BOZEMAN — It’s a little early in the season for a bluebird ski day like today, but residents from across the area are eagerly taking advantage of it.
"The snow is just going to be like air, man. It’s just gonna be cold, the smoke, and that’s why we live out here in Bozeman, Montana all day,” said Jack Feick, an avid skier and student at Montana State University.
No, it’s not opening day at Bridger Bowl. But hundreds of locals flocked to the ski hill this weekend to hike and ski some of the fresh powder. And these die-hard skiers were excited.
“It’s snowy out, it dumped like a foot in Bozeman last night. It’s just gonna be steep and deep and we’re just gonna get pitted on some high altitude swells today,” said Feick.
"It’s so exciting for it to be October and for it to have snow on the ground and pack a car full of gals and have a gals ski day,” said Emma, a local skier.
The Bridger Bowl Ski area doesn’t officially open until later in the season; that means skiers and snowboards are accessing terrain by hiking or skinning up the mountain.
“We’re just gonna go up to the top, and run them all down. It’s funner right now because there aren’t many people today,” said Shiloh Johnson, a snowboarder getting out for the first time this season.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center says the first big storm cycle of the season means triggering avalanches is a real possibility. And staff at Bridger Bowl said even though there was plenty of snowfall, there is some risk of running into rocks in some areas.
But many of these skiers have been skiing Bridger Bowl for years, and they say they know the terrain well.
“Basically if we’re feeling like it’s a little sketchy, we have no problem turning around. So that’s our level of preparedness,” said Isabelle, spending the afternoon skiing with her friends.
“I just get to the stuff that’s really sick, you know? You can get to some sick stuff without putting yourself in danger and that’s what it’s all about,” said Feick. So while it’s still early very early on in the season, the stroke level remains high.
“It’s a beautiful first day, we got a bluebird day, but yeah, we’re super stoked for it.”