February 26, 2004
Locals call it “The Milk”. It is the home of the ESPN Winter X Games. For me, Buttermilk holds fond memeories as the place where I have seen the most graceful athletic performace to date. You can’t help but acknowledge first impressions last, but it was my second impression of Buttermilk which calls out a special memory.
Riding the chairlift, after we had passed the Barnum and Bailey extravaganza that was the ground of the snowsports revolution of 2004 (Winter X Games) and settled into the chair and the slow bright awe of new terrain, that was when I was blown away. A telemark skier came ripping down the open and empty run from the crest of the hill. Gaining speed, this skier was flowing deep, crisp turns. As the skier got closer I noticed the craned neck and sharp pointed elbows and the BACK of a helmet. This guy was ripping the hill apart on telemark skis from top to bottom backwards!
“Yea Tele,” we yelled from the chair, “rip it!”
“Whoooo!!!!!!!!” shouted the crew behind us. We turned back to see the skier pop a 360 and carve right into another perfect telemark turn.
Buttermilk has a peak elevation of 9,900 feet and a vertical rise of 2,030 feet. 427 acres of in bound terrain allow Buttermilk to become familar quickly. The Upper Tiehack lift serves some black diamond terrain on the eastern side of the mountain and offers great views of Highland Peak. If you see a snowboard line poking into the trees at Buttermilk follow it. Chances are you will come across some nice turns.
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The park at Buttermilk has something for everyone: good flow, a variety of features and long lines make the Playstation 2 Crazy Train park worth riding on your next visit to Buttermilk. Beginner, intermediate park and superpipe lines combine over 50 features and are good for multiple laps or all day sessions without riding the same line over and over again.
Buttermilk leaves a warm and friendly impression – one of grace and gentle flowing turns. For those looking to spend a wonderful day on the hill without having to carve the most extreme terrain in Colorado, Buttermilk is a great choice. And if you have a chance to catch the X Games make it happen.