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Ultimate sandbox

Holy moly!

Calling all fuddy-duddys, telewackers, ski snobs and others who are so, so hip they’re cool to the X Games: Get your butts out to Buttermilk.

‘Cause if you don’t, you’ll be missing a hell of a show.



The Aspen Skiing Co. and ESPN have redefined the term multitasking with the work they’ve performed at the base of The Milk. It’s like the ultimate sandbox. The really big kind of sandbox that has toys scattered all over the place and different adventures going on in each corner.

The halfpipe, aka superpipe, is sick. It’s so long at 504 feet that even ESPN’s director of media services, Melissa Gullotti, drops her jaw when she utters the number. The ideally placed grandstand looks straight up the center of the pipe. Snowboarders and skiers literally trick their way down right into the crowd and cameras.



Yesterday, one woman snowboarder casually pegged what looked like a Crippler 540, that’s a flip with one-and-a-half twists, during the practice session. From high up in the right grandstand, the view was perfect.

Fact is, the Skico and ESPN have come a long, long way together at The Milk. Viewing opportunities abound. It’s nothing like that first year when they made fans stand around outside Bumps restaurant and try and catch what was happening on a big-screen TV.

If the learning curve continues for the next three years the way it has for the last three years, Buttermilk will be a helluva sandbox in 2007.

For all those who choose to recreate instead of spectate this weekend, here are the numbers. Snowmass has a 56-inch base on top, Aspen Highlands 55, Aspen Mountain 41 and Buttermilk 34. (Yes, Buttermilk’s open for business.)

Skiing the center line down the Ridge of Bell yesterday, the snow was great with only a few rocks peaking through and extremely tight ” Ridge tight ” moguls. Fuddy-duddys beware.


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