Aspen, CO - I know the Winter is over and play-days on the hill are coming to an end, but I wanted to be sure to share with my fellow snow lovers a little bit of my Buttermilk Mountain experience in Aspen, CO and also spread the word for those of you thinking of heading to Aspen next Winter!
Now, I've been to Aspen quite a few times and had set foot on Buttermilk many times over the years during the Winter X-Games, but the opportunity to slip slide my day away on the hill had eluded me until this '10-'11 Winter season AND my day on the hill took place during X-Games 15 which just made the experience that much more awesome! Aspen will again host the X-Games next Winter; and I certainly suggest, if at all possible, making that time of the season YOUR time to head to Aspen :)
From the moment you get on the lift your Buttermilk adventure begins. People were smoothly moving through the line and the staff was full of smiles. The lift gives a birds-eye view of everything taking place below and around you providing a panoramic view that stretched on as far as the eye can see. The lift moves along at a steady pace and before you know it your at the top of the mountain with the Maroon Bells meeting you at your destination! The view is awe inspiring and photo opportunities await you in every direction :)
My brother was with me on my play-day and since he had skied Buttermilk a few times, he directed us on where we should go but the runs were wide open and inviting so even if you find yourself riding the snow alone there isn't the intimidation that you may have found at some other mountains. In my opinion someone unfamiliar with the terrain will be pleasantly surprised to find rolling, groomy runs, with plenty of opportunities to sneak into the trees or take in some bumps if you want to... BOTH of which I did!
As mentioned earlier the lift lines moved along at a smooth pace, even at such a busy time which is a GREAT sign, keeping folks in motion and allowing you to take run after run without the expected long line delays. The grooming was fantastic which allowed snow riders to make their way back down the hill at a steady, safe speed AND just when I thought I had investigated all of the runs my brother made me aware that there was another side of the mountain that we had yet to play on! Yahooeee!! Tiehack lift was our next stop!
Now Buttermilk is more of the “beginner” mountain in comparison to the other 3 mountains around town but I must admit that when I became aware that the Tiehack lift has no foot-bar OR safety bar I almost turned around!! The lift intimidated me more than just about any run I've ever taken BUT I quickly came to my senses, hopped on and enjoyed the ride that only the courageous can take... and that includes YOU!!! Once again the spectacular view of the Maroon Bells took my breath away, as it will surely do yours, which makes the lift ride WELL worth it and with your adrenaline running from the ride up you'll find yourself amped and ready to head back down the mountain again and again!!
Buttermilk Mountain is a few miles outside of downtown Aspen, in between Snowmass and The Highlands, but you'll find plenty of parking and shuttles that will take you back and forth if you'd like so if your without your own personal transportation and looking for some cruisy, groomy runs with opportunities to explore for adventure than this is the mountain you've been looking for!! The Inn at Aspen is also located directly at the base of Buttermilk so you can look forward to “ski in ski out” accomodations or head in for food or restroom breaks, whether staying at the Inn or not, without having to leave the mountain.
AspenSnowmass.com also has all the information you might need regarding lift tickets, potential lodging, season passes, etc... I'm glad I got to play my day away on Buttermilk... Though it's not an experts mountain Buttermilk offers plenty of room for friends and family to gather and enjoy another day of living :)
Put Buttermilk on your list of getaways and a place to play YOUR day away!!