Friends of the Dillon Ranger District presents ‘Fire on the Mountain’ |

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District presents ‘Fire on the Mountain’

Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division undertook training exercises that included carrying 90-pound rucksacks and learning how to navigate every type of terrain on skis. Friends of the Dillon Ranger District will present a documentary about the 10th Mountain Tuesday, Dec. 29 at Keystone Conference Center.
Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum / Special to the Daily |


What: Friends of the Dillon Ranger District presents “Fire on the Mountain”

When: Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.

Where: Keystone Conference Center, 0633 Tennis Club Road

Cost: Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids and can be purchased at the door; all profits from the evening will benefit the on-going stewardship efforts of the White River National Forest put forth by FDRD

The Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) will be presenting “Fire on the Mountain,” a documentary film on the 10th Mountain Division, Tuesday, Dec. 29 at the Keystone Conference Center. Following the story of an elite group of soldiers in World War II, it provides gives viewers a glimpse into training at Camp Hale near Leadville through its campaign in Italy. The film also follows stories of veterans that became pioneers in the ski industry.

“10th Mountain Division is great for us, because it symbolizes the ruggedness and outdoors element, which is a lot of what FDRD is about as well,” said Mike Connolly, FDRD executive director.

This is the second time FDRD has shown the film. Back in February, the organization presented the film in Dillon, and it was well received, so members of the nonprofit decided to put it on again, this time in Keystone. The first time FDRD held this event, it was able to bring in a member of the 10th Mountain Division to answer questions. The veteran was unavailable for this screening, but Connolly said they do have all the old equipment that he used, which will be on display.

Connolly recommends the film because it really emphasizes the outdoor spirit of the early founding members of the ski industry. Many of the veterans in the 10th Mountain Division went on to help create ski areas in the West, as well as back East.

“10th Mountain Division resonates with a lot of people that are up here, both living and visiting up here because of what they represent to this whole area,” he said.

The film offers interviews with members of the 10th, who speak candidly about what they went through, giving viewers a sense of what it was all about, he said.

“If you see the film it’s very interesting because you actually see the conditions under which these people trained, over at Camp Hale. … When you see the training elements that they go through, and everything they had to do back then, it’s quite astounding. There are even some humorous spots in the film … when people wear these kind of rucksacks on 10-foot long skinny skis, and they are barely able to stand up — it’s pretty interesting.”

Proceeds from the movie night, which starts at 7 p.m., will go to FDRD, in support of the programs the group does during the summer. FDRD runs about 70 different projects from around June through September for trail maintenance, forest stewardship, wildlife habitat and youth programs, Connolly said.

“The more money we can raise, the more work we can do on the trails,” he said. “And there are over 480 miles of trails in Summit County that have to be maintained and upgraded. The Forest Service frankly doesn’t have the budget or the crew to go out there and do that, so FDRD’s been around for 10 years to supplement what the Forest Service does, going out to work on the trails and keep them sustainable for future generations.”

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