It’s shrine-tastic |

It’s shrine-tastic

Jon Maletz

Talk of mountain shrines has been pervasive lately. And now I’m curious.I wonder what my shrine would be like. Sure, I’ve never posed in “Playboy” like Marilyn Monroe. I can’t play “The Star-Spangled Banner” with a guitar and my mouth like Jimi Hendrix. And co-workers call me “Hammer” – hardly as evocative as “The King.” But I have 10 or so inches of space to fill here – and a dream.I’m envisioning something simple. A not-so-secluded space far from the bumps off a blue square on Highlands. I’m thinking most people, if they’re like me, wouldn’t be able to search for a spot on Steeplechase or Boomerang Woods. I’m willing to donate my “Beat the Yankees Hankee Night 1994” white handkerchief to mark the entrance. And I’m sure my mother is more than willing to throw in a few of my baseball cards from little league, or the ball from my one-hitter in JV. She may still have my pencil collection from fifth grade or my white band shoes. I would ask her for a few family photos, but it was only recently that I exited my awkward stage. I want the world to forget about the years when I was all ears, braces and glasses.There could be an old futon (heck, if Ajax ski patrollers found rusted car parts at one shrine, I’m sure someone could make this happen). Skiers could take a break, take a seat and burn some of my newspaper articles in a firepit; it’s better than leaving them on the floor of a bathroom or RFTA bus, which is their most common fate these days.I’m thinking it would be the perfect place for people to gather and recite lines from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Big Lebowski.” I hear Tommy Chong frequented Ajax’s Grateful Dead shrine; I’m more interested in a visit from Steve Buscemi – or that guy who played Jesus. It’d be a place to ridicule Johnny Damon and the Yankees and toss the ball around while eating Flintstones Push-Up Pops. And before people clip in and ski off, they can add a can to the Coors Light beer pyramid. Odds are my shrine would go the way of William Shakespeare’s and vanish. But hey, that’s good company.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate near and above treeline. Below treeline, the danger is low. Variable conditions exist. Below treeline, be aware if you find any wet, unconsolidated pockets on steeper terrain these could be easily triggered. At higher elevations, keep an eye out for weak, hollow pockets of shallow snow, as these could be likely areas to trigger larger slides. Also use caution on steep, windloaded terrain where hard slabs and soft slabs exist. And watch out for gnarly crusts.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, visit For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit

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