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The 10th Mountain Division was formed in 1941 to train and prepare soldiers for combat in the treacherous mountain terrain of Europe during World War II. "The Tenth" first trained in Paradise atop Mt Rainer in Washington state and moved to the new Camp Hale deep in Colorado's Rocky Mountains in the Spring of 1942. Camp Hale was quickly turned into a small city for recruits and much of the training occurred on Chicago Ridge and "Cooper Hill" - what is now Ski Cooper.
The 10th Mountain Division has had a lasting influence on Colorado's high country. Several soldiers returned to the area after the war, notably Vail and Aspen, and are credited with helping to launch Colorado's Ski industry. Fritz Benedict (Tenth Veteran), along with a group of Aspen residents, found the 10th Mountain Division Hut system.
The Tenth was deactivated after the war. It was reactivated in the 1980s as a "Light Infantry" unit and moved to Fort Drum in Upstate New York.