Mountain steepness for a once-a-year, barely intermediate skier: A
On-mountain food: A
Lack of Crowds: A
Buttermilk, in the Aspen, Colorado area west of Denver, has wonderful, long, gentle greens that are great for a new skier. It has the lowest altitude of the four mountains in the Aspen area, so was my favorite. (I have a thyroid condition which makes high altitudes uncomfortable for me. The correlation is explained here: high altitude sickness and thyroid conditions.) We had a great time on the green runs at the top of the mountain, and it’s very pretty, because the runs are surrounded by forest, as opposed to being the open bowl type. I do not remember it being crowded at all.
Snowmass was the first time I ever rode in a heated, enclosed gondola. Buttermilk was my first time riding a ski lift down, instead of up. We were there so late in the season (last week in March) that the lower half of the mountain was getting slushy and impossible to ski down in the afternoon. The solution? You take the lift down! Two people scooting sideways as fast as they can, on skis, into position for a lift (that barely stops) is quite an accomplishment, and we laughed for quite awhile heading down. Then we understood why our friend went down earlier on his own. The chair had room for three of us, why didn’t he wait? Because we would’ve fallen all over each other, that’s why!
We all had lunch in the cafeteria at the base where they serve excellent, made-right-there-in-a-skillet fancy pasta dishes. You know, something like grilled chicken with olive oil, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil in a parmesan sauce. I just remember that it was good, and great next to some of the horrible food I’ve had at other ski resorts. So I certainly recommend trying the food at Buttermilk.
Parking was ample and free.
I would love to return to ski Buttermilk and Snowmass again, but I would come earlier in the season, stay in lower-elevation Carbondale, and spend more time getting my ski legs back at Buttermilk before heading to Snowmass.