Vail Mountain and the Town of Vail will celebrate the unique history of its founders with the season's last presentation of the 10th Mountain Legacy Parade on March 8.
On select Friday evenings that have previously occurred on Jan. 4, Jan. 18, Feb. 15 and the last event coming up on March 8 in Vail Village, skiers dressed in traditional 10th Mountain Division Ski Trooper uniforms perform a Torchlight Ski Down to the base of Gondola One, and then a parade of military veterans, also in uniform, march from Gondola One down Bridge Street, across the Covered Bridge and finish at the 10th Mountain statue. The side of Vail Mountain is illuminated with the 10th Mountain Division logo and the celebration includes a film on the history and legacy of Vail projected at the base of Gondola One and animated with fireworks. Vail’s recently renovated Colorado Snowsports Museum stays open after the parade for guests to visit and learn about Colorado’s ski history.
“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.”
The March 8 parade will begin at 7 p.m. and a limited number of attendees will receive a commemorative Legacy of Vail pin, as well as complimentary hot chocolate. EpicMix Photographers will also be available to take pictures of guests with the soldiers.
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.