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The Paul Krauss Benches (Snowmass)

Two memorial benches at Snowmass are dedicated to Paul Krauss.  Paul died of a heart attack on May 21, 1999 while rafting on the Colorado River.  He was born on February 5, 1963 in Summers Point, New Jersey.  He graduated from high school in 1981 and Rutgers University in 1985.  He opened Sidewinder Sports on the Snowmass Mall in 1988 (see photos below), the first board shop in the valley.  See this obituary that appeared in the Aspen Times newspaper: Also, see this Aspen Times newspaper article by Tim Mutrie, "Friends Remember Krauss as Avid Boarder, Outdoorsman"

One of the benches is on the Snowmass Mall and the other one is near the top of Burnt Mountain.  The bench on the Snowmass Mall is made of red snowboards, is located outside the front door of Sidewinder Sports, and is made from the same type of snowboard that Paul last rode.  This red bench has a plaque on it reading as follows:

"In memory of Paul Krauss.
He brought snowboarding to Snowmass and snowboarders to Burnt Mountain.
Enjoy your ride with Pablo."

The bench near the top of Burnt Mountain is best viewed in the summer, since in the winter it is covered with snow.  It has a beautiful view of the Maroon Bells, and has a brass plaque on it reading as follows:

"Paul L. Krauss
Snowboard Pioneer

According to the second article cited above, Paul's friend Jason Lee Beavers said at the time that he and other friends intended to build a bench in Paul's memory on Burnt Mountain. 
Photos of both benches are below.

See this article by David Wood in the Snowmass Sun newspaper issue of March 21, 2012, "Snowmass Memorial Shrines"  (This article is set out in full below at the bottom of this page.)
For a high school yearbook photo, and other photos of Paul, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need a Facebook account to view this album):

Many thanks to Bob Moyer, Rebecca Rosenberg, Brian Link, and Mark Decarlo for help with information on this page.  If you have any photos of or information about Paul or these benches that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at


Click on images to enlarge.


The photos below are of the bench near the top of Burnt Mountain.

Click on images to enlarge.


The article below mentions the Paul Krauss benches and was written by David Wood for the Snowmass Sun newspaper (

Snowmass memorial shrines
David Wood
Snowmass Sun, March 21, 2012

After Aspen Mountain, Snowmass has the most on-mountain shrines and memorials of the four Aspen/Snowmass mountains.

The Harland Adams' shrine

Harland Adams was a longtime local who died at age 73 on Nov. 28, 2005. In 1983, the Snowmass ski run “Village Bound” was renamed after him and became “Adams' Avenue,” as a result of a $40,000 charitable donation he made to the Aspen Foundation.

He was a grandson of Col. Harland Sanders (Col. Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken-KFC) and was on the board of directors of the company for a time. There is a brass plaque mounted on a tree on Adams' Avenue dedicated to him, which reads: “In Loving Memory of Harland Morrison Adams 1932-2005, Life was finger licking good, I had a great time.” Below the plaque is a laminated photo of him, in which he appears to be licking his fingers. The Aspen Skiing Co. spells the name of the run three different ways on its on-mountain signs: “Adams Avenue,” “Adams' Avenue,” and “Adam's Avenue.” On the trail map it is shown as “Adams' Avenue.”

Nicholas Blake Davidson's Shrine

Nicholas Blake Davidson was a Snowmass Village resident who was killed in an avalanche in the general vicinity of Rayburn's Chute on Snowmass on Dec. 21, 2006, at the age of 25. His memorial shrine is located within a couple of hundred yards of where the avalanche occurred, and consists of a built structure, several swings hung by ropes from beams, a pair of crossed skis, a sign that says “Blake D. Skis With Me, High Society” and many other items. There is also a bench nearby with the phrase “In memory of Blake Davidson, Freedom is a Word Not Heard From Those That Own It,” carved in the seat-back. This is the last quote he posted on his Myspace page, and it is also part of the lyrics from a song called “My Cadillac” by Atmosphere, one of his favorite hip-hop groups. After his death, the Kenichi restaurant in Aspen named a sushi roll after him.

The shrine for Paul Krauss

Paul Krauss has two memorial benches at Snowmass. One is on the Snowmass Mall and is made of red snowboards and has a plaque that states: “In memory of Paul Krauss. He brought snowboarding to Snowmass and snowboarders to Burnt Mountain. Enjoy your ride with Pablo.” The other bench is near the top of Burnt Mountain and has a brass plaque on it which states: “Paul L. Krauss, Snowboard Pioneer, 1963-1999.”

David Wood ( 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.