As part of my presentation in Torino, Italy a few days ago, I shared about our re-creation of the Trooper Traverse ski route from Camp Hale, Colorado to Aspen.
I didn’t want to be too militaristic in my talk, as Europeans are sensitive about martial America. But history is history and our 10th Mountain Division soldiers did fight some of the last of WWII in Italy against the Germans (the Italians were out of the picture due to them signing an armistice with the Allies). The 10th shed blood that resulted in 10% mortality for their outfit.
I’d not really studied the maps much before the trip, but eventually came to realize that Turin and my train route north to Austria cover the regions of Italy where the 10th Mountain Division saw the end of WWII. This especially true of Lake Garda (see maps below), where the mountain troops were doing things like commandeering private boats for possible amphibious attacks. No doubt one of the best days of their young lives was when they could just dock the boats and drink some Italian wine. Or, one suspects they may have taken a few jugs of vino out on the lake for some celebration.
(My train route, shown on maps above, went east from Turin to Verona, where I changed to a Munich bound train that went north through Bolzano (Bosen), over Brenner Pass, then to Innsbruck area where I got off to stay with friends and do a bit of Austrian backcountry skiing.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.