Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Aspen Todboggans (Aspen Mountain)

A plaque in one of the Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola cars is entitled "Art of Todboggans," and reads as follows:

"In honor of past patrollers, directors and mountain managers, the 'Todboggans" at Aspen Mountain have been painted with different scenes.  There is even one named Bingo after a former avalanche dog.  The sleds are stashed all over the mountain for easy patrol access.  Ask a patroller to show you the paintings and tell you their tales."

For an Aspen Daily News article of December 23, 2006 about these plaques, see this link:

Photos of some of these Todboggans are below.

One is in memory of "The Honorable Dr. Tom Hines DVM."  He was a doctor of veterinary medicine who died on July 1, 2000; for his obituary, see:

Another todboggan has "APSPA" and "Aspen Professional Ski Patrol Association--Since 1986" painted on it, along with a picture of a long-haired person wearing a beret.

There is a todboggan for Alex Halperin who was the first woman hired by the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol, which was labeled at the time as "the last bastion of male supremacy" by a national magazine.  Her todboggan says "First Woman--Alex" on it, along with a drawing of a serpent and an apple, photo below.  See this February 18, 2006 Aspen Times article, "Breaking into the 'old boys club'" by Scott Condon:

For photos of 20 of the todboggans, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need to have a Facebook account to view the album):   

If you have any information about or photos of todboggans that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at [email protected].


Click on images to enlarge.