Sanctuaries in the Snow

Kiera's--Dedicated to the Lost Friends of Buttermilk Shrine (Buttermilk)

The "Kiera's--Dedicated to the Lost Friends of Buttermilk" Shrine is on Buttermilk. Kiera Elizabeth Tongish died on December 2, 2010, when she collided with a tree while skiing on the Grey Wolf run, in the Elk Camp area of Snowmass. The accident happened at approximately 1:45 PM. She was an accomplished skier and was wearing a helmet. She was born on December 14, 1987. She had been employed by the Aspen Skiing Company, the Wienerstube restaurant, and the Viceroy Hotel. A shrine dedicated to her memory was established on December 6, 2010 at the place where she hit the tree on Snowmass. It consisted of a wooden cross made of tree limbs, some of her clothing including her shoes and a green top (which said "Team Buttermilk 2008-2009" on it), some beads, and some brass medals. Her remains were cremated and were spread on the slope at Snowmass where she died. Also in the shrine was a dress she wore in a photo that appeared in the newspaper. Sometime around March 24, 2011, all of the items that were in the Snowmass shrine were removed by someone. Soon thereafter, a number of the items that had been in the Snowmass shrine appeared in this shrine on Buttermilk, (The "Kiera's--Dedicated to the Lost Friends of Buttermilk" Shrine).  For photos of this Shrine, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need a Facebook account to view this album):  And for a photo album of her Shrine that was on Snowmass, see this link:

See these seven newspaper articles for more information:

1. , (Kiera Elizabeth Tongish Obituary)

2., (Kiera Elizabeth Tongish Obituary)

3., ("Skier death at Snowmass")

4. ("Skico employee killed while skiing off-duty at Snowmass")

5. ("Aspen Skico employee 'lived life fully, didn't hold back'")


6., ("Tributes to 'fearless' graduate killed after she skied into a tree at U.S. resort")

7., (Letter to the editor from Kiera's family, "Thank you to a unique community")

See the "Kiera Tongish" Facebook page here: