During World War II, up to 17,000 soldiers, including the famed ski
troopers of the 10th Mountain Division, trained at Camp Hale near
the town of Leadville, Colo. The men learned to ski, climb rocks
and bivouac in 30-below weather. David Brower, who wrote the
division's mountaineering manual, was there, as were Vail visionary
Pete Seibert and Paul Petzoldt, founder of the National Outdoor
Leadership School, based in Lander, Wyo.
training may be over, but the tools of war remain. This summer,
five rifle grenades and the fuse for an anti-tank land mine were
found, leading the Forest Service to close to the public 1,400
acres, including three miles of the Colorado Trail. Then on Oct.
12, a mile outside of the agency's closed area, bow hunters came
upon a live fuse for an anti-tank land mine. It is possible that
some of the unexploded munitions might have been left during
1959-1960, when the CIA secretly trained Tibetans for guerrilla
warfare against China.
Camp Hale reverted back to
the Forest Service in 1965, a time when environmental laws were
lax. A 1985 law now mandates munitions surveys at former military
sites, but public-land managers say this is a chore that could take
Meanwhile, near Camp Hale, officials
recommend leaving any suspicious items on the ground and reporting
the discovery to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office,