Buttermilk Makeover Highlights 2022-2023 Season In Aspen

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Winter has come to Aspen Snowmass and, as the resort's quartet of mountains head into the 2022-2023 season, much of buzz is about a transformation at easy-going Buttermilk.

Construction this summer brought an aging, clunky base area into the 21st century. A new 9,300-square-foot building consolidates tickets, rentals, ski school and bathrooms into a single skier services center. The former Bumps lodge restaurant got a makeover -- including locker room update -- and a new name (Buttermilk Mountain Lodge), and an expanded outdoor patio called The Backyard.

Mountain officials say the work aims to simplify the area and make the slopes for approachable and inclusive for all guests. However, the finishing touches of the $26 million Buttermilk makeover will bleed past the opening of the season, so skiers and riders should expect temporary facilities for a month or two.

Opened in 1958, Buttermilk has long lived up to its name as the smooth, gentle, non-competitive place to ski and ride in the Aspen complex. Its ski school and learning terrain is renowned. Resort publicists called it "the home of non-stop recess" and the trail map reflects that: Nearly 75% of the runs are green- or blue-rated.

Over at iconic Aspen Mountain, the World Cup returns to the famous America's Downhill course in March, after a six-year hiatus. Two downhills and a super-G are scheduled for the first weekend in March.

The resort's first major expansion in 40 years -- Pandora -- won't be open this season. Located to skier's right off the summit of Ajax Mountain, the new area will add 160 acres to the mountain's existing 673 skiable acres. A high-speed chairlift will service the new area, which will open expert glades and a couple of blue groomers.

Both Snowmass and Aspen Highlands will stand pat this season, as far as on-mountain additions. Both received high ratings for their wine dinners, and Snowmass has added a bear-and-pretzel option to its apres-ski menu. The Ikon Pass works at all four mountains.

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SnoCast: Tricks and Treats in the Forecast

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The weather won't be too scary this Halloween weekend. Tricky weather for the East, while the West eagerly awaits it's next fluffy, white treat. Let's dive into this week's SnoCast forecast. 

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Western Slope: Colorado's Summertime Playground In The Mountains

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The west side of the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies is home to about half of the ski and snowboard mountains in the state, and a half-dozen of them have built up summer activity infrastructures to lure flat-landers into the mountains.

Several resorts don't run their lifts in the summer -- Powderhorn, Sunlight, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk -- but remain open for hiking and mountain biking, and general summertime leisure time.

If you're looking for a full-on summer menu, check out Telluride. On and off the mountain, there's plenty to keep young and old busy -- from via ferrata to bike parks to kids camps to rafting and Jeep tours. Highlight on the hill is Canopy Adventure, a tree-top complex of zipline, aerial bridges and rappels that begins with ride up the Village Express chair.

At Purgatory, MTB-focused lift access, trail prep and downhill challenges are the norm. The first U.S. resort to host a MBT world championship (1995), "Purg" sells single-ride, day, and season passes-- the latter includes massive Spider Mountain bike park in Austin, Texas.

Another mountain bike mecca is Crested Butte. Its Mountain Bike Park opened in 2009, and its more than 30 miles of single track downhill and X-C runs have been improved ever since. The bike-friendly Red Lady Express does the heavy-lifting to get riders onto the mountain.

Steamboat hosts a ton of attractions around its under-construction base area. Featured is the Outlaw Mountain Coaster with a descent of more than a mile long. With that length, there's plenty of track for loops, turns and twists.

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass crank up their gondolas for summer visitors. A ride up the Silver Queen gondola reaches the11,212-foot summit of Aspen Mountain. The summit area has been developed as the main magnet for the resort, with hiking trails, wildflowers, live music, good food and 360-degree views of Maroon Bells and Roaring Fork Valley.

Across the way, Snowmass turns on a gondola of its own -- the Elk Camp Gondola -- to get folks to the trails, vistas and food in and around mid-mountain Elk Camp. New this summer is the Lost Forest Adventure Center at Elk Camp, with ziplines, bike trails, climbing wall and mountain coaster.

Winter Park is playing off on the popularity of e-bikes this summer with 90-minute tours for pedal-assist mountain bicycles. Three tours run daily from the top of the Explorer Express chair at Sunsport Lodge (also headquarters for renowned Trestle Bike Park). E-bikers head up another 600 feet of vertical to Lunch Rock. No charge for views of Continental Divide.

 

 

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Two-Day Mountain Collective Pass Returns With Western Flavor

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With prices for 2022-23 comparable to recent seasons, the two-days-each Mountain Collective ski and snowboard pass returns with a shuffled resort lineup that includes two big mountains in the West coming back to the fold.

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SnoCast: A Fickle Finish to February

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Following big snow in the Southwest and Four Corners, a storm will work across the country and deliver fresh snow to many Northeast ski areas to finish the week. With new powder all around, let’s dig into this week’s SnoCast forecast.

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Ski Mag Ranks The Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

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From Vermont's classic glades to the powder-choked bowls of the West, the destinations on this list will delight skiers of all stripes.

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The Ikon Pass Showcases Six Colorado Resorts

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With snowmaking temps more favorable, more and more Colorado ski and snowboard resorts are opening, and Ikon Pass holders can try out as much variety in Colorado as in any other state in the Union.

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Resorts To Loosen Covid Restrictions

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Last season, Covid gave a jolt to the time-honored habits of skiers and riders, but the 2021-2022 season promises to be a bit less restrictive -- with exceptions.

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Wonder Of Gold: Relish The Color Of Autumn At Colorado Mountain Resorts

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In Colorado, the most definitive way to know that summer is over and winter is not long off comes when the high-country aspen groves put on their brilliant yellow coats.

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When Are Colorado Ski Resorts Opening This Winter?

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The 2021-20 Colorado ski and snowboard season is just around the corner. See a full list below of when you can hit the slopes.

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The Colorado Mountains Are Alive With Summer Music Festivals

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Despite Covid restrictions, the ski and snowboard resorts of Colorado had a hot summer season last year with hiking, biking, scenic lift rides, and other social-distanced activities. But one key attraction was missing: Music.

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Summer Season kicks off at Aspen Snowmass Memorial Day Weekend

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Aspen Snowmass will open for the summer season Memorial Day Weekend, May 29-31, at Buttermilk. This marks the first time Buttermilk will be open to the public in the summer. Guests can sightsee, hike, play disc golf and enjoy food and beverage options from the Cliffhouse restaurant, all accessed by the Summit Express chairlift. Summer operations at Buttermilk will continue weekends, Friday through Sunday, until June 20.

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Springtime In The Rockies: Colorado Season Gets Longer

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Thanks to a snowy March and persistent pent-up desire to hit the slopes, a slew of Colorado ski and snowboard resorts will keep their lifts spinning beyond original closing dates.

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These Ski Resorts Offer Superb Ski-In, Ski-Out Lodging

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Now more than ever, people will require a real sense of seclusion while on their ski vacations. Gone for the time being are the après ski parties, the socializing in the lodge during a quick break for lunch and eight-passenger gondola rides. These have been temporarily replaced with such wellness guidelines as chair lift rides consisting of family members only, food trucks as opposed to eating in the lodge and private ski instruction instead of group lessons.

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Headin' Uphill Rapidly Rising In Popularity In Colorado

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Whether it be Covid-distance crowds, the high price of lift tickets, or simply a need to breathe the Great Outdoors, the participation in uphill skiing has exploded in Colorado this season.

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Ski Resorts Invest In Upgrades Even While Facing A Season Of Losses In 2020-21

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After the majority of the 470 ski areas in the United States closed in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Ski Areas Association reported skier visitor numbers dropped 14% compared to the 2018-19 season. It was a blow to the resorts, the towns they call home and a multitude of businesses that serve the industry with everything from gear and accessories to hotels, shuttle companies and more.

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Climbing Coronavirus Cases In Colorado’s High Country Aren’t Tracking Back To Ski Resorts

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Health officials in eight counties have not traced positive tests back to lift lines, chairlifts or ski slopes.

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Total Pitkin County, Aspen, Shutdown A Possibility At Monday Meeting

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COVID-19 is running rampant in Aspen and Pitkin County — unlike its neighbors — and members of the Pitkin County Board of Health knew Thursday that something needed to be done about it.

They just weren’t sure what.

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Snowcat Skiing, Riding Limited In Colorado This Season

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Hoppin' a ride on a snowcat to get off the piste and into the powder stashes of the backcountry is a popular pastime at Colorado resorts. But this season, there are fewer options than normal.

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Sales Are Up For The Ski Industry Despite COVID Lockdowns

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Millions of Americans would love to bust out of pandemic isolation and go skiing.

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