Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Marty Gancsos Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

The Marty Gancsos Shrine is on Aspen Mountain, and I found it on March 13, 2015. This Shrine is part of the larger "In Memory of Friends of Aspen" Shrine; see this link:

He was killed in an avalanche on February 23, 2015. See this article, "Man killed in slide was longtime local" by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer, Wednesday, February 25, 2015:

His obituary appeared in the Aspen Times on March 2, 2015: (

"John Martin 'Marty' Gancsos, April 13, 1950 — Feb. 23, 2015.

John Martin “Marty” Gancsos, age 64 of Aspen, Colorado died Monday, February 23, 2015 doing what he loved, making powder turns.

He is survived by his partner in life of 37 years Marilyn Anderson; his brother Tom Gancsos; aunts and uncles Nancy (Hines) Seagers, Dave (and Karen) Hines, Carol (Hines) and Bob Flynn; cousin Mark Hines; and nieces Caitlin, Mackenzie, Meaghan, and Molly. He is predeceased by his parents John and Barbara (Hines) Gancsos; and his sister Marcia.

Born April 13, 1950, Marty grew up in Johnstown Pennsylvania. After graduating from Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Virginia, he earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. In 1974 Marty arrived in Aspen, Colorado and knew he was home. Soon the town became a part of him as much as he became a part of Aspen.

Like all ski bums, Marty held a host of jobs in order to enjoy his passions. He operated a small painting and maintenance business over the years and worked at numerous restaurants including the Chart House, the Steak Pit and more currently Little Annie’s. For a time, he was co-owner of a restaurant called “County Road Ltd.”

A highly accomplished skier and kayaker, most days you could find Marty either on the slopes or on the river. In 1978, he met his sidekick, best friend, and companion, Marilyn Anderson. From kayaking in Costa Rica to heli-skiing in Alaska, Marty and Marilyn formed an unbreakable bond while chasing their passion and fulfilling their bucket list.

Heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who offered Marty their friendship throughout his life, to Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol, Mountain Rescue, and the Sheriff’s Department and to the many who are being supportive during this life passage.

Free spirit, true ski bum, avid kayaker and greatest of friends, Marty, your enthusiasm and enthusiastic “Life is Good. Oh yeah, baby” will truly be missed.

A celebration of Marty’s life will be held Saturday, March 7th from 4 till 7 at the Mountain Chalet, Durant St. Aspen.

Please make contributions to Mountain Rescue and go make a few turns in Marty’s honor. And please thank Mountain Rescue, Aspen Ski Patrol, and the Sheriff’s Department for everything they do for our community." 

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