Authors visit The Bookworm to share story about 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale |

Authors visit The Bookworm to share story about 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale

Flint Whitlock (left) and Eric Miller (right)
Courtesy photo
  • What: 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale with Flint Whitlock and Eric Miller
  • When: Tuesday, May 9 at 6 p.m. MST
  • Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., unit C101 Edwards, CO 81632
  • Cost: $10
  • More Info: Call 970-926-READ or visit

To many longtime Eagle Valley locals and visitors, it may seem like snow sports have always been a part of our history, but many people may not know when or where that history began. Luckily, authors Flint Whitlock and Eric Miller have written a book about a WWII camp just up the road from the Vail ski area that trained the most unique soldiers, some of whom, upon returning home after the war, created America’s snow sports industry.

On Tuesday, May 9 at 6 p.m., join authors Flint Whitlock and Eric Miller as they share their new book about the wartime construction of Camp Hale during World War II. As an added bonus, Jen Mason from the Colorado Snowsports Museum will be joining the authors, and will bring historical artifacts from the 10th Mountain Division to display.

At 9,250 feet above sea level, Camp Hale, which was located near Leadville, was just designated as Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in October 2022. The camp was where over 13,000 10th Mountain Division soldiers trained before being deployed to the Northern Apennine Mountains of Italy near the end of World War II.

Whitlock and Miller co-wrote the book, “10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale.”
Courtesy photo

For Flint Whitlock, his interest in the 10th Mountain Division came from his father’s military service. “My father, James Whitlock, served with the 10th (605th Field Artillery Battalion), trained at Camp Hale, and went overseas with the division to fight in Italy,” Whitlock recalled. “Fortunately, he came back in one piece. In writing this book, I wanted people to understand the tremendous work and sacrifice that so many people, both soldiers and civilians, made to ensure victory in World War II, as victory was not guaranteed.”

Not only does Whitlock want people to understand the sacrifices that people like his father made, he wants to encourage people to consider how history shapes their daily lives. “As a professional historian, I’m afraid that most people are more concerned with the present and the future; they don’t give a lot of thought to what came before the present moment,” Whitlock said. “In the case of skiing and winter sports, the people who ski and snowboard today are following in the tracks of the 10th Mountain veterans from 80 years ago.”

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And those are definitely big tracks to follow; the construction of Camp Hale was an amazing feat, even by today’s standards. “Consider that it took an army of workmen, 10,000 of them, to build the camp during a time of severe manpower shortages,” Whitlock explained. “Besides millions of men going into the armed forces, the government also had scores of military construction projects (army camps, naval bases, air fields, etc.) going on all across the country at the same time. Not to mention, the entire camp, a city of over 15,000 people and 4,000 animals, was all built from scratch within just seven months. How amazing is that? Today it often takes seven months just to build one house.”

After the war ended, many of the 10th Mountain Division veterans returned home and used their love of skiing to create the American snow sports industry. “Many of the young men who trained at Camp Hale came back after the war, determined to take up skiing where they left off and make it their life’s work,” Whitlock states. “Their commitment to, and enthusiasm for, snow sports, along with unprecedented prosperity and free time to enjoy such activities, not to mention inexpensive war-surplus skis, boots, poles, and clothing, brought skiing, and eventually snowboarding, into America’s mainstream consciousness.”

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