Sanctuaries in the Snow

The John Roberts and Michael Hanrahan Memorial Cross (Aspen Highlands)

There is a memorial cross in remembrance of John R. Roberts, 30, and Michael Hanrahan, 49, both of Aspen, who were killed March 17, 2000 in the backcountry near Aspen Highlands.  They were both experienced skiers and had been traveling in a group of six, were wearing avalanche beacons, and were recovered fairly quickly but were killed by the impact.  See this Denver Post article of April 28, 2000: "Avalanche fatalities up this winter."  Also see the Aspen Times article of March 7, 2005, "Deadly Slides Since '90" ( which states: "Aspenites John Roberts, 30, and Michael Hanrahan, 49, part of an experienced group of six skiers, were killed in a slab avalanche in Tonar Bowl above the Maroon Creek Valley. Traumatic injuries caused their deaths."  

If you have a photo of this cross that you would like to share for use on this site, please send it to [email protected].  Otherwise, check out the photo of it on page 27 of the Spring 2011 issue of Aspen Magazine, "Seth Morrison Brings Awesome to Aspen."

See this article, "The long history of the long ridge" by Alison Osius, dated March 24, 2006 at this link:  It mentions John Roberts and Michael Hanrahan.  A quote from this article:  "Alison, if you'll just give me a minute, to let these people pass," Jim said, "I want to show you something."  He pointed at the ridge extending west, outside of the resort boundaries, from the summit above us. "Look straight over from right here and you can see a white cross. My brother Michael and John Roberts died in an avalanche there in 2000.  "My brother lived a very full life," Jim told us. "He was always full of stories. Now he's a story." 

See this article:

For a photo of this cross, and other informtion, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need to have a Facebook account to view the album):