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Locals hit the slopes for Bridger Bowl opening day

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 07 2012 07:19:18 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

"This is my 18th winter skiing at Bridger and I've never seen an opening day as good as this one."

By mid-morning John Grossenbacher was already exhausted.

"I went up to the Bridger Lift and skied a couple runs.  By that time, my legs had about had it so, I said this is about enough for today, for the first time," says Grossenbacher.

Meanwhile, Adam Rothman was just clicking into his skis.

"I was thinking there would be a long line here and a busy day at Bridger Bowl," says Rothman.

But by 11am, the line of powder hounds, who turned out to get the first tracks of the season, was gone.

"It's great, what more could you want for a first day," says Rothman.

There's no place else Rothman would rather be.

"I have a lot of good memories and lots of fun that I've had here and so, it's an important place for me," says Rothman.

Yet, Casey Riccatone is still forming his first impressions.  He's never been to Bridger Bowl before.

"I like the snow so far, back in Colorado, there's nothing.  They opened up way too soon and the snow's bad but out here, it's perfect already," says Riccatone.

Riccatone may be new to the mountain but even Bridger Bowl regulars are pleasantly surprised with opening day.

"It's early season conditions.  Does it feel like it?" I asked.

"It doesn't.  Well, compared to last year, it feels like midway, half-way through the season.  It's actually pretty nice out," says Bozeman resident Anne Anderson.  She says she skis daily.

Folks with Bridger Bowl say they're pleased with opening day 2012 as far as turnout, especially for an early season Friday.  They say when it comes to conditions, timing is everything.

"Took a walk in the snow last night and got excited about that and was really looking forward to a good day today, which it's turned out to be," says Bridger Bowl Marketing Director Doug Wales.

I wanted to see what conditions were like for myself so, I hopped on the lift to take a couple of runs.  The snow was soft and the only rocks I found were on ungroomed slopes.  With five inches of fresh snow and a base of 24 inches, the coverage was good and the skiing was great.  

Folks with Bridger Bowl say even though they have good snow, it's important to remember early season conditions still exist and to take proper precautions.