Skico promotes full moon fever at Tiehack | AspenTimes.com

Skico promotes full moon fever at Tiehack

Staff report

Aspen Skiing Co. is inviting uphillers to get together for a howling good time at Tiehack for the next three full moons.

Skico announced this week it will open the Cliffhouse restaurant at the mountaintop for full-moon dinners Jan. 23, Feb. 22 and March 23. The restaurant will offer free hot chocolate from 5 to 6 p.m. around the Cowboy Cauldron over a roaring fire, according to Skico's website. A la carte dinner options, snacks and a cash bar will be available inside the Cliffhouse into the evening.

There will be no chairlift or vehicular access. The events are only for people who skin or hike up and ski, snowboard or hike down. There is no fee or preregistration required.

There will be a designated route up Tiehack and a designated downhill route. The uphill route on Buttermilk will be closed for the Winter X Games.

More information on the designated routes will be available closer to the first event. Participants are urged to use a headlamp and wear reflective clothing.

Tiehack and Buttermilk have been popular locations for full-moon tours for several seasons. Revelers have occasionally gotten out of hand with parties at the warming hut at the top of West Buttermilk. The hut was trashed a few times and kept locked for a while after the ski patrol had to clean up the messes. There haven't been as many problems reported recently.

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The popularity of the slopes on and around full-moon evenings also has concerned the trails crew because uphillers are hard to spot from snowcats that are grooming the slopes. That's one of the reasons Skico wants to get people using designated routes.

Jan. 23 is the Wolf Moon because as the snow gathers in the woods, "the howling of wolves can be heard echoing in the cold, still air," according to the website http://www.moonconnections.com.

Feb. 22 is the Snow Moon in honor of snow piling higher. Some Native American tribes also called it the Hunger Moon because hunting conditions were tougher.

March 23 is known as the Worm Moon because the snow starts melting and, as the ground softens, earthworms and their castings become evident again.

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