10th Mountain Division Ski-In at Cooper on Friday
This Friday Ski Cooper will host the 38th Annual 10th Mountain Ski-In. Veterans and descendants of veterans of the 10th Mountain Division will meet at the Ski Cooper Lodge in the morning and ski down the mountain at Noon with flags flying. Lunch will then be served in the lodge, and re-enactors from the 10th Living History Group managed by Chuck and Lydia Roberts will perform as well. At 3 p.m. everyone will gather at the Tennessee Pass Monument, at the entrance of Ski Cooper for a short memorial program.
For those who may not know, during the winters of 1942 to 1944, fourteen thousands soldiers learned and refined ski and outdoor survival techniques on Cooper Hill, present day Ski Cooper.
Construction of the U.S. Army’s Camp Hale began in April 1942, north of Tennessee Pass outside Leadville. On November 16, 1942, the Mountain Training Center moved from Camp Carson in Colorado Springs to Camp Hale where it faced the task of filling out its two final regiments – the 85th and 86th to complete the division. This was the only division of the U.S. Army trained specifically for mountain warfare up to that point in American military history. The mission behind Camp Hale was to develop the ability to survive and fight in any weather, on any terrain, under any conditions. Eight months later it would pay off.
It had been five years since Germany had invaded Poland, when a troop of men from the 10th Mountain Division scaled 2,000 vertical feet of rock and ice during the night and under the noses of the German army camped on Riva Ridge. They arrived at the top in dense fog and when it lifted, the German soldiers were taken completely by surprise.
The Tenth Mountain was responsible for breaking through the German line, allowing Allies to penetrate north. While the victory was sweet, the casualties were great; 990 members of the 14,000-man division died in the Italian Campaign in the winter of 1945. Today, the Tenth Mountain Memorial stands at the entrance to Ski Cooper as a reminder to those men who fought in Italy to preserve our freedoms.
After World War II, the same terrain that drew the Army to Colorado for warfare training brought thousands of 10th Mountain Division skiers back to its slopes. Tenth Mountain men founded Vail, Aspen, and Arapahoe Basin. However, Leadville is the place that the Tenth Mountain Division soldiers still remember as home in the mountains. The love and generosity that the Leadville community poured out to them during a very difficult period in our country’s history will always remain in their hearts.
Tenth Mtn Division Ski-In Tribute 2012 video
Nordic Team Wraps up Season, State Later This Week
Thanks to Contributor Karl Remsen, Panthers Nordic Coach
The Lake County High School and Middle School Nordic ski teams
traveled to Aspen on a snowy Saturday for the final regular season
race of the year. The races were part of the Aspen Nordic Festival and included races for skiers from age 6 to professional racers.
After the professional races in the morning, the track was soft and
the waxing challenging as the temperature hovered around 32 degrees. However, the tracks held up and the racers made the most of the difficult waxing conditions.
Whitney White finished up her middle school career with an 8th place finish. Molly Lenhard showed her strength in classic skiing by placing 18th. AnneMarie Duel rounded out the team with a 26th place finish. The girls tied for third as a team.
Matthew Seibel led the middle school boys with a strong finish in 27th place. Zach Coffin and Joe Koch were right behind in 29th and 31st.
“It was a fun course,” remarked Matthew of the rolling terrain on the Aspen High School Tracks. The boys were fifth as a team.
Lara Lufkin continued her excellent season with a 16th place finish.
She chased an Eagle Valley girl for most of the course and skied away from most of the first group of starters. Kimberly Vierczhalek used her double pole strength over the second half of the course to place 31st. Hannah Lufkin climbed well after a slow start and placed 40th.
Jayde Daigle was right behind in 42nd with her best classic race of
the season. The team of girls tied for eight place. This was the last race of the season for Jayde as a skimeister, a competition between the hardy few who do both alpine and Nordic skiing. Jayde will await the final results to be tabulated to see if she is one of the top five in the state.
The high school boys mostly focused on getting in a good workout in before the state meet. Ryan Morrison and Andrew Morrison led a quartet of boys who finished within a minute of one another with their 19th and 20th place finishes. Charlie Koch and Ethan Greiner were next to finish, placing 24th and 26th respectively.
Coach Karl Remsen noted that he was thrilled to have four skiers so close together. “It bodes well for the state meet next week to have all four in good shape and racing well. We only need three to core, but to have the backup of the fourth is awesome.”
Trevor Kerrigan and Vlad Bezsmertny skied their final regular season race well, placing 65th and 69th. The boys placed seventh as a team.
Many of the high school skiers will spend the next week preparing for the state meet, which will be held on Thursday and Friday at Snow Mountain Ranch in Fraser.