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Buttermilk the stats

Aspen Times Staff
Buttermilk's 435 acres consists primarily of gentle cruisers.
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BUTTERMILKTerrain: 435 acresElevation: 9,900 ft.Lift-served vertical: 2,030 ft.Lifts: 2 high-speed quads, 3 doubles, 2 surface lifts, 2 ski/snowboard school liftsDesignated trails: 44Green runs: 35 percentBlue runs: 39 percentBlack runs: 26 percentDouble-black runs: noneLifts open at: 9 a.m.Whats new: Whats best about Buttermilk gets even better this season with the opening of a separate terrain park just for beginners. Located off the Larkspur run, S3 is the perfect place to learn new tricks. Its also the site of the new Aspen/Snowmass Open slopestyle and superpipe competitions.Cruisers: Considered the beginners mountain, the Milk is definitely the place to get your carve on most trails are wide open, gentle in pitch and groomed to perfection. Get your speed up on the trails off the Buttermilk West lift, where you can consider it a crowd if you see 10 other people midweek. And snowboarders who like to ride alpine-style should check out the informal Friday morning local carving sessions.Bumps: At Buttermilk, Bumps is the name of the restaurant at the base, not what you ski on. Nonetheless, you can find moguls on upper Buckskin, Sterner (which is usually half-bumped-up, half-groomed) and some of the black-diamond runs off the Tiehack chair (though theyd be considered blues on any other local mountain).

Powder day: One of the longest-running secrets in Aspen and yet one that still rings true is that the Tiehack side of Buttermilk is a great place to go on a powder day. The pitch is steep enough so you can keep up your momentum, there are some decent glades, the slow double-chair gives your legs a rest. Terrain parks: In the past few years, Buttermilk has become Aspens terrain park central, thanks to the two-mile-long Crazy Train Park. Features range from beginner to expert, and to complement all those tabletops, rails and boxes is the 350-foot-long superpipe where X Games athletes hit the stratosphere come the end of January. Beginners will want to check out the new S3 terrain park (see Whats New).Dining: For unique ski-area eats, try the Mongolian barbecue at the mountaintop Cliffhouse. You pick out the veggies, meats and sauces, then it all gets stir-fried on what looks like an oil drum. Bumps at the base of the mountain is also excellent, with homemade pastas and pizzas, as well as the usual mountain fare like burgers, grilled cheese and fries.Signature event: The ESPN Winter X Games return to Buttermilk for a record fifth year, Jan. 27-31, 2006. Perhaps the biggest on-mountain spectacle of the season, Winter X Games Ten will bring more than 250 ski, snowboard, Moto X and snowmobile athletes from across the globe to do their thing. Thousands of spectators at plenty of off-mountain partying including late-night concerts in Wagner Park make this an event not to miss. Apres pick: With all of the kids running around, Buttermilk really isnt a place for imbibing, but Bumps should be your first choice should you need a beer. Big, open and airy, its a great place to watch snowboarders take on the massive superpipe, especially from its outdoor patio.


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