No, it’s not April 1st yet. We’re serious. Read on.
Starting the day right.
Resort uphilling is increasingly popular around the world. Here in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado, the Aspen/Snowmass Ski Company graciously welcomes skinners 24/7 on 3 of their 4 ski areas (with limited access allowed on the 4th).
And this year there’s more:
Every Thursday morning during the ski season, the Cliff House Restaurant on Buttermilk will open early, offering free coffee and pastries to human powered skiers who get there by 8:30/am. Meet at the Tiehack parking lot at 7:30, greet old and new friends, and skin up while enjoying spectacular views and fresh air. Refreshments at the restaurant compliments of the Aspen Ski Company, Cripple Creek Backcountry, Ute Mountaineer, Aspen Expeditions, Aspen Alpine Guides, and Friends of CAIC.
Pig Skin, March 9th. Our culinary genius friends at Slow Groovin opened shop in Snowmass and have been dishing their delicious BBQ to skiers all winter. On March 9th they will be offering free pulled pork sandwiches to uphillers, 8:30/pm. Meet at Slow Groovin, Snowmass mall, at 7:00/pm to skin/hike up Snowmass ski area. At 8:30/pm sandwiches and live music served at Slow Groovin BBQ, Snowmass mall. Co-hosted by Cripple Creek Backcountry. Full information here.
Full moon dinners — skin or hike up Buttermilk under the full moon to dinner at Cliffhouse and live music. Free hot chocolate from 5-6/pm. À la carte dinner specials, snacks and a cash bar will be offered inside Cliffhouse. Last full moon dinner of the season: March 12th.
And this is the big one: Buttermilk/Tiehack ski area is the first in the Aspen area to close every winter. This year the Aspen Snowmass Ski Company will extend Buttermilk’s season by opening the mountain to skiers, without operating lifts! That’s right: the restaurants will be open, the runs will be groomed, but none of the lifts will be operating. It’s skin up and ski. With the exception of diesel the snowcats burn, this could be the greenest local resort skiing in recent times. Uphill weekend — when: April 8 & 9, where: Buttermilk, Tiehack and West Buttermilk. See you there!
Bonus shot. Look what appeared on the WildSnow front porch. New Atomic Backland Ultimate is made for uphill fitness skiing or citizen racing. 750 grams size 27.5 is impressive. Clearly, this is a boot intended for a newish category the equipment folks have honed in on. I’m told that fully 30% of new ski touring setups are purchased by folks planning on primarily skiing uphill at resorts (e.g. “speedfit,” “endurance touring,” or “fitness uphilling”). Sure, we’re a backcountry skiing website, but we can’t deny the fun and “semi backcountry” nature of “skinning” on piste — so we’ll cover it. But we hope it’s frequently a path to the wild.