On select Friday evenings (Jan. 4 and 18, Feb. 15, and March 8) in Vail Village, guests are invited to watch skiers dressed in traditional 10th
Mountain Division Ski Trooper uniforms perform a Torchlight Ski Down to the base of Gondola One, followed by a parade of military veterans, also in traditional uniform, marching from Gondola One down Bridge Street, across the Covered Bridge and finishing at the 10th
Mountain statue. The side of Vail Mountain will be illuminated with the 10th
Mountain Division logo, and the celebration will feature a film on the history and legacy of Vail projected at the base of Gondola One and animated with fireworks. Vail’s newly-renovated Colorado Snowsports Museum
will stay open after the parade for guests to visit and learn about Colorado’s ski history through the new 10th Mountain Division exhibit-- the most comprehensive of its kind in the world--and a showing of the film "Climb to Glory."
“The 10th Mountain Legacy Parade brings history to life and pays homage to the founders of Vail and those that have represented our country,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer at Vail. “This event is an example of the partnership between the town and the resort and how we can work together to bring the past into the present.”
Each 10th Mountain Legacy Parade will begin at 6 p.m. EpicMix Photographers will be available to take pictures of guests with the soldiers and commemorative Legacy of Vail pins and hot chocolate will be offered, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Vail’s 10th Mountain History
During World War II, the United States Army created a training center just south of the Vail Valley called Camp Hale, where the 10th Mountain Division trained for alpine combat. Made up of excellent skiers and mountaineers, soldiers of the 10th fought in mountainous Northern Italy. Upon return, many of them became major players in the quickly growing American ski industry, founding or working at more than 50 resorts in the U.S.
Pete Seibert, a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, along with Earl Eaton, who worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Glenwood Springs, first climbed Vail Mountain during the winter of 1957 and looked down at the future Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls. They both agreed it would be the perfect ski area, and thus, Vail was born.
Vail’s pioneering spirit and core value of service to others are rooted in the legacy of its founders. The 10th Mountain Legacy Parades will honor that legacy and welcome Vail guests to learn more about the rich history of Vail.