Letter to the Editor: Remember Camp Hale for its history, but also for its many leaders, pioneers | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Remember Camp Hale for its history, but also for its many leaders, pioneers

Mark P. Addison

I’ve been quietly promoting Camp Hale for years. Some of you know I wear a badge that reads “M&CWTC 1955-57 Camp Hale.”

I knew some of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers: Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert, who pioneered Vail, passed thru Loveland Basin when I was teaching skiing. Curt Chase became director of Aspen Ski School and retired here in Summit. Don Todd, who built a jewel-like house near Breckenridge, and his family were good friends. These guys were my heroes.

After the war Camp Hale was leveled save one building. It was reopened in 1952 to support the new Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command. Like to the 10th, its job was to train troops to move in mountainous terrain and survive Colorado winters. We were a small group of enlisted men: former Class A ski racers from back East, a few climbers like me and some locals who knew the area. The people we trained were Army Airborne, Green Beret Special Forces and some special operations Air Force people. Many think of us as ski troopers, and we were if you meant that we strapped on 7-foot skis, hoisted a rucksack and tromped up the local mountains.

Just as the 10th produced the people who built the ski business, so Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command produced remarkable people.

Jim Whittaker was the first American to climb Everest. Jack Morehead rose to the top of the National Park Service, Dale Gallagher, at the U S Forest Service, almost did the same before his untimely death. First Sgt. Bill Brown became mountain manager at Vail. Chuck Lewis started Copper Mountain. Except for Jim Whittaker, all were Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command instructors.

Remember Camp Hale for its history — but also because it produced many successful leaders in different careers who aren’t named here.

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