Influence of 10th touched education, publishing
Many 10th Mountain Division veterans joined the booming ski industry after the war, but love of the outdoors took others down divergent paths.One of America’s most accomplished mountaineers and a 10th veteran, Paul Petzoldt, became the youngest alpinist to summit the Grand Teton in 1924 at age 16 and climbed 26,000 feet to the top of K2 in 1938. At Camp Hale, he taught troops safety and preparation and created mountain-evacuation methods.After the war, Petzoldt continued to educate about wilderness safety and survival techniques. As part of the first Outward Bound program in Colorado in 1963, he recognized the need to teach people to safely enjoy and conserve the environment. The result was the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1965 to train leaders to conduct wilderness programs in a safe and rewarding manner. With the addition of the Wilderness Education Association in 1977, Petzoldt established some of the most important wilderness education systems in America.Bob Lewis enlisted in the 87th Mountain Infantry, trained at Camp Hale and was stationed on Kiska Island. After earning a degree in zoology, he taught biology, ecology, chemistry, physics and geology during the 1950s at Aspen High School. He designed and built science labs in Aspen, Basalt and Colorado Rocky Mountain School and also established the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies in 1971.Lewis was known for helping students understand nature by experiencing it, using field trips. From this belief came the nation’s first Braille Trail in 1967, located in the White River National Forest near Aspen. Designed for the blind, the trail contains 22 stations to teach about each site’s ecology. Lewis also founded the Wildwood School in 1974, which mimics nature in construction and emphasizes learning through environmental sensory experiences. His desire to effectively teach has left a legacy of outstanding science programs.Skiing magazine, which writes about gear, resorts, backcountry and ski culture, was founded and supported by several 10th veterans, including Merrill Hastings. As an “organizational force” in the ski industry, Hastings was actively involved in the Denver bid for the 1976 Olympics, helped build Arapahoe Basin, co-founded the Colorado Trail, served as Berthoud Pass ski school director and started a ski association that became the Rocky Mountain Division of PSIA. Hastings founded Skiing magazine in 1948, which he ran for 16 years, and founded other magazines, including Colorful Colorado, Colorado Business and Cope and Coping.Dick Wilson, the magazine’s first editor, returned to Colorado after suffering injuries while fighting with the 10th in Italy. Prior to editing Skiing magazine, he was a ski patrolman at Berthoud Pass and instructor. Bob Parker, another 10th veteran, also was editor of Skiing magazine from 1955 to ’62, when he went to the newly founded Vail. Born in Persia, Bil Dunaway learned to ski in Switzerland and joined the ski team at the University of Washington. Dunaway taught Army rock climbing in West Virginia and fought with the 10th at Riva Ridge, where his service as leader of a reconnaissance squad earned him a Bronze Star. After the war, he continued skiing in Europe, completing the first ever descent of Mont Blanc and then served as editor of Skiing magazine for a couple of years.In 1956, Dunaway bought The Aspen Times, transforming it into a community newspaper which won awards annually for its voice and conscience. After also bringing television service to Aspen and Rifle with Canyon Cable TV, he sold the newspaper in the 1990s but is considered one of Aspen’s most legendary figures.As proven by these men, many 10th veterans have left their marks not only on the ski industry but on the wilderness industry, as well.Sources for this story included:• “Fire on the Mountain,” First Run Features/Gage & Gage Productions, 1995.• Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum archives.