Upcoming Buttermilk Improvements
With its four magnificent peaks – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – Aspen Snowmass is a very popular snow skiing destination. Recent upgrades at the Snowmass Ski Area offer world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities to the many snow sport enthusiasts that visit each year. In an ongoing effort to maintain high standards, Aspen Skiing Co. is seeking approvals to carry out improvements on Buttermilk’s skiing facilities, including a new Tiehack lift, as well as nearly doubling up on the current snowmaking capacity.
The upper two-thirds of Buttermilk Mountain are owned by the U.S. Forest Service, while the lower third is private land that falls within Pitkin County. The Aspen Skiing Co. owns approximately twenty acres at the base of the mountain. Application will be made to Pitkin County for approval of a new development that is planned for the base of Buttermilk. During the past eleven years development proposals for the base area have twice been put forward, and twice withdrawn. However, with the increasing popularity of the area, it is anticipated that developments will go ahead in the not too distant future.
The plan submitted to the U.S. Forest Services includes a request for the use of the Cliffhouse restaurant at night on a year-round basis, not just in winter as is currently the case, as well as permission to build what has been termed as “private dining ski clubs”. A new ski area master plan for Buttermilk is currently being analyzed by the U.S. Forest Services, which will take into account possible environmental issues. The plan includes re-grading the summit of Buttermilk, a new ski patrol building, as well as a Nordic jump venue to service the Racer’s Edge and Javelin trails.
Buttermilk Ski Area is considered to be the easiest skiing mountain in Aspen and is home to some of the best children’s programs and ski schools in the United States. It also serves as a venue for the ESPN Winter X-Games – which includes skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. This well supported competition attracts top winter extreme sport athletes from around the world to compete in a host of events, with gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as prize money, up for grabs.
Plans for summer-season developments include lift-served mountain biking, children’s summer camp activities and multiple concerts, competitions and performances. With all the planned improvements and developments, Buttermilk looks set to become the destination of choice for more snow skiing enthusiasts in the future.