Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Jerry Garcia Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

The creator of the Jerry Garcia Shrine, Paul Wade, shown in the photo below in the Shrine with his wife Heidi.  See this article in the Aspen Daily News issue of April 6, 2013, by Carolyn Sackariason, "A couple instructors bummin’ around."  Photo credit to Chris Council.  This article is set out in full in a section below.  Below the photo of Paul and Heidi Wade are various photos of the Shrine.


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Michelle Montany ([email protected]) of Taos, New Mexico, Hollywood, California, and other places, created a beautiful painting of Jerry Garcia (shown below) and in the spring of 2000 strapped the painting to her chest, underneath a backpack containing a hammer and nails, and skied down to the Jerry Garcia Shrine and nailed it up to a tree. It remained in the shrine for a number of years, but disappeared sometime around 2009.  Does anyone know the whereabouts of this painting?  If so, please return it to the shrine.  Thank you.  Five photos of Michelle's painting are shown below.  The last two photos in this section were taken on December 31, 2005, credit Br. Keith.  CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.  



The photos in the section below were taken in March 2012.

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Allan Carlson put this Grateful Dead ski in the Shrine and had his name engraved on it (see the two photos below which were taken in March 2012).


See this Aspen Times article of December 18, 2012 about a sign missing from the Shrine:

We'd be 'Greatful' if sign returned to Garcia shrine
Staff report, The Aspen Times, Aspen, CO, Colorado

December 18, 2012

ASPEN - One of Aspen Mountain's famed shrines is missing an important piece that added to its mystique, the Facebook page for Aspen Shrines is reporting.  The Jerry Garcia Shrine used to have a street sign that misspelled the name of the legendary guitarist's band. The sign read, "Greatful Dead Ave." and was adorned with one of the famed dancing bears that were a symbol of the band.  "Maybe someone removed it because they did not like the misspelling(?)," wrote David Woods, the keeper of the stories at Aspen Shrines.  Who knows - the sign could have had dual attraction to the person or persons who took it. It honors the Grateful Dead but in a sloppy, comical way.  Former Aspen Times reporter Kimberly Nicoletti wrote in a Feb. 18, 2006, article that the site of the Garcia shrine off the top of the FIS chairlift once was a party spot to honor Bob Marley. After Garcia died in 1995, Deadhead memorabilia was added to the Marley site.  "Eventually, Garcia took over Marley. It must have been the roses," Nicoletti wrote.  Nicoletti and Woods reported that the shrine includes roses and pot-leaf necklaces strung through branches; sketches, paintings and drawings of Garcia tacked onto tree trunks; and a cow skull with a signature red, white and blue Deadhead sticker on its forehead. Old concert tickets and some other memorabilia are surrendering to the elements, but Garcia and the Grateful Dead are so immensely popular that new stuff is added all the time. A pair of K2 Grateful Dead skis was added to the shrine at some time, according to the article. Woods reported in his book "Sanctuaries in the Snow: The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass" that one ski is attached to a tree. Woods noted the site includes a sticker that says, "hashoil" and a sign that says, "No cell phone allowed."  Whatever the reason for making off the "Greatful Dead Ave." sign, it's regarded in these parts as inviting bad, instant karma to remove anything from a shrine on Aspen Mountain.

A similar article appeared in the Denver Post on December 20, 2012, copy below.

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This 1998 Westword "Best of Denver" article mentions the Jerry Garcia Shrine:  Quote from the article:  "Best Unofficial Tribute to Jerry Garcia: Jerry Garcia shrine, Aspen Mountain."



Below is the Snowmass Village Sun article by David Wood.

Shrine to Jerry Garcia may be one of most popular

By David Wood
Snowmass Village Sun November 23, 2011

The Jerry Garcia shrine on Aspen Mountain is one of the most popular of all the shrines.

According to an article in the Aspen Times of February 18, 2006, this shrine actually started out as a shrine to Bob Marley but was then converted over to a shrine to Jerry Garcia after Garcia's death in 1995.

However, Aspen ski instructor Paul Wade told this author a different story: “People may have called it the Bob Marley Shrine, but, there was no memorabilia, just a log bench with a great view . . . When Jerry died, I felt it was important to create a shrine on the mountain.

“I went to the patrol to get feedback on a good spot. I spoke with Dead-Head patrollers, John Armstrong (also a Pitkin County deputy at the time), and Tim Cooney. Both agreed that the log bench with the view was a good spot.

“My wife, Heidi, had purchased a car dashboard shrine kit from a store in Moab, Utah. The kit contained photos, beads and small skulls, in order to decorate your car dashboard with a Jerry shrine.

“We decided to start the shrine with the shrine kit, some cool photos, which we laminated, and some fake red roses.

“John Armstrong helped me install the first memorabilia in the winter of 1995-1996.

“Within one week, stuff started showing up from everywhere. Photos, letters, signage . . . Someone was even leaving their favorite show CDs over Christmas, as gifts . . . It has become an amazing shrine.

“People of all ages cruise through constantly and consider it an integral part of their Aspen Mountain experience, some even taking their family photo for Christmas cards in the shrine.

“One summer, when Bob Weir was in Aspen performing, we drove Bob and his wife, Natasha, up to visit the shrine. They loved it and were blown away by the whole scene.

“I'm proud to have started the shrine and am amazed by its popularity. We are hopeful it will live on just like the music!”

The shrine includes many bouquets of artificial red roses, and a street sign that says “Stoner Avenue” on it. There used to be another street sign in the shrine that said “Greatful (sic) Dead Ave.” The shrine also includes photos and drawings of Jerry Garcia, a ski attached to a tree that says “Grateful Dead” on it, a hand painted portrait of Jerry, a sign that says “No cells phones allowed,” and a photo that says “Haagen-Dabong,” as well as a number of other items. There is also a sticker that says “hashoil.”

Some of the lyrics from the song “Scarlet Begonias” has been posted in the shrine: “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

Occasionally visitors will see marijuana leaves attached to some of the trees in the shrine.

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 charity, The Roaring Fork Valley Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, and the Village Market, as well as at various locations in Aspen.

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Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Shrines of Aspen/Snowmass (Including Plaques, Memorials, Displays and miscellaneous items) All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission from the author. For any such permission contact [email protected]

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