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The Buckaroo Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

The Buckaroo Shrine is maintained by the infamous ski gang, The Bell Mountain Buckaroos.  Many of the members of this group are ski patrollers, ski school instructors, or others employed by the Aspen Skiing Company, and many of them or their families are ranchers in the Roaring Fork Valley.  The group started in 1971 with eight people and every year since then they have participated in the "Rumble on the Ridge" (called the "Buck Off" by the Buckaroos) which has become a rite of spring on Aspen Mountain.  It is basically an on-mountain free-for-all that takes place on the Ridge of Bell at 1:00 pm on the last day of the ski season.  Usually several hundred people show up for it.  Watching that many people trying to ski or ride down the Ridge of Bell all at once is quite a site!  Sid Erickson won the first Rumble on the Ridge, which was held on March 10, 1971.  In addition to the Buckaroos, Acme Racing and the Flynn Flyers also participated in the first Rumble.  Also, see this article at AspenSpin.com:   http://aspenspin.squarespace.com/the-partys-over/single-gallery/1138017   See this video; click the link and advance to the 0:48 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGhCVifDPws  "This film segment is from Dick Barrymore's 'The Golden Years of Ski Films.' It highlights the origins of skiing and of Hot Dog Skiing. The World's first Hot Dog contest was on March 10, 1971 at Aspen Colorado. Some skiers featured are Dave Wheeler,Squirrel O'Callahan, Scott Brooksbank, Airborne Eddie Ferguson and Greg Athens."

The shrine has a bench to sit on (a log with rope wrapped around it) and many interesting things to look at, including a sign that says “Cowboy Parking Only—All others will be whupped,” a coffee pot, a sign that says “Buckaroo Shrine,” a cowboy lunch box, an old cowboy boot, a coil of barbed wire, a Wyoming license plate, a Colorado “ZG” plate, signs that say “Rodeo Drive,” “Long Shot,” and “Shrine Line,” a sign that says “Real cowboys never line dance, a buckaroo won’t even watch!”, and various other items and pictures. 

For a PLUM TV Tim Mooney shrine tour which includes this shrine, see this video:  http://pdam.plumtv.com/public/marketing_player/4816.  (Unfortunately this link no longer works; the author is keeping it on this page in case PLUM TV ever reactivates it.) 

See this article in the Snowmass Sun newspaper of April 11, 2012, "The Shrine Line on Aspen Mountain" by David Wood: http://www.snowmasssun.com/article/20120414/NEWS/120419989&parentprofile=1039.  (This article is set out in full below at the bottom of this page.) 

See this March 7, 2018 Aspen Sojourner article by Brooks Sutton, "Spring Parties That Are Fueled by Locals" published in the Midwinter 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner.  Here is a quote from this article:  "On April 15 one of Aspen’s longest-standing spring traditions, the Bell Mountain Buck-Off, hits its 47th year.  Established in 1971 (one year it got rained out) by local ski gang the Buckaroos of Bell Mountain, this throwback to freestyle’s 1970s heyday is an all-out, costumed ski en masse down the moguls on Aspen Mountain’s Ridge of Bell.  Always held at 1 p.m., the bump bash has become the unofficial swan song for the ski area’s closing day.  Up to 300 skiers, including some rival ski gangs, show their stuff. But the only things rough and tumble about the event are the size of the bumps and the trash talk."  https://www.aspensojo.com/articles/2018/3/7/locals-springs-parties

The Buckaroo Shrine is located on Aspen Mountain.  Photos of it are below.

If you have any information about this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at AspenShrines@aol.com.

This shrine is covered in the book, "Sanctuaries in the Snow--The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass."  The book may be purchased on this page on this site:  http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Book


Click on images to enlarge.


Below is the article about the Buckaroo Shrine that was written by David Wood and which appeared in the Snowmass Sun newspaper.  http://www.snowmasssun.com/article/20120414/NEWS/120419989&parentprofile=1039.

The "Shrine Line" on Aspen Mountain
David Wood
Snowmass Sun, April 11, 2012
The "Shrine Line" on Aspen Mountain
David Wood
Snowmass Sun, April 11, 2012

There are three shrines on Aspen Mountain located along the so-called “Shrine Line” near the Back of Bell. They are the Buckaroo Shrine, the Fenway Park Shrine, and the Yankee Stadium Shrine.

The Buckaroo Shrine

According to one Aspen newspaper story, the Buckaroo Shrine was supposedly built by some cowboys from Montana. Another story (more likely true) has it that the shrine was created by the infamous ski gang, The Bell Mountain Buckaroos. This group is famous for holding the “Buck Off” (also called by some the “Rumble on the Ridge”) on the Ridge of Bell at 1 p.m. on the last day of the ski season.

Their shrine is dedicated to buckaroos, and has a bench to sit on (a log with rope wrapped around it) and many interesting things to look at, including a sign that says “Cowboy Parking Only-All others will be whupped,” a coffee pot, a sign that says “Buckaroo Shrine,” a cowboy lunch box, an old cowboy boot, a coil of barbed wire, a Wyoming license plate, a Colorado “ZG” plate, signs that say “Rodeo Drive,” “Long Shot,” and “Shrine Line,” a sign that says “Real cowboys never line dance, a buckaroo won't even watch!,” laminated photos of Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy, and various other items and pictures.

The Fenway Park Shrine and the Yankee Stadium Shrine

For two baseball teams and their fans who don't really like each other very much, it is somewhat curious that the Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium shrines are so close to each other. In fact, they are hardly 20 yards apart. Along with the Golf Shrine on Snowmass, these shrines are probably the most popular of the Aspen/Snowmass shrines devoted to sports. There are, or have been, 11 sports shrines in all, memorializing athletes or teams in these sports: golf, baseball, auto racing, bowling, football and hockey.

The Fenway Park Shrine includes a green sign that says “Fenway Park” nailed up high in a tree, and a collection of ski goggles with various things written on the lenses. One goggle lens says, “Welcome to Fenway Park.” Another says, “Jeter Sucks.” There is also posted a copy of a ticket from the 2007 World Series which the Red Sox won in four games over the Colorado Rockies. This ticket is from the fourth game, played in Denver, and shows a ticket price of $250. Along with the copy of the ticket, the following has also been added (apparently by a Rockies fan): “Even though Boston won the 2007 World Series, Coors Field is a better ball park to watch a game than Fenway Park any day!” There is also a photo of Fenway Park showing the Green Monster, and also photos of Red Sox greats Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.

The Yankee Stadium Shrine is dedicated to the original stadium where the Yankees played from 1923 to 2008 (a new stadium was built in 2009). It consists of a broken road sign that apparently used to say “Yankee Stadium” with a pointing arrow. There is also a newspaper article about the “Subway Series” with the Mets in 2000, a World Series ticket from that 2000 Series, a frayed Yankee pennant, a key fob, and other items. The shrine also includes photos of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio (and Joe's wife Marilyn Monroe), and also a photo of the original 1923 Yankee Stadium. It also contains the famous photo from the 1956 World Series of catcher Yogi Berra jumping into the arms of pitcher Don Larsen after Larsen had pitched a Perfect Game on Oct. 8, 1956.

David Wood (AspenShrines@aol.com) is the author of the best-selling book about the Aspen shrines, Sanctuaries in the Snow-The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass. He donates all of his profits from book sales to a local charity, The Trashmasters Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, the Village Market, and 81615, as well as at various locations in Aspen.