10th Mountain Division Ski-In Daze
This week will mark year 43 for the Annual 10th Mountain Division Ski-In Daze, a week-long celebration for the veterans and soldiers that served in this very special military division. Many of the events are being held at Ski Cooper, and a couple can be found right here in Leadville schools, so check out their schedule and then make time to attend one of these special occasions. #NeverForget their service!
The events kick off Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at Lake County High School (LCHS). Students will give presentations on the 10th Mountain Division followed by a question and answer session with some of the veterans. This is a heat-warming interaction of generations and usually a great history lesson for all in attendance.
On Thursday, March 1 the group will be spending the day skiing at Copper Mountain, but then return to LCHS in the evening for a very special presentation. The public is invited to join acclaimed author/historian Flint Whitlock for a fascinating look of the extraordinary 10th Mountain Division soldiers who trained at Camp Hale and Ski Cooper during World War II. Titled “Skiing Off to War: The Saga of the 10th Mountain Division During World War II,” Whitlock brings to life the compelling story of the one of the US Army’s most unique divisions.
The 14,000-man division was filled with some of the finest skiers, mountaineers, mule skinners and horsemen in the world, and was the last American division to see combat. However, once the outfit deployed to the mountains of Italy during the closing months of the war, the troops never lost a battle or gave up an inch of ground. After the war, many of its veterans went on to create or expand the ski resorts of Vail, Aspen, and Arapahoe Basin, as well as many other ski areas around the United States.
The famed 10th Mountain Division has a special connection to Leadville. Camp Hale, its main training camp was located just a few miles north of the town on Highway 24. Much of their ski and outdoor training took place at Ski Cooper and nearby wilderness areas. And when it came time for socializing and cutting loose, Leadville was their spot for good fun!
Come, learn about this unique and colorful group from Flint Whitlock, author, historian and 10th Mountain descendant. For more details regarding this program, contact Denise Taylor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, March 2 Leadville locals should take note for the very popular Ski-In Serpentine, which pays special tribute to the 10th Mountain Division out at Ski Cooper will commence at High Noon. The Colorado National Color Guard will be leading the group down the mountain with flags flying. Afterwards lunch will be served, then later at 3 p.m. there will be a special Memorial Service of the 10th Mountain Monument located at the entrance to Cooper. Afterwards the group will meet back at the Ski Cooper lodge for Après Ski at 5 p.m. with entertainment and snacks in Katie O’Rourke’s Pub, followed by a special dinner at 6 p.m. Then, believe it or not, this group of tough mountaineers will continue the party back at the Silver Dollar Saloon in downtown Leadville, one of their favopriate hang-outs from “back-in-the-day.” Friday, March 2 will definitely be Tenth Mountain Day in Leadville!
On Saturday, March 3 these special veterans will have the opportunity to take a snowmobile tour of Camp Hale and Machine Gun Ridge, starting out at Nova Guides, located off Highway 24 west. Then finally, over the next several days March 4 – 6, the group will enjoy skiing at various nearby resorts including Breckenridge and Vail, where there will be special tributes for these veterans along the way!
It’s going to be an action-packed 10th Mountain Division Ski-In Daze – make sure you’re part of it!