Sneak's Inn (Snowmass)

Sneak's Inn (also known as Sneaky's Cabin) was a cabin erected at Snowmass by Jim "Sneaky" Snobble (who died in 2006).  Originally it was located near the bottom of the old Sheer Bliss chairlift, and around 1974 or 1975 it was moved to an area near Elk Camp between the Adams Avenue, Turkey Trot, and Slider ski trails.  It burned to the ground on October 8, 2007.  The next day The Aspen Daily News ran the news article about it shown below.

Thanks to Blake Williams for helping the author with the information on this page.

See the first four photos of Sneak's Inn shown below.  The first photo was taken in March 2007.  The photo credit for this photo is:  http://teamkellum.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html.  The second photo was taken on November 20, 2005 and the photo credit for this photo is :  http://www.flickriver.com/photos/mike_laura/sets/72157594432654512/.  The date of the third and fourth photos is unknown and the photo credit for both is this link, which now does not work anymore:  http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=55951575&albumID=0&imageID=2041402

The photos following the first four photos show the remains of Sneak's Inn after the fire.

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

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                          "Sneak's Inn" burns down at Snowmass

By Catherine Lutz - Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Tue 10/09/2007 11:01AM

“Sneak’s Inn,” a one-room cabin put in place by one of the builders of the Snowmass Ski Area, burned to the ground Monday morning. No one was injured and the cabin had no official use, although people often hung out there and it had a lot of historic and nostalgic value.

“There was a lot of history in that cabin,” said Snowmass Ski Area Manager Steve Sewell. “It’s a real shame. It’s a piece of Snowmass history that’s gone.”

Jim “Sneaky” Snobble, who surveyed and cut many of the original trails on Snowmass and worked as its mountain manager until he retired in the mid 1980s, put in the cabin, an old race shack, as a kind of retreat in 1974. Over time, it was augmented with a potbelly stove and a three-tiered bunk bed.

Tucked away in a clearing in the woods in the general vicinity of Elk Camp, the cabin was hard to find and its location only divulged by word of mouth to a trusted few. For several years the only people who knew about it were ski patrol, trail crew and other mountain employees. In the last decade or so, according to Sewell, more people found out about it and started using it, often staying overnight and cutting and stacking firewood through the summer.

“It was well taken care of,” said Sewell, who noted that the cabin wasn’t an open-air “smoke shack” good only for a brief stop on a cold winter day. “Everyone who used it really respected it, there was a lot of enjoyment that people got out of it.”

One of those devotees is local Michael “Mikey B” Buchanan, who said he’s visited the cabin every season for the past six years, chopped firewood and provided pots and pans for the place.

Buchanan said there was no place quite like Sneak’s Inn, “a place to get away from stress of life, maybe go up there with a few friends and a bottle of wine.” He remembers hiking up under a full moon, the cabin’s clearing lit up by moonlight and doing back flips off the picnic table.

An Aspen Skiing Co. employee noticed smoke coming from the vicinity of the cabin at about 8 a.m. Monday, said Sewell, and originally thought it was just coming from the wood-burning stove. But when the smoke thickened, a crew went up to the site and found the cabin engulfed in flames. They used fire extinguishers and shovels to contain the blaze, but couldn’t save the cabin.

Firefighters and police officers responded and police “didn’t see anything suspicious that led us to believe the fire was a criminal act,” said Snowmass Village Police Chief Art Smythe. Fire marshal John Mele will investigate the scene today. It is generally believed that someone staying in the old structure didn’t put the fire out properly before leaving.

SkiCo is not planning to rebuild the cabin.

“It’s a tragedy; it’s like losing a family member,” said Buchanan.

Click on images to enlarge.

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The photos below show the remains of Sneak's Inn after the fire.

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This photo and next: This metal box held donated clothes; anyone staying there could help themselves to any of the items for the duration of their stay.
Sanctuaries in the Snow
The Shrines of Aspen/Snowmass
(Including plaques, memorials, displays And miscellaneous items)

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