Folks in ski towns are accustomed to “mud season” but this was one for the record books. A mudslide blew through a cinder block wall of a vehicle maintenance facility at Buttermilk ski area last week, triggering an oil spill and an untold amount of damage.
The slide, estimated at 100 feet long and 60 feet wide, and filled the maintenance facility, owned by the Aspen Skiing Co., full of several feet of mud, rocks, small trees and water. The facility was deemed too unsafe to fully evaluate the extent of the damage done. No one was injured.
But the damage to the maintenance shop was major. The mudslide, which left a gaping hole in the back wall of the shop, started out slow. While crews cordoned off the wreckage and worked to contain the oil spill from an overturned drum, by building berms and other mitigation measures, Holy Cross and Source Gas officials shut off the utilities there.
The slide area, which occurred just west of the terrain park on Buttermilk’s lower slopes, continued to shift for several hours.