The patriotic men of the 10th brought diversity, courage, and hope to the Rocky Mountains when they arrived in the 1940s to train just a few miles south of what is now Vail.
They were part of the greatest generation of men, wanting to make each day count and each day better than the last. The mentality they had was strong after being shaped from the rigors of mountain warfare, their egos humble.
Camp Hale, the legendary home of the 10th Mountain Division, was constructed in 1942, located 22 miles west of Vail between Leadville and Minturn in the Pando Valley. The initial population of Camp Hale included 15,000 soldiers, 3,000 administrative, medical, and other non-skiing staff, 5,000 mules, and 200 dogs.
In January of 1945, the 10th deployed to Italy’s Apennines Mountains, where they would battle the German army for the next two and a half months. On May 2, 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allies in Florence, Italy, ending the 10th’s Italian Campaign.
After World War 2, many of the 10th Mountain Division warriors came home to the USA and continued skiing. The 10th Mountain Division veterans started many of the US ski areas we now love. At least 62 ski resorts have been founded and managed by former 10th Mountain Division veterans.
The tradition of excellence established by the original 10th Mountain Division continues with today’s 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry (LI). Now based at Ft. Drum in Watertown, New York, the 10th Mountain Division LI has the distinction of being the most deployed military unit when a humanitarian, natural disaster, or conflict arises in the world.
the mountain lifestyle
The 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirit Company is an extension of the mountain lifestyle, bringing together the old with the new. Generation after generation, men and women alike, all share this same passion, enjoying it for a day, a weekend, a lifetime, or somewhere in between. No matter how long it’s embraced the combination of friends, mountains, memories, and spirits, brings people together like no other.
To encourage these relationships, to embrace the mountain lifestyle, and to honor the 10th Mountain soldiers who inspired our way of life, we created a tribute spirit company in Vail Colorado. Not only is it a tribute to the 10th Mountain soldier, but it is also a tribute to those that enjoy the mountain lifestyle, living it fully, every day.