What's new and noteworthy at Aspen Snowmass for the coming winter 2022/23 season. | AspenTimes.com
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What you should know about ski season at Aspen Snowmass

Highlights include the return of World Cup racing on Aspen Mountain and an all-new Buttermilk base area.

Aspen Times staff report
A snowboarder rides on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at Snowmass Ski Area.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Aspen Snowmass is gearing up for another winter season, with Opening Day scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 24. Highlights include the return of World Cup racing on Aspen Mountain and an all-new Buttermilk base area.

The following details what’s new and noteworthy at Aspen Snowmass for the coming winter 2022/23 season:    

Buttermilk Base Area

Buttermilk will unveil a transformed base area with a new 9,000-square-foot, fully-electric skier-services building; a renovated and rebranded Buttermilk Mountain Lodge restaurant (formerly known as Bumps); and an expanded bar and outdoor patio, newly named The Backyard.



This $23-million renovation will create a more seamless experience for guests, as they make their way onto the mountain, with an intuitive skier services building with ski school, rentals and ticketing all in one location, according to SkiCo officials. 

They said Buttermilk is good for kids and kids-at-heart to learn the sport, master the terrain park, try uphilling or watch the world’s best athletes during X-Games. Many guests who are skiing at Buttermilk are new to Aspen or the sport of skiing, and the Buttermilk base area is being redesigned to make the process of getting on the slopes simple, approachable and inclusive for all guests. 




World Cup Ski Racing

Aspen Snowmass welcomes the return of international ski racing this season with the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, scheduled for March 3-5, 2023. The top men in the in the world will compete on the America’s Downhill course on Aspen Mountain — a venue with decades of racing history, with two downhills and a super G. 

Aspen hosted the first World Championships outside of Europe in 1950, and the mountain has hosted innumerable ski-racing legends since then. Aspen has hosted more than 100 World Cup races for men and women over the years and was home to the World Cup Finals in 2017. 

Pandora’s Terrain Expansion 

Work began this summer on Aspen Mountain’s upcoming terrain expansion, which will increase skiable acreage by more than 20% on the resort’s flagship mountain. The area, called Pandora’s, is set to open for the 2023-24 winter season and will be Aspen Mountain’s first significant addition since the opening of the Silver Queen Gondola in December 1985. 

Pandora’s will be accessed via a high-speed quad and will include 1,220 vertical feet of groomed trails and glades, ranging from intermediate to advanced terrain.

Officials said the addition will diversify Aspen Mountain’s terrain mix and offer a great pitch for skiing, along with acting as a hedge against future climate-challenged ski seasons with its north-facing, high elevation terrain.  

ArtUP Partnership 

Works of artist Rashid Johnson will be featured on lift tickets and passes.  This marks the 18thconsecutive year of Aspen Snowmass’s Art in Unexpected Places (ArtUP) program, which brings acclaimed artists to Aspen to design a limited-edition lift ticket and an opportunity to connect with Aspen’s local and global communities.  

Six of Johnson’s recent works will be displayed on this season’s lift tickets and will also be featured on a limited collection of skis available at ASPENX in downtown Aspen.    

On-Mountain Dining 

Aspen Snowmass won four 2022 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence at on-mountain fine dining restaurants: Lynn Britt Cabin, Sam’s and Alpin Room at Snowmass and Cloud Nine at Highlands. Each of these restaurants are located on-mountain in exclusively ski-in, ski-out locations. 

Like many of this season’s new developments, the on-mountain dining highlights are punctuated by the Buttermilk base-area renovation. The all-new mountain lodge will be home to a renovated dining space and new outdoor patio bar, The Backyard. The dining area will feature updates to favorites like the pasta station, while The Backyard will offer an après spot nestled at Buttermilk’s base.  

Over at Snowmass, High Alpine will launch a new Bavarian Saturdays series, featuring European classics like warm pretzels and beer served in steins. This series will be a key feature in the larger Aspen Snowmass après schedule, which includes live bands and DJs across all four mountains, as well as the Bud Light Music on the Mountain series. 

Full Moon Uphill Dinners will return to Buttermilk this season, held at Cliffhouse on evenings of the in-season full moons (Jan. 6, Feb. 5 and March 7, 2023). Participants can uphill or hike up Buttermilk and have sunset drinks by the fire pit, food from Cliffhouse favorites like Mongolian Grill and a ski down under the light of the full moon. 

Sustainability  

Aspen Skiing Co.’s core sustainability strategy continues to focus on advocating for environmental policy to drive meaningful, large-scale change. The company has been outspoken in its support of climate legislation, teaming up with industry partners like Protect Our Winters and Alterra to leverage government action.

While lobbying for climate action remains at the forefront, Aspen Skiing Co. also continues to do the ground work to model solutions for all-electric buildings and transportation, SkiCo officials said.

The Limelight Mammoth Hotel, which broke ground this June, is on track to be the first-ever, all-electric hotel in the country when it opens in 2024. At the center of the Buttermilk base area redevelopment is an all-electric 9,300-square-foot skier services building. 

The Hub at Willits, which opened in 2021, is the first modern, multi-family, all-electric building in Colorado, getting its energy from solar panels and cold climate heat pumps to create a fully carbon-free employee living facility.

This electrification is in tandem with decarbonization of the grid, run by progressive utility provider Holy Cross Energy, which plans to have 100% clean power by 2030. 

Transportation 

Ground transportation services return to Aspen Snowmass this winter with the new Roaring Fork Express, which provides daily scheduled shuttles and on-demand charters to and from Denver International Airport and Eagle County Airport. For more information, click here.  

Air travel traffic and schedules through Aspen Pitkin County Airport will continue with some expansions. Delta Airlines will continue to offer one flight daily from Los Angeles and has added a second flight daily from Atlanta. American Airlines will feature schedules from their national hubs into Aspen, with expanded service from Austin, Texas. This route features 78 flights planned for this winter, compared to 58 total last year. 

United Airlines has increased its early December flight capacity by 80% over the last year, with 45 additional flights from Nov. 30 through Dec. 14. United does not intend to resume last season’s nonstop flight from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, but the airline has slightly increased capacity from other hubs into Aspen, officials said. 

Pickup Boxes, Aspen Snowmass App   

Aspen Snowmass continues enhanced digital offerings to give guests a more streamlined and sustainable experience in the resort, officials said. Lift tickets and season passes can be purchased online or through the Aspen Snowmass app and can then be picked up at one of the many self-serve Pickup Boxes located across the resort.  

The recently-updated app gives users access to all of the information and functionality of the ticket office via their mobile device. It serves as the in-resort information hub featuring interactive maps, snow reports, parking lot status and lift-line wait times, while also offering favorite stats and tracking features like skier days and bowl laps. Guests can also access rewards and passholder benefits within the app, as well as purchase lessons, gear rentals and even express lift ticket reload. 

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