The Pete Bedford Cross is on a tree near the Whispering Jesse run at Snowmass. The famous blacksmith Francis Whitaker made the cross. It is made of a dark metal material, and Pete Bedford's name is etched into it. (Whitaker also made a cross for Pete's wife, Carol, and it is near the east fork of Brush Creek and the Snowmass golf course.)
Pete had three sons, John Peter Bedford Jr., Bo Bedford and Jim Bedford, and a daughter, Michelle Foley. Whispering Jesse was one of Pete's favorite runs. According to one of his sons, “Pete Bedford ruled the Big Burn.”
The cross was installed in 2004.
One of Pete's sons, John Peter Bedford Jr., was known as “Jack” and “Wacky Jack.” There are brass plaques attached to trees on the Gunner's View, Whispering Jesse and Showcase runs at Snowmass, all three are identical, and they read as follows: “Wacky Jack Skied Here.”
One of Pete's sons supplied the author with the following information about Jack: He was born in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 2, 1950, and was a graduate of the Aspen High School class of 1969. He died in Westminster on Aug. 7, 2000, at Park Forest Care Center, his home for the prior eight years. He lettered in football, baseball and skiing at Aspen High School. He worked for the Snowmass ski area as a ski instructor in the late 1960s and was known as “Little Stein” for his skiing style, which was similar to that of Stein Eriksen, who headed up the ski school at the time.
In 1971, Jack fell while skiing under Snowmass' Campground lift and received a severe head injury that caused partial paralysis and a memory loss of about 10 years. In 1972, he moved to Telluride, where he was employed in a variety of jobs, including that of ski instructor for the Telluride ski area. Jack was known for his quick smile, easygoing manner, laugh and occasional bizarre behavior that sometimes seemed just right for Telluride's early skiing days. He often lived up to his nickname, “Wacky Jack.” Some of Jack's ashes were scattered on a run called Happy Thought off Telluride's Lift 6. Also, some of his ashes, as well as Pete's ashes, were scattered on the Whispering Jesse run mentioned above, near the place where the Pete Bedford Cross is mounted and also near where there is a “Wacky Jack” plaque attached to a tree.
There are some 400 of these “Wacky Jack” plaques spread around areas where Jack skied and lived. They started appearing sometime around 2002.