Vail Today: Colorado Ski Museum offers Tales of the 10th on Fridays (video)
By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
You may have walked by the Colorado Ski Museum many times on your way in and out of the Vail Village parking structure and not even known it was there, but once you go in, it will take you a while to leave. The history of skiing in Colorado is showcased throughout six themed galleries that educate and entertain all ages through artifacts, documentaries and narratives. One of the highlights of the museum is the 10th Mountain Division exhibit, the famed soldiers on skis who trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale and fought in Italy’s mountains during World War II. Sandy Treat is a long time local who shares his experience with Tales from the 10th, a free talk on Friday afternoons at the Colorado Ski Museum. Formed late in 1941, the original 10th Mountain Division was the only U.S. military unit since the Civil War to be recruited by a civilian entity, the National Ski Patrol. Many of its soldiers were skiers, forest rangers, lumberjacks, outfitters and guides. Sandy Treat was a ski racer at Dartmouth. “On the ski racer message board, it said ‘sign up for the 10th’ and many of us thought ‘why not?’ So at the age of 19 I signed up and took a train to Denver,” remembers Treat. “Everyone was very patriotic after Pearl Harbor and we wanted to help.” Tales of training, camaraderie, loss and then triumph fill Treat’s voice as he explains his memory of what happened along the ridges in Italy. The 94-year-old has been speaking to those interested in learning about the 10th Mountain Division’s stories in Colorado and abroad for eight years. “I do it all for free, I wouldn’t take a penny for it. It’s the least I can do for the boys, those who didn’t come home,” said Treat. Call ahead for scheduled talks and you can learn more about the Colorado Ski Museum and it’s $3 million Transformation Project at http://www.skimuseum.net.
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