Sanctuaries in the Snow

The Aspen Todboggans (Aspen Mountain)

A plaque in one of the Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola cars is entitled "Art of Todboggans," and reads as follows:

"In honor of past patrollers, directors and mountain managers, the 'Todboggans" at Aspen Mountain have been painted with different scenes.  There is even one named Bingo after a former avalanche dog.  The sleds are stashed all over the mountain for easy patrol access.  Ask a patroller to show you the paintings and tell you their tales."

For an Aspen Daily News article of December 23, 2006 about these plaques, see this link:

Photos of some of these Todboggans are below.

One is in memory of "The Honorable Dr. Tom Hines DVM."  He was a doctor of veterinary medicine who died on July 1, 2000; for his obituary, see:

Another todboggan has "APSPA" and "Aspen Professional Ski Patrol Association--Since 1986" painted on it, along with a picture of a long-haired person wearing a beret.

There is a todboggan for Alex Halperin who was the first woman hired by the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol, which was labeled at the time as "the last bastion of male supremacy" by a national magazine.  Her todboggan says "First Woman--Alex" on it, along with a drawing of a serpent and an apple, photo below.  See this February 18, 2006 Aspen Times article, "Breaking into the 'old boys club'" by Scott Condon:

For photos of 20 of the todboggans, see this Facebook photo album (you do not need to have a Facebook account to view the album):   

If you have any information about or photos of todboggans that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at


Click on images to enlarge.