Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Kessler, Synder, Soddy Plaque (Aspen Mountain)

Inside Bonnie's on Aspen Mountain is a brass plaque mounted on a piece of wood.  The brass plaque is in the shape of an aspen leaf.  It states:

In Memorium
Chris Kessler
Tom Snyder
Craig Soddy
Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol
Highlands Bowl
March 31, 1984

(The word "memoriam" is misspelled on the plaque.) 

According to a page on the Widipedia site, "On March 31, 1984, ski patrolmen Chris Kessler, Tom Snyder, and Craig Soddy were doing avalanche control work in Highland Bowl.  The three set off explosive charges near the top of the Bowl.  Their bombs yielded no sign of danger. With tragic false confidence, the trio skied closer to the middle of the Bowl, and into the midst of a vast avalanche path.  They threw more bombs.  The second explosion triggered a slide below the men.  Then before the three could escape, a gigantic avalanche fell from above them.  All three were killed.  A monument in their memory has been erected near the top of the Loge Peak lift above the ski runs named in their honor (Kessler's Bowl, Snyder's Ridge, and Soddbuster)."  See:

For a more in-depth story of the avalanche see this article by Tim Cooney in the March 31, 2018 issue of the Aspen Daily News, "Taming the snow beast."  

A photo of the plaque is below.

This item is part of a Facebook photo album that covers various signs and plaques on Aspen Mountain (you do not need to have a Facebook account in order to view the album):

If you have any photos of or information about this item that you would like to share, please send to [email protected].

(In addition to this plaque on Aspen Mountain, there are two other separate memorials dedicated to these three men at Aspen Highlands; see this page on this site:  Plaques located near the top of the Loge Peak lift:, and also this page on this site:  A plaque located inside the Merry-Go-Round:


Click on images to enlarge.