The Chuck Severy & Todd Olson Shrine (Buttermilk)
The Chuck Severy and Todd Olson Shrine is contained on one large tree at Buttermilk.
A sign posted on the tree reads as follows:
"This is a memorial in honor of Uncle Chuck and Toad, two kids' ski instructors who died of cancer. Please respect their spirits and do not disturb anything. Thank you."
The shrine consists of many strings of beads, leis, medals, mementos, a parrot, a ski helmet, one of Todd Olson's ski passes, a poem ("Uncle Chuck") by Robin Severy, piñata figures, and many other items. The author thanks Lisa for information on this Shrine; the Shrine contains some beads that Chuck Severy's brother (Rich) gave to Lisa. The author also thanks Sam Louras for contributing a photo.
See this article in the Snowmass Sun newspaper of April 4, 2012, "Memorials Dedicated to Todd Olson and Chuck Severy" by David Wood: http://www.snowmasssun.com/article/20120407/NEWS/120409991&parentprofile=1039. (This article is set out in full below at the bottom of this page.)
See this ESPN article for a slide-show of photos of this shrine: http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=6071140 This article also contains this quote: "The shrines are so organic to these mountains," said Jeff Hanle, director of public relations for Aspen Snowmass, the company in charge of the mountain. "There are small shrines and pretty big ones. They are ways for people to honor someone special. We do our best to make sure people leave them alone so they can be enjoyed by others."
Photos of the Shrine 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 [email protected].
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 an article about the Severy-Olson Shrine that was written by David Wood and appeared in the Snowmass Sun newspaper. http://www.snowmasssun.com/article/20120407/NEWS/120409991&parentprofile=1039.
Memorials dedicated to Todd Olson and Chuck Severy
By David Wood
Snowmass Sun, April 4, 2012
SNOWMASS VILLAGE — There are three on-mountain memorials remembering Buttermilk ski instructors Todd Olson and Chuck Severy.
Longtime ski instructor Todd “Toad” Olson passed away in June 2003 at his home in Carbondale at the age of 51, after having endured an arduous five-year battle with leukemia. He is widely heralded as one of the most legendary instructors to have taught at Buttermilk.
For 33 years he worked in the kids' division and was nicknamed “Mr. Toad.” In his memory, a wrought-iron statue of a toad was erected near the entrance to “Toad's Road” on Buttermilk and dedicated on Dec. 20, 2003. The statue was done by local sculptors Jim Snyder and Larry Lefner.
Charles “Chuck” Severy had a successful career as a petroleum geologist in Denver, and then moved to Aspen in 1987, becoming a ski instructor and teaching children at Buttermilk. He died of cancer on April 14, 1998, at the age of 47.
His son, Christopher, died later the same year, on Oct. 12, in an accident while riding his bicycle down a steep road on Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder. Chuck and Christopher's favorite ski run was Perry's Prowl on Aspen Mountain and there are two plaques dedicated to them, and located on a large rock outcrop near that run. One plaque on the rock is dedicated to both men, and states: “In Loving Memory of Chuck Severy 1951-1998 and Christopher Severy 1976-1998-Our Shining Stars CLS.” The other plaque is dedicated to Chuck Severy alone, and states: “In Memory of Chuck Severy 1951 - 1998.”
There is a joint shrine dedicated to both men and contained on one large tree at Buttermilk. A sign posted on the tree reads as follows: “This is a memorial in honor of Uncle Chuck and Toad, two kids' ski instructors who died of cancer. Please respect their spirits and do not disturb anything. Thank you.”
The shrine consists of many strings of beads, leis, medals, mementos, a parrot, a ski helmet, one of Todd Olson's ski passes, a poem (“Uncle Chuck”) by Robin Severy, piñata figures, and many other items. This shrine is located near the top of Uncle Chuck Glades (named after Chuck Severy in December 2002) at Buttermilk.
David Wood ([email protected]) 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.