Monday, February 27, 2017

Playing Golf on Skis

Have you ever thought about what two sports you could do at the same time? Volleyball and basketball make sense. Tennis and baseball make a little.

What about golf and skiing? I doubt that came across your mind. 

But it's a thing, and I've done it.

When I went skiing in Snowmass, CO last week, I got to experience it. The Aspen/Snowmass ski area, with its four mountains, are special.

Yes, one of them hosts the X-Games annually.

Yes, one of them will host the FIS World Cup in March. Other ski areas have done that before. But, the Aspen/Snowmass ski area is one of a kind: they have shrines.

Throughout the four mountains that make the Power of Four - Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass - lay shrines dedicated to various people and things, hidden within the trees. But not if you know where to look.

No other place in the world has shrines. There are shrines to the New England Patriots, the original Yankee Stadium, the Beatles, those who perished on 9/11, the deceased greats of golf, and more.

There, where Gunner's View and Bear Bottom join, hidden in the trees, photos hang on the trees, two chairs, ready to be sat in await those who come to pay their respect, two golf bags and a bucket of balls, for people to take some swings in the snow. 

And that, I did. When I was up on Snowmass last weekend, I visited that shrine. I slowly skied into it, via the little pathway in the trees. Once you made your way into the trees, you saw everything. It was really cool. There were images of golf greats: Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart and more.

I was mesmerized when I got in, and was kinda speechless. I went in with my family, and we took our skis off to walk around. I got pictures with my family in the two chairs, with my grandfather on the ground, and some of the different signs and photos hanging on the trees.

Then, I got to play golf while skiing. I took a club, set the ball down, and took a swing, and chipped the ball. It was a great shot, and went to grab another ball.

After a practice swing, I made contact and once the ball landed, my dad yelled, "It's in the hole!"

Eventually, we had to leave, but it was a really cool and fun experience.

I definitely want to go back again next year, or whenever I go back to Snowmass.

If you would like to learn more about this shrine, and others, read David Wood's book, "Sanctuaries in the Snow". The book can be bought on his website here All book sales go towards the Trashmasters Golf Charity, which gives college scholarships to kids in Roaring Fork Valley, CO. Learn more about the other shrines and sanctuaries on his website here.

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