Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Bert Petersen Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

The Bert Petersen Shrine is on Aspen Mountain.  He died on April 7, 2015.

See this April 25, 2015 letter to the editor of the Aspen Times, "Thanks to the Community" (
"I would like to express my gratefulness and thankfulness to the Aspen community that has been by our side for Bert and myself with so much love and support during the past few weeks.  So many people to thank:  Dr. Scheuer, Dr. Gallagher, Dr, Rovira, Nancy Dodge, Chris Cohan, the Aspen Valley Hospital and all their staff, Barbara Bush and Home Care & Hospice of the Valley, Dee Dee McCabe, Sonja Oss, Nancy Oakes and all of Bert's family and friends who were with us the past few weeks for Bert's peaceful passing.  And especially to Martin Oswald at the Riverside Grill and his awesome staff and Chris Patrick and Bobby Mason for the most beautiful and memorable evening of "talk stories" about Bert.  I appreciated this evening in many ways, but especially in helping the community start its healing of Bert's passing.  Remember, the next time you are in Basalt, stop by the Riverside Grill and "split-one" with Bert.  I am sure I've forgotten to thank many people — know that you are all in our hearts.  Love and Peace, Mrs. Bert Petersen (Lorna)"


See this April 27, 2015 letter to the editor of the Aspen Times," Remembering a friend" (

"We would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thank-you to Martin of the Riverside Bar and Grill in Basalt for generously providing the wonderful venue, food and drink for all the people who gathered to celebrate the life of our dear friend Bert Petersen. It was a great get-together. So many familiar faces, some not seen for a long time. It's a damn shame it takes a death for these things to happen.  Again, Martin, thank you, thank you, thank you!  Jim McPhee and Jim Hancock, Aspen"

See photos of the Shrine below (click on images to enlarge).  These photos were taken by the author on February 14, 2017.  And see more material below, following the photo section immediately below.

The photos of Bert's Shrine in the next section below are from a Facebook group called "Where's BERT...."  Photo credit to Lorna Pedersen-Petersen and Lisa Richardson.


See this September 9, 2004 article in Skiing Magazine:

Aspen's Flaming Arse


Tyler Stableford

Updated on

Oct 31, 2017


Bert Petersen




Aspen, Colorado

Claim to Fame: Every bartender has a signature beverage, but Petersen's concoction, lovingly known as the Flaming Asshole, takes sport-drinking to an embarrassing new low. Once a celebrity bartender of sorts at La Cocina (he got canned), where the drink became famous, Petersen now pours at the Steak Pit, a venerable—if relatively tame—eatery known for its top-notch…salad bar. Here, as at jobs past, he preys on the uninhibited and attention-starved—a birthday girl, say, or a patroller celebrating closing day. Once his victim is adequately alcohol-lubed, Petersen shouts: "Get on the bar and pull down your pants! The dupe usually obeys, at which point Petersen ignites a snifter of Sambuca, holds it aloft to a cheering crowd, and presses the glass firmly against the willing victim's butt-cheek. The flame extinguishes, and the flesh gets Hoovered deep into the glass, creating a giant hickey. Then the flaming a-hole drinks the potion.

If You Must:
1) Pour a flammable cocktail (50 percent pure alcohol) into a snifter; apply match.


2) "Don't let the glass get too hot, he warns.

3) Before contact, swab the skin with a wet cloth for a secure seal. "If it's some hairy ass, he says, "don't spend too much time with it.

Quadruple The Excitement: Petersen's most memorable Flaming A's? Twin sisters (at the same time, of course), and the daughter of an Aspen bank president who wanted shots applied to her breasts. "She was well endowed rasps Petersen. "She was trying to impress somebody, and it worked—she ended up leaving with him.

PRINCE AMONG MEN: Like everyone else in Aspen, Petersen passes the winter skiing powder and binge-drinking. The difference is that he does it all on the clock: By day he guides for the cat-skiing operation Aspen Powder Tours, tallying 15,000 vert per session. Later, at the Steak Pit, he slams five or six beers.

ON AGING GRACEFULLY: "It's alright, says Petersen with a grin. "You're only as old as the last girl you… (Yeah, yeah, Bert. We get it.)

Sept. 2004

See this Aspen Times article,, ( "Giving in Snowmass:  Care for all stages of life" October 29, 2015, Compiled by Jill Beathard) which contains the photo below and this caption:  "Hospice patient Bert Petersen sleeps with his wife Lorna by his side.  HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley provides end-of-life care and other health services throughout the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys."