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Fundraising hike benefits avalanche education programs

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The annual King and Queen of the Ridge fundraising event returns to Bridger Bowl Ski Area on Feb. 3, as an active way of raising funds for the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

Prior to the event, participants gather pledges from the community at a per-hike or flat rate. Then, on Feb. 3, the participants will hike 400 vertical feet from the top of the Bridger lift to the ridge, then ski back to the start to do it all over again. The time limit is five hours and hikers may continue for as long as they wish during that window.

Skiers and snowboarders of all ages may participate and will compete in categories based on age. Groups may also compete as a team and costumes are encouraged. All competitors will need a valid season pass or lift ticket for Bridger Bowl.

At 8 a.m., participants will meet at the mandatory competitor’s meeting in the Jim Bridger Lodge and the event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Medals will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in every age group as well as in several categories including King and Queen of the Ridge, Individual to Raise the Most Money, and Family with the Most Hikes.

Since 2003, this event has raised $137,474 for the Friends of GNFAC, which is used to support avalanche education and awareness programs for backcountry users in and around the Gallatin Valley. Programs offered by the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center reach more than 5,000 people every year, including school-aged children, search and rescue or ski patrol groups, individuals, and ski and snowmobile clubs.

The GNFAC puts out daily avalanche advisories during winter, estimated to reach over 4,500 people every day.
To participate, hikers must preregister with Bridger Bowl and establish a pledge page to track donations by noon on Feb. 2. To sign up, visit

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