How To Ski Buttermilk On A Powder Day

Buttermilk on a Powder Day

Around here, few people know the terrain of Buttermilk better than Mike Kaplan, our President and CEO. Because of its easy access, the mountain is like a second office for him.

"Yes, I've had meetings on the Summit Express lift before," he confides.

"Buttermilk is amazing ... You can get from the bottom to the top in one chair ride, and right away, there is the view of Pyramid Peak ... it is always breathtaking."

So when an overnight storm dumps inches of fresh powder, where does Mike like to ski on Buttermilk? We asked him, and he outlined this game plan.

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Buttermilk Tiehack

Buttermilk Tiehack

"Go directly to Tiehack by parking at the base and then keep your eyes open on the ride up. This area is sort of like Aspen Mountain where you can connect different pitches that aren't obvious at first. Drop in to Sterner's first. There is a groomed part here on skier's left, but I like to ski the right side to the first bench and cut over into Timber Doodle Glade where there is a nice fall-line section. When you come back onto Sterner, keep angling right and you’ll see a couple of gullies, like mini-halfpipes, leading down to the runout. Map out your next run on the ride up, if you look closely, you’ll see plenty of powder yet to be touched.”

Trail Map
Next ...
"Stay in the Tiehack section and hit Tiehack Trail, staying to skier's left where it’s never groomed and seldom skied.

Two-thirds of the way down, cut far right to the trees between Javelin and Tiehack Trail. Most people start heading for the runout when there is still plenty of good terrain and untracked snow on the lower sections.

Go back up and do one classic on Racer's Edge. Usually, I'll hang along the fence line to skier's right because its such a nice view. There is a little stash you can get to about two-thirds the way down Racer's Edge on skier's right, look for the herring bone tracks where patrollers have stepped up the little rise to access more powder. As you drop back into Racer’s Edge, stay left where it’s super steep and the grooming remains untouched for days.”
Buttermilk Powder Day ... Then
Then ...
“Take the Tiehack Express all the way back up to work the main part of Buttermilk. The trees between Friedl's and Savio are quite good. Then take the run-out just above Lover's Lane — and what the Ski School calls "The Toilet Bowl" — and hang right onto Homestead Road. Just before you reach the lift, there are some cuts to the left that drop down into Lover's Lane. They're short, black diamond, but don't really have a name. Then savor the cruisers on Midway Avenue, and ski some of the cross course and banked turns to the bottom. You can pretty much hit any of the tree areas between runs on upper Buttermilk, but watch out for the kids trails, no adults allowed!”
Buttermilk Powder Day


Buttermilk Powder Day

Buttermilk Powder Day

“Go back up Main and dive into West Buttermilk for a lap. On powder days, I like to hit Ridge. Before it hits Homestead road, traverse into the trees at skier's left and they take you back into Teaser. Stay right as the gully widens and that will take you onto Little Teaser, which is a black diamond with some fun pitches. Then I go to the Cliffhouse and gorge on Mongolian barbecue then back to the office feeling fully rejuvenated.”

Trail Map

More "Powder Day" Guides

Of course, Buttermilk is just one of four mountains you can enjoy when the powder is deep. Get the scoop on the best terrain at Snowmass, Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands here.

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