[R81R, Bridger Bowl] readies to celebrate their end-of-year-bash, closes up the slopes for the winter, and prepares for off-season activities.

The annual Pro Patrol Dirtbag Ball, a long-standing event, serves as the end-of-season bash for Bridger and a fundraiser for the ski patrol. The Mar. 28 evening in Bozeman, however, is no ball in the traditional sense. It favors themed attire with a ski bum motif and a good old rock and roll band.

Bridger is projecting their closing day for the season Apr. 5. But some years, the ski hill bumps the date a week longer, depending on snow quality and weather forecasts.

Season passes for Bridger go on sale in the fall, usually in September. The best deals on passes go to those who purchase them in September and early October.

Summer brings weddings, banquets, and parties to Bridger's lodges. The resort hosts music and a barbecue Wednesday evenings throughout the summer.

The biggest off-season event - the Bridger Raptor Festival - -celebrates one of the largest golden eagle migrations in the country. The free event in early October draws crowds to Bridger for presentations by raptor experts, kids activities, live raptors, and vendors. Visitors join Hawkwatch International counting the raptors from a helicopter platform on top of Bridger's ridge.

Bridger is considering replacing the Bridger lift with a triple chair. Plans for this swap could happen as early as this summer or be postponed until another season.