The Smoke Shacks (All four mountains)
There are a number of shacks on all of the four mountains of Aspen/Snowmass. In some cases these shacks are what people refer to as "smoke shacks" or "toke shacks." In 2007 there appeared several newspaper articles that mentioned the smoke shacks. In the "Aspen's Best" article of September 1, 2007, the Aspen Times Weekley named the "Naked Lady Smoke Shack" at Snowmass as one of Aspen's best shrines. It is not there anymore, but was one of the best. It was also known as the "Cough Lounge" and was a full cabin with cushioned seats inside. Also in 2007 there appeared newspaper articles saying that various smoke shacks would be removed. Two of these articles are reproduced below at the very end of this page. The first article is from the Denver Post of April 16, 2007. The second is from the Aspen Times of April 13, 2007. (Despite these articles, it is not evident to the author as of late 2015, that any smoke shacks were removed; there are still plenty of them out there.) The first three photos shown below appeared with these newspaper articles.
The fourth photo shown below was taken by the author in July 2008 and is of a smoke shack on Aspen Mountain on the right side of Ruthies Run, just below the top of the FIS lift.
The last five photos shown below were taken by the author in August 2008 and show a smoke shack on Snowmass on the left side of the Sandy Park run.
Links to various other shacks are below:
For photos of a smoke shack on Aspen Highlands, see the Dog Pound Shrine page on this site: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?id=1,108,0,0,1,0.
For photos of a shack on Aspen Mountain, see The Tim Mooney Shack page on this site: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?id=2,125,0,0,1,0.
See this page on this site for a shack near the Coffee Pot run on Snowmass. This is known as the Gnarnia Shack: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Coffee-Pot-Shack-Snowmass.
See this page on this site for the Ski Patrol "Name Tag" shack on Snowmass: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Ski-Patrol-Name-Tag-Shack-Snowmass.
See this page on this site for a shack near Sneaky's Glades on Snowmass: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Sneakys-Glades-Shack-Snowmass.
See this page on this site for the Burnt Mountain Tepee: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Burnt-Mountain-Tepee-Snowmass.
See this page on this site for the Mountain Bike Shrine: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Mountain-Bike-Shrine-Snowmass.
See this page for another shack, The Brandon Zukoff Shrine (BZ Hut): http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Brandon-Zukoff-Shrine-Snowmass.
If you have any photos of or information about these items or other shacks on the mountains that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at [email protected].
Click on images to enlarge.
Forest Service hopes to scrap slope "shacks" When huts become nuisance, it's time to go
By Jason Blevins
Denver Post Staff Writer
The Forest Service is putting its foot down on slopeside shacks. Those listing lean-tos tucked in the trees are being targeted by some Forest Service rangers across the state. Last week the Forest Service's winter sports administrator in
"It's more an issue of stopping the growth of these things. Some of them are pretty extravagant," Forest Service ranger Jim Stark said. "The ski area talked to me this winter and they wanted to discuss some concerns and what we thought about their liability."
This winter, Stark and some Snowmass ski patrollers visited a newly erected shack accessed by what he called some "pretty hairball skiing." While up in the shanty, a young boy skied by with his father.
"It really is drawing some kids into places where they normally would not be," Stark said. "It's not a resource damage issue - the ones I've seen use dead trees - it's more a junk thing. Our discussion with the ski area has been if they come across them, just clean them up. We want to get the message out that this is not allowed and don't keep building these things."
Shacks on ski hills are hardly new. Some date back a couple of decades and are carefully maintained by unknown visitors. While some are tree houses found up in the canopy, most are simply stacked dead timber with room for a couple of folks to sit. More often than not, the shacks can be smelled because of marijuana smoke before they are seen.
The Forest Service does not rank the so-called "smoke shacks" very high on its lengthy list of priorities, but when a hut becomes an issue for a ski area, the Forest Service has no problem ordering its removal.
"We see them as unauthorized structures on public land," said Don Dressler, a snow ranger with the Forest Service's Holy Cross district. "It's a nuisance more than a natural resource concern."
Dressler said patrollers from Vail and Beaver Creek usually notify him when they find a new shack and he will go visit, looking for any kind of safety issue or resource damage like freshly hewn timber. It's up to the ski hill to remove the structures when they can, Dressler said.
At Mary Jane, there are more than 20 huts hidden in the woods, some built by loggers who first thinned the hill for skiing more than 30 years ago. The mountain's patrollers rarely bother with removing the storied shacks.
"There are probably more than we even know about,"
April 13, 2007