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Lifes Adventures

What Happened after WWII

Camp Hale was deactivated prior to the 10th Mountain Divisions return and would later be reactivated for use during the Korean conflict and for CIA use in the early 1960’s.  It is now home to myriad of recreational activity such as jeep and 4wd trails, snowmobiles tours, hiking trails, campgrounds, and much more.   The 10th Mountain Division was disbanded after the surrender of Japan in November of 1945.  It was reactivated once in 1948, again in 1954, and lastly in 1985 with the purpose of military and relief operations.  They are currently doing their part in securing freedom in Afghanistan and fighting the war on terror.  There is a fantastic exhibit in the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail, CO portraying the history and accomplishments of the troops.

The legacy of the 10th Mountain Division did not cease with the completion of WWII.  Many of its members went on to alter the ski community of Colorado and the rest of the United States.  Aspen, Arapaho Basin, Vail, and the 10th Mountain Division Trail and Hut System can all be attributed to the entrepreneurship and foresight of the retired ski troopers.  The already budding ski area of Aspen was transformed by Friedl Pfeifer, Percy Rideout and John Litchfield from a small mining town to a promising high end resort.  Arapaho Basin was then developed by Larry Jump and Sandy Schauffler when the Denver Chamber of Commerce hired them to uncover an area to establish a Front Range accessible ski resort.  In 1966 Denver-ites could ski A-basin by tow-rope for $1.25/day and then in 1948-1949 they had the luxury of two chair lifts for quicker ascent. 

Another Tenth veteran Peter Seibert became manager of Loveland and Aspen Ski Resorts, but had a dream to build on of his very own.  Friend and prospector, Earl Eaton, brought Seibert to Vail in 1957 and together the purchased land and gained a permit by the Forest Service to build a resort.  They formed Vail Corporation and eventually raised enough capital to build the landmark resort that would eventually change the ski world forever.  To add to the foundation lain by the miraculous men of Camp Hale, an architect by the name of Fritz Benedict designed the initial Vail Village, Snowmass Village, and Breckenridge Village.  He also helped in the design of Aspen, Steamboat Springs, and Winter park.  He also played a major part in the erection of the 10th Mountain Division Hut and Trail System that is now a major part of recreation for year round backcountry enthusiasts.  On a national scale the 10th Mountain Veterans contributed to the erection and design of 17 ski resorts, 33 ski schools, Skiing Magazine, and the Colorado Ski Country, USA.
The people of the United States can remember and honor those who resided at Camp Hale and the impact they had not only on the outcome of WWII, but also their influence on the future of Colorado.  Thanks to all the men and women who dedicated their lives to making Colorado and the United States a better and safer place to live. 

 

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