Aspen Times article snubbed Buttermilk visionary |

Aspen Times article snubbed Buttermilk visionary

Article snubbed Buttermilk visionary

Your recent article celebrating the 60th anniversary of Buttermilk Mountain may need to be researched just a bit more (“Little fanfare for 60th anniversary of Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk,” March 28, The Aspen Times). For your clarification, I have attached a link to an Aspen Times Daily news article dated Sept. 1947, which hints that there might need to be a modification to the Buttermilk story.

The following is a brief accounting of some Aspen history long overlooked.

E.W. Morse and wife Ruth Ann bought the Lazy 7 ranch from then-owner Arthur Roberts in 1946-47. The parcel was approximately 800 acres, which encompasses all of what is now known as West Buttermilk, Buttermilk Mountain and the acreage east to Maroon Creek. As he and Rudy raised their brood of three, eventually to become eight, Morse had a vision of a two-stage rope tow and skiing operation on the property.

In April 1958, while instructing a class for the Fred Iselin Ski School, Wendy, as he was known, was clobbered by an out-of-control skier, who not only shattered both his legs, but also his dreams of a skiing development on the ranch. The property was subsequently sold to Art Pfister for less than a Range Rover costs today. The family retained 1 acre at the base of what is now known as Tiehack. The rest is the touted Aspen history that is continually regurgitated.

Shame on you, Aspen, for snubbing the true visionary of Buttermilk and a man, despite shattered legs and a shattered dreams, who found a way to contribute four decades to the Aspen community, some of which included six-plus years of service on the Aspen School Board, five years of service on the Aspen Valley Hospital board, president of the Aspen Board of Realtors, president of Aspen Chamber of Commerce, co-owner and founder of Mason and Morse Real Estate.

Please, next time you publish an article regarding the development of Buttermilk Mountain, take time to research your own archives so that one day the entire story might be told.

Toby Morse

Grand Junction

Kid No. 6

Editor’s note: According to the writer of this letter, his father would have begun work on a rope tow in the summer of 1958, but his April ski accident derailed that plan.