Aspen, Colorado — Inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the 10th Mountain Division, an elite group of skiers who victoriously battled through some of the roughest winter warfare conditions against the opposing forces during WWII in Northern Italy, we honor the “Climb to Glory” Legacy of the 10th Mountain Ski Troopers and Veterans with our small collection of Vintage 501 Denim hand-painted at our atelier in Marrakech, Morocco.
The 10th Mountain Division was founded to build upon the success of a smaller mountain team of Greek troops. The Greek troops fought off a larger group of Axis forces in what was considered the first victory of WWII against enemy forces.
Stationed among several small Colorado ski towns, including Camp Hale, the base camp which is set at an altitude of 9,200 ft, the 10th Mountain Division often recruited skiers and they endured rough training conditions in preparation to fight high in the Alps. The division trained for several years before entering the war in the winter of 1944.
In early 1945, the 10th Mountain Division set out to overcome the German "Gothic Line" in Northern Italy. Germans held the line on higher ground and its line stretched approximately 8 miles deep and 108 miles wide. This line had not allowed Allied forces to advance north into Europe, so overcoming the line meant ending Nazi resistance in Northern Italy and the fall of the last enemy stronghold in Italy.
In order to succeed in its mission, the 10th Mountain Division had to maintain its secrecy, stealth and master the element of surprise. However, for their plan to work meant overcoming extremely dangerous conditions and elements. The 10th had to ascend the 'unclimbable' vertical cliff between 1,700 and 2,200 feet to reach the German lines. They surprised the Germans in doing so and fought for five days. On the sixth day, the 10th Mountain Division overtook the ridgeline.
They fought and pushed north for two and half more months, eventually forcing German forces to retreat. The "Climb to Glory" made the 10th Mountain Division international heroes. The Vail Daily covered the historic story with greater detail, find it here.
After their success in WWII, many veterans of the 10th Mountain Veterans returned to Colorado pursuing a favorite passion: skiing. Many 10th Mountain Veterans founded ski resorts and developed recreational skiing throughout Colorado, including at Aspen Mountain in 1946 and later Vail in 1962.
Still today, the 10th Mountain Division Hut manages 34 backcountry huts throughout Colorado, including in Aspen and Vail. The 10th in Vail is an on-mountain premier dining establishment named as a silent nod to the heroics of the 10th Mountain Division. In 1987, the Denver Public Library and History Colorado established the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division to create a resource center at the Denver Public library to educate its visitors with first-hand records, correspondences, and other historical artifacts.
We honor the “Climb to Glory” legacy and the 10th Mountain veterans with our small collection of Vintage 501 Denim hand-painted at our atelier in Marrakech, Morocco. Shop our collection below.
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