The Adam Dennis Shrine (Aspen Mountain)

Adam Dennis died on April 4, 2011. The Aspen Daily News published his obituary on April 7, 2001 at

Adam Brady Dennis 1972 — 2011. Adam Brady Dennis, 38, of Aspen Colo., beloved son of David E. Dennis and Carol Scott Dennis, died on Monday, April 4, 2011 in an avalanche in an area called Desolation Row, between Maroon Bowl and Tonar Bowl in the Aspen Highlands backcountry. Adam was an Aspen area resident for 14 years, working as a professional photographer and guest services manager at some of the area’s most prominent hotels. A widely-known and much-loved member of the community, Adam was an avid outdoor enthusiast who made the most of the Roaring Fork Valley. One of life’s “connectors,” Adam had the ability to bring people together in friendship. No where was that more evident than his unique and inspiring passion for music and his deep love of sharing it with others. He truly was the bond for so many people. Adam’s passion created a vast network of friends who were more than happy to join him in his dance through life. His loss will be felt deeply by the many people whose lives he touched. Adam’s kindness and enthusiasm for life were infectious, and his last moments were spent doing what he loved most. Adam was born in Anaheim, Calif. on July 11, 1972, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Colo., where he was an All-State Lacrosse player and member of the 1990 State Championship football team. Adam attended the University of Delaware, and graduated from Metro State College Denver with a degree in photojournalism. In addition to his parents, Adam is survived by older brother Mark (Sarah) Dennis and younger sister Sarah (Dustin) Andrews, along with three nephews and thousands of well-wishing friends. A memorial service will be held at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain, April 9. The gondola upload will begin at 5 p.m., with the service beginning at 5:30 p.m. Downloading will begin after the service and will end at 7:30 p.m. An additional service will be held in Denver at another date. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Adam Brady Dennis to Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) for the Education and Backcountry Safety Program, 630 West Main St., Aspen, Colo., 81611;

A shrine was established for him on Aspen Mountain by friends and family on April 11, 2011.  Several items in the shrine relate to the popular band Widespread Panic.  Photos of the shrine are below.  If you have any information about or photos of this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to  In addition to all the photos shown below, see the author's Facebook photo album of this shrine here (you do not need to have a Facebook account in order to view the album):

The photo immediately below, by Carolyn Sackariason/Aspen Daily News, was run in the April 12, 2011 issue of the paper, with this caption:  "A new shrine was erected Monday on Aspen Mountain by the family and friends of local Adam Dennis, who died in an avalanche last week.  Z.G. was there."  Click on the image to enlarge.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Sackariason/Aspen Daily News

Thanks to Rocky Kroeger for permission to use the photo below, which he took the day the shrine was created.  Click on the image to enlarge.


Thanks to Carolyn Sackariason  for permission to use the photo below, which was taken the day the shrine was created.  Click on the image to enlarge.


For more photos of this shrine that were taken the day the shrine was created, see this Facebook album:!/album.php?id=1472624307&aid=2120236 (You will need to sign in to Facebook to see it.)

For additional photos of the shrine, see the "Adam Dennis" Facebook page here:!/adamseye?sk=photos

Many thanks to Kristi M. Kavanaugh for sending the author this link to a video that was shot the day the shrine was created:

See this April 13, 2011 article from the Aspen Times by Scott Condon, "Avalanche center report sheds light on fatal avalanche near Aspen,"

See this page on the Aspen Spin web site: "Adam Dennis R.I.P."

See this letter to the editor ("Thank you from the Dennis family") that appeared in the Aspen Daily News issue of Saturday, May 7, 2011:

See this Snowmass Sun newspaper article of March 7, 2012 by David Wood, "Three Aspen Mountain shrines dedicated to locals"  (This article is set out in full below at the bottom of this page.)


The photos in the section below were taken by the author in July 2011.

Click on images to enlarge.

Adam_Dennis_Shrine_029.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_031.JPG
Widespread Panic Widespread Panic
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_033.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_027.JPG
Widespread Panic Let's Get Down to Business
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_028.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_001.JPG
Panic at the Rocks ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_002.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_003.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_004.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_005.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_007.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_008.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_009.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_010.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_011.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_012.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_013.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_014.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_015.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_016.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_018.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_020.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_021.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_022.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_025.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_026.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_030.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_032.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_035.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_036.JPG
:: ::
Adam_Dennis_Shrine_037.JPG Adam_Dennis_Shrine_038.JPG
:: ::


This RAD sticker is on a laptop at the bell stand at the Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass Village, where Adam used to work.

Click on image to enlarge.



The item below appeared in the Aspen Daily News issue of April 4, 2012 (the one-year anniversary of his death).  The line, "We hope that the band is playing your favorite song in a place where nothing, nothing ever happens" refers to the lyrics to a Talking Heads song covered by Widespread Panic called "Heaven."  Adam was a huge Panic fan, the lyric from that song is as follows:  "Oh! Heaven.  It is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens."

Click on image to enlarge.



Below is the article by David Wood about the Adam Dennis Shrine that appeared in the Snowmass Sun newspaper.

Three Aspen Mountain shrines dedicated to locals

Not all the shrines on Aspen Mountain are dedicated to famous people, such as the shrines to Jerry Garcia, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Houser, Jimi Hendrix, and John Denver. There are also some shrines dedicated to locals such as Adam Dennis, John Nicoletta and Raoul Wille.

Adam Dennis

Adam Dennis died on April 4, 2011. at the age of 38, when he was caught in an avalanche in the Desolation Row area, between Maroon and Tonar bowls in the Aspen Highlands backcountry.

Dennis had been an Aspen-area resident for 14 years, working as a professional photographer and guest services manager at some of the area's most prominent hotels, including the Viceroy in Snowmass Village. He was said to have the ability to bring people together in friendship, and nowhere was that more evident than in his unique and inspiring passion for music and his deep love of sharing it with others.

His shrine was established on April 11, 2011. Several items in his shrine relate to the very popular band he loved so very much, Widespread Panic.

John Nicoletta

John Nicoletta was a 27-year-old Aspen-based extreme skier who was killed at the Alyeska resort in Alaska on April 11, 2008, while competing in the U.S. World Freeskiing Championships. His shrine contains many items, including photos of him, newspaper articles about his death, several pairs of skis, Tibetan prayer flags, a wooden swing with his name carved into the seat, a frying pan, a shovel, an eagle statue, wind chimes made out of cut-up ski poles, and a paperback copy of Jack Kerouac's book, “On the Road.”

Raoul Wille

Raoul Wille died of altitude sickness on Oct. 11, 1998, while climbing Mt. Burunse near Mt. Everest in Nepal. He was the son of Lou and Lynne Wille, owners of the Tyrolean Lodge at 200 W. Main St. in Aspen. He was one of four children and an avid ski racer. He operated the lodge from mid-1980 until his untimely death.

A pair of his skis is mounted on the outside of the lodge building. His shrine is a three-sided and roofed structure made of lodge-pole pines, and filled with many of his possessions, including his purple and yellow alpine skating boots, skis, family photos, crystals, beer bottles, a flag for the musical group “The Who,” and many other items. Around the structure are animal skulls and bones, hung from the trees with wire.

David Wood ( 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 a local charity, The Trashmasters Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, the Village Market, and 81615, as well as at various locations in Aspen. To view previous articles visit:

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