Aspen Skiing Co. extends closure of some chairlifts until 4 p.m., plans uphilling event at Buttermilk |

Aspen Skiing Co. extends closure of some chairlifts until 4 p.m., plans uphilling event at Buttermilk

Staff report
An uphill skier climbs through the powder of the High Alpine section of Snowmass Ski Area during a prior winter.
Maria Wimmer/The Aspen Times |

It’s a sure sign that spring is around the corner when the lift closing time is extended at the ski areas.

Aspen Skiing Co. announced Thursday that selected lifts at all four ski areas will be open until 4 p.m. effective immediately and through the rest of the season.

On Aspen Mountain, the Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express and FIS lift will run until 4 p.m.; at Aspen Highlands the Exhibition chair; and at Buttermilk the Summit Express at Buttermilk.

The lifts staying open until 4 p.m. at Snowmass are the Elk Camp Gondola, Village Express and Sheer Bliss.

Skico also announced a special “sunset skiing” event at Aspen Mountain on March 31. The Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express will run until 6 p.m. that Friday.

Special uphilling event

Further down the road, Skico announced it will hold a special Buttermilk Mountain Uphill Weekend in conjunction with the city of Aspen on April 8 and 9.

Buttermilk closes April 2, but Skico and the city are extending the season for another weekend specifically for uphilling. The lifts will not be running but crews will groom about 70 percent of the terrain on Tiehack, Main Buttermilk and West Buttermilk.

The event is free and open to the public. Athletes of all abilities and non-motorized equipment are welcome to participate. Options for uphilling include ski touring, trail running, snowshoeing, split boarding and hiking. Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 8 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 9.

“An event like this helps build the foundation of the Uphill Economy initiative, but the goals are higher than this climb,” Aspen Mayor Steven Skadron said. “The city is creating a platform where as a community we can build on our ski roots, capture, develop and grow an emerging market, and blaze the trail to connect Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry with its manufacturing capability in Aspen and our region. Uphill is not just a direction, it’s a movement.”