First full-moon uphill tour canceled at Buttermilk on Tuesday

Staff report
Skiers take a break to check out the full moon after skinning up Tiehack Jan. 23, 2016.
Aspen Skiing Co./courtesy photo |

As tough as it’s been on the alpine slopes to start this season, it’s been even tougher for cross-country skiing venues and uphilling.

The latest casualty is the first full-moon uphill tour and dinner of the season. The popular event has been canceled for Tuesday night at Buttermilk “due to low snow and the difficulty of transporting supplies up and down the mountain given the conditions,” Aspen Skiing Co. said in a statement.

The next full-moon tour and dinner at Buttermilk-Tiehack is scheduled for Jan. 31. The event usually features a designated uphill and downhill route on Tiehack, but that side of the mountain isn’t open yet. Skico had focused on a route up main Buttermilk, but that turned out to be too ambitious.

There would typically be about 90 kilometers of trails available in the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trial System, but conditions are thin and variable everywhere. Classic tracks haven’t been set for the most part, but many trails have been buffed for skate skiing.

There was a fresh groom at the Snowmass Golf Course on Saturday and at the training loop at the Aspen Golf Course. The Rio Grande Trail was recently groomed from Emma to Stein Park near Aspen, but unseasonably warm weather threatens to eliminate the Rio Grande as an option in many places.

For the latest on trail conditions on the system, visit or call the Nordic Hotline at 970-429-2039, extension 4.

Ashcroft Ski Touring has managed to open more than 50 percent of its trail network, thanks to its high elevation in the upper reaches of Castle Creek Valley.

The Spring Gulch Ski System outside of Carbondale hasn’t been able to open yet. The grooming report says a significant amount of snow will be needed to open.