The Bridger Bowl Association announced last week that new developments for the 2015-16 ski season will include a 30-passenger tram. The tram will run from Jim Bridger Lodge straight to the top of Saddle Peak.
Brianna “Daffy” Jones, head of public relations said in a press conference “plans are still in the design phase, but construction will begin as soon as the snow melts away from the base area.” This may happen as early as next week.
Only two years ago, Bridger Bowl added a new lift, named Powder Park, to increase beginner terrain and make the ski area more family friendly. According to Josh “Backscratcher” Davidson, the vice president of operations, the purpose of the tram is quite different than the chairlift added two years ago. “The past few years have seen a huge increase in the number of kids attending MSU just so they come get gnarly at Bridger. Right now there are only so many places where kids can just huck themselves, but a tram to Saddle Peak will change all that.”
Association treasurer David “Yardsale” Price explained, “Due to the large overhead costs of installing a tram, we will not be able to hire additional ski patrol to patrol the new terrain. The tram will service only backcountry terrain, but that’s ok because everyone that skis here has a avalanche beacon and knows how to use it. Plus most of these rippers could out-ski an avalanche if they had to.”
Bug Showboat, a forecaster for the Ferry Lake Resort Avalanche Center, seemed indifferent to the idea of putting 30 skiers on top of prime avalanche terrain every seven minutes. “I mean, kids are going to shred up there with or without the tram. Plus it’s really not that dangerous, we only see the whole snowpack rip out to the ground once every two or three years.”
Most MSU students responded positively to the announcement. MSU senior JT Schmit said, “I can’t wait to ride the tram. I’m going to ski so many more ‘verts’ and get some sick GoPro footy for my season edit.”
Recent MSU graduate Chad Wilkenson was slightly more negative. “I’m going to miss the days when I would go hike Saddle Peak alone and get endless faceshots. This tram is going to ruin all of that.” He concluded by saying, “Screw it, Big Sky is better anyways.”
The president of the Bridger Association, “Straight Air Steve” said, “We take inspiration from bigger resorts like Jackson Hole, Whistler Blackcomb and Snowbird. We are hoping that this tram will be the start of building a bigger community around the mountain, like what they’ve got going on in Aspen.” Steve is extremely optimistic about the future of Bridger Bowl. “Why stop with a tram? In a couple of years we can definitely have a Cat and even Heli-ski operation going in the Northern Bridgers.”