Ski Soldier.

10th Mountain Infantry Soldier Statue

Field review by the editors.

Stowe, Vermont

A towering, white-camo'd infantryman marches with skis and poles on his shoulder, a tribute to the US Army's 10th Mountain Division.

The 10th Mountain Division started during World War II with the recruitment of experienced mountain climbers and skiers, envisioned to match the prowess of Europe's mountain-savvy divisions. The plan was to put them into action against the Nazis in places like Norway or the Alps.

Though somewhat sidelined in the US as media darlings, romanticizing mountain soldiering in Life magazine and as a recruitment gimmick, they earned their reputation for fierce fighting in 1945 in the mountains of northern Italy. Perversely, most of their high altitude, low temperature gear -- thermally optimized sleeping bags, skis, etc. -- never made it to the front.

Some of the veterans returned to Vermont and helped create the area's lucrative leisure skiing industry. This 13-ft tall bronze soldier was created from the same molds used for the original army ski giant that has stood in Vail, Colorado since 1977. Stowe's statue, deemed "too military" by some of Stowe's swiss-miss citizenry to be installed in a public park, stood on private land along Mountain Road from 2005 until it was moved to a ski resort in 2010.

There is a display about the 10th Mountain division at the Vermont Ski Museum and Hall of Fame in Stowe.

10th Mountain Infantry Soldier Statue

Stowe Mountain Resort

3681 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT
Stowe Mountain Resort, northwest of Stowe on Hwy 108 before the hotel and ski lifts at Spruce Peak. SW side of road.
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