Buttermilk Xposed | AspenTimes.com
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Buttermilk Xposed

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Recommended activity for today: use the singles line at Chair Three. And before getting off, check for loose clothing and equipment.

In other news … three weeks to the X Games at Butter-X!

Wednesday, Jan. 29, is practice day for the snowmobile racers, the ski crossers, the snowboard crossers and the skier slopestylers.

The next day, the superpipers practice in the halfpipe, and finals are held in the snowboarder cross, the skier slopestyle and the snowmobile snow cross.

That’s a big fun day.

And then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it is full-on, wall-to-wall circus mode.

So Buttermilk is ch-ch-churning.

From this Friday, Jan. 10, to Monday, Feb. 10, the Panda Peak lift will be closed.

The Pandas move to Snowmass.

Beginners move to the summit.

The uphill route gets moved to the Tiehack lift and trail network, with no downloading. If you come down on Summit Express, you’re on your own getting back to Tiehack.

And as the venues get built around the base area, a “ski-way” will be provided to Summit Express, and the lift maze will be different.

So while the event is Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, the changes to Buttermilk are from this Friday to Feb. 10.

Simple as X, Y, Z.

@ATD Sub heds:New snow?

@ATD body copy: Not till Friday, say the weather boys in Grand Junction. Otherwise, nice or partly cloudy.

And here’s one of the better summations of the backcountry condition from yesterday’s Colorado Avalanche Information Center report: “Avalanches will continue to be a problem in all mountain areas.”

So understated. So concise. So true.

And also, snow around rock outcroppings “could trigger an occasional slab release, though I suspect you will usually see some roller balls or pinwheels just before the slab fractures.”

Love those roller balls, just before that slab goes …

More seriously, consider this note written Tuesday afternoon by the CAIC’s Dale Atkins:

“I don?t have an exact number of slides but observers in all mountain areas have reported ‘dozens of avalanches.’

“Some interesting trends from all mountain areas: all but one ran avalanche released in old snow layers in the middle of the pack. The culprit for most slides are near surface facets buried 2-3 feet down.

“This morning I mentioned the avalanche trigger is not always the first person. It seems the slabs have become more cohesive ? hard slab conditions are reported in many areas ? but the weak layer is still just as fragile.”

No joke, that.


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