Buttermilk hut closed after full-moon ruckus
Aspen Skiing Co. has closed a warming hut at the top of West Buttermilk indefinitely after it was “trashed” by full-moon revelers Wednesday night, the company confirmed Thursday.
“It sounds like the warming hut was unlocked and abused,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. The hut was littered with trash and sprayed with vomit, he said.
An estimated 100 to 150 people skinned or hiked to the mountaintop, Hanle said. The trip has become increasingly popular over the years for people who want to get out and enjoy the beaming slopes and the views of the white-cloaked mountains in the moon glow. For some, it’s a great excuse for a party.
Hanle said Skico has no problem with people enjoying the slopes during the full moon. They just shouldn’t leave a mess for the Buttermilk Ski Patrol and skier-services workers to deal with, he said.
Workers had to clean up remains of several fires on the ridge, collect beer bottles and cans and retrieve a lift-tower pad that was unhooked and apparently used as a sled, according to Hanle. A sign placed on the window of the warming hut by Skico workers Thursday said, “Sorry!! Closed due to lack of Respect! for the facility during full moons.”
Company officials hope the revelers are self-policing on future full-moon parties.
“The rest of the community needs to step up and tell people to grow up,” Hanle said.
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Kevin Warner started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in 2001. Now he’s taking over the key position as Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.