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Posted on January 5th, 2021

The Pléiades 1 – SPOT 6/7 Stadium of the Month – Buttermilk Ski Resort

Last month we checked out the site of a crucial Premier League football matchup, and for the January edition of the Pléiades 1 – SPOT 6/7 Stadium of the Month we check out the site of an extreme winter sports event in Colorado, Buttermilk Ski Resort, which is also the first ski mountain we have featured in this series!

A 50-cm color image of Buttermilk Ski Resort in Aspen, Colorado, USA collected on April 28, 2020 by Pléiades 1A; and then a 1.5-m SPOT 7 image of the same ski resort collected on March 7, 2020 (sorry for the clouds, but we were looking for data with snow as well!). These images have custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. PLEIADES © CNES 2021, Distribution Airbus DS. SPOT © Airbus DS 2021.

About the Mountain: Aspen is one of Colorado’s premier skiing locations, featuring four mountains, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Buttermilk Ski Resort is often considered the least challenging of Aspen’s four mountains with ski runs typically opening in mid-December. Buttermilk is located on the north-west side of Aspen with runs starting at about 7,850 feet (2,390 meters) above sea level. While the history of skiing around the Aspen area goes back to the late 1800s, Buttermilk opened in 1958 and hosted its first professional ski race just two years later. In 1985, Buttermilk first allowed snowboarders on the mountain. Today, the ski resort features 21 miles (34 kilometers) of trails, covering some 470 acres with 2,030 feet (618 meters) of vertical rise.

Fun Factoids: (1) Buttermilk Ski Resort hosted its first Winter X Games in 2002 and has hosted it ever since. The 2021 edition of the X Games is set to start on January 28th and runs until the 31st. It will be interesting to see how COVID impacts this outdoor event. (2) While we could not find stats for the winter 2019 season, winter 2018 was a banner year at Aspen with the combined resorts welcoming some 1.55 million skiers. With COVID restrictions in place here in Colorado for the foreseeable future, our ski resorts have moved to a reservation-only system. (3) With a 20% reduction in 2020-2021 visitors expected, according to the company that runs the Aspen resorts, a Premier pass purchased after November 13th will cost $2,849. And over the past five years, the cost for passes has been on the rise as a local Chamber of Commerce pass was $1,259 in 2015 and by 2019 it rose to $1,479.

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high-resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

The SPOT Medium-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The SPOT medium-resolution constellation consist of seven satellites launched from 1986 to 2014 with the most recent additions, SPOT 6 and SPOT 7, launching in 2012 and 2014 respectively. SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are twin satellites offering 1.5-m panchromatic and 6-m 4-band multispectral data with a massive footprint at 60-kilometers (km) wide. For projects requiring recent archive coverage or rapid new collections of medium-resolution data, SPOT 6/7 should be one of your top imagery sources!

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here; while the same can be found here for the SPOT constellation and specifically about SPOT 6/7.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about Pléiades 1 and/or any of the SPOT satellites. We can be reached at (303) 993-3863 or

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