EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The famous 10th Mountain Division trained at Camp Hale near Leadville during World War II.
Although the camp no longer exists, the training and the history continue.
To the casual observer, one would never have known that such a serene place was home to the famous 10th Mountain Division.
“I think the story of the 10th is the greatest story that hasn’t been told,” Master Sgt. Daniel Fields of the 10th Mountain Division said.
The streets, barracks, stores and even a dance hall and movie theater at the camp were called home by 15,000 mountain troops during World War II.
Sometimes, the more things change the more they stay the same and once again, the sounds of the 10th Mountain Division can be heard in the Pando Valley.
“It’s where we got our start. It’s where our grandfathers worked, lived and trained,” Fields said. “To come back here and do the same thing, and ski on the very slopes they are skiing on, to climb on the very rocks they’re climbing on is indescribable.”
The 10th Mountain Division is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. They were commissioned during World War II to fight the German army.
While the camp may be gone, the valley, mountains and cliffs continue to provide the training grounds for the “Pando-commandos.”
“We are out here honestly to honor our legacy, to train soldiers, and to give them an appreciation of the things that came before them,” Fields said.
The uniforms and equipment may have changed, but the climb to glory spirit continues to live on.