CAMP HALE (about 15 miles from Leadville Colorado)
In 1942, Pando, Colorado, was a two-room train depot situated in the picturesque Eagle Park valley. By January 1943, an army camp filled the valley and was receiving the first men of the 10th Mountain Division for instruction in mountain and winter warfare, mountaineering, skiing and rock climbing. In less than eight months, the camp grew to accommodate a full U.S. Army Division of 14,000 men. On Maneuvers Ski troops trained in the Rockies at altitudes up to 14,000 feet, often under brutal weather conditions and for weeks at a time. As if nature were not enough of a challenge, the men carried rucksacks sometimes weighing as much as 90 lbs. Tents were home to 10th Mountain Division soldiers while on maneuvers. Thin fabric provided the only shelter from the elements. Rock Climbing was an important element of Divisional training. While some soldiers were recruited for their rock-climbing and mountaineering skills, the majority received specialized training. Mountains and rock formations around Camp Hale provided the ideal classroom for the soldiers. The training proved essential as troops from the 86th Regiment would make a night climb to capture German-held Riva Ridge in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy.
Nova guides is now located at Camp Hale. We spent the day after Christmas there and the guys went out on snow mobiles,
and the girls went on a Cat ride on the groomed trail for 2 hours. We wanted to dog sled but you have to book 3 months in advance =) . We found out on the ride that Camp Hale was torn down by accident. There was another Camp Hale in N.C. and that was the one that should have been torn down =( I always wanted to know why they didn’t leave more of it behind.
10th Mountain manages a system of 29 backcountry huts in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, connected by 350 miles of suggested routes. I have only seen a few of these so far and they are not what I would call Huts! You can stay in one for about 12$ a night as long as you don’t mind sharing with other families who might be there. You can also reserve a whole hut.
10th Mountain Division Hut Association