so far due to a long section of terrain with 100+ foot cliffs at the bottom of the pitch which is just ON to the South. To get beyond that terrain trap requires a fair bit of a hike. Snow was mid calf and partly tracked (it's a very popular OB run by locals) for a very nice run. Big effort and went slow with some semi experienced partners from back east who mostly have cat/heli experience.

Today was a mix of grey, flat light followed by sun periods. It was also rather warm with 40F at the base late day. Though again did not notice any snow turning even at the bottom. It must have very good thermal mass from frigid temps the past several weeks.

The rest of our group showed up today, having flown in the prior night. So we skied a couple of blue groomer laps to start the day. By the time we finished Saddle Peak it was a late lunch and only 3 runs on Bridger chair after that.

Never did see/ski the 2 lifts lookers right of the Bridger lift. If I get some time will add more commentary next week on Bridger. Have moved over to Big Sky for the next two days, with a couple of us waiting to see on predicted snowfall to decide which area to do for Sunday.
Last edited by EMSC on Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby EMSC » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:47 pm

A couple of the pics.
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:15 am

Saddle Peak was the site of a Class 4 avalanche Feb. 16, 2010:

This was one of the avalanches analyzed at the International Snow Science Workshop that I attended at Squaw Valley in October 2010.
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby EMSC » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:28 am

Looks like a big one back then. Fortunately a very different snowpack and immediate avi conditions right now. Much more cohesive snowpack with wind loading and new snow dangers being primary in the avi bulletins. We went on the 2nd day of moderate danger with no apparent new wind loading or etc... lots of factors to consider of course as you make the choice to leave the area boundary that I don't have time to write up before heading back out today.
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Re: Bridger Bowl, MT Feb 28 & Mar 1, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:08 am

ISSW analysis was that there was a weak layer from mid-December 2009. Nothing had happened for a long time but the rating was "considerable" due to the uncertainty. People had skied that area earlier in the morning but no one was there when the avalanche happened.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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