Buttermilk, yes Buttermilk, tops its sister resorts in ski resort survey

Buttermilk Ski Patrol puts in signs next to the superpipe to deter people from using it as the resort begins to build the feature on Tuesday.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times


Conde Nast Traveler recently conducted its 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Here are the top three and placement of the other Aspen Snowmass ski areas.

1. Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah

2. Telluride

3. Buttermilk

4. Deer Valley

5. Snowbasin

9. Snowmass

11. Aspen Mtn

19 Aspen Highlands

Eat your heart out, Aspen Mountain. Step aside, Snowmass. Forget about all your double-diamond steeps, Aspen Highlands. There’s a new top-ranked ski area in town.

Buttermilk was selected the third-best ski resort in the country, according to Condé Nast Traveler’s annual reader survey. The ’Milk trailed only Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah, and Telluride in the opinions of Condé Nast readers.

The magazine said 600,000 people weighed in for the 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

Buttermilk Mountain Manager Travis Benson welcomed the “awesome” news. Benson also is the football coach at Aspen High School and put Buttermilk’s recognition into football parlance.

“It’s like when the offensive line gets the credit they’ve always been due,” he said in a statement. “Sure, there are the speedy wide receivers, the flashy D-backs and the superstar quarterbacks, but the O-line is the foundation of any good team. Highlands Bowl is nice, the Ridge of Bell — sure it’s good, the Hanging Valley Wall is all right, too. But when you can shred Dead Bird Mine or conquer Panda Peak, then you’re really skiing.”

Buttermilk bested such industry giants as Deer Valley, Utah (fourth); Sun Valley, Idaho (seventh); Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia (eighth); and Vail (14th).

Though usually overshadowed by its sister resorts, Buttermilk easily outpaced them in Condé Nast. Snowmass came in ninth, Aspen Mountain was 11th and Aspen Highlands was picked 19th.

What made Buttermilk so special in the eyes of the magazine’s readers? It might be the most “playful” of the four Aspen Snowmass areas, the magazine said.

“More like one giant terrain park, it’s home to seven different parks for everyone from beginners to ultra expert, a 22-foot Zaugg cut Superpipe, and the star-studded X Games,” the write-up said. “But Buttermilk is also the mountain for easygoing beginner terrain and awesomely intense trails for uphillers — those showoffs practicing the cardio-busting trend of trekking up a mountain on skies.”

Benson called the latest resort survey “redemption” for Buttermilk.

“We are the birthplace of stoke,” he said. “We are the incubator of the big-mountain bombers who are ripping Highlands Bowl today. They all started as Powder Pandas. It’s great to see a publication whose readers recognize the true heart of our four mountain properties.”