The United States Military and the ski industry have a long, illustrious history: beginning with the 10th Mountain Division during WWll and the boom to the ski industry that followed, to the handful of military bases that provide training in mountain capabilities today. The original men who were a part of the 10th Mountain Division all had one thing in common – a passion for skiing.
“We were the original ski bums. We were entrepreneurial types, too, but mostly we couldn’t get skiing out of our blood. We wanted to teach the country to ski. And we did.”
Dick Wilson, a 10th Mountain Division veteran who became the editor of National Skiing Magazine, forerunner of Skiing Magazine
The gratitude for all soldiers – whether they skied or never skied – continues today with many ski resorts offering discounts to the men and women of the military.
Resort Discounts for Military: 2016-17 Lift Tickets
Bear Mountain also has Uniform Days on the following dates; January 14-15, 2017; February 11-12, 2017; March 11-12, 2017; April 8-9, 2017. Valid only with work identification at any Bear Mountain ticket window.
Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Colorado offers military discounts on lift tickets for active duty members. Retired military can purchase discounted lift tickets on the military bases in Colorado.
Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado offers a military discount on lift tickets for active duty service members. Retired military can purchase discounted lift tickets on the military bases in Colorado.
Camelback Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania offers discounted lift tickets to active military, up to 4 card-carrying dependents and veterans with a valid DD-214.
China Peak in California offers active duty military all day lift tickets at half off the regular rates. The discount is valid any day, including holidays.
Diamond Peak, located in northern Lake Tahoe, offers military discounts that include free mid-week/non-holiday lift tickets and $59 weekends/holiday lift tickets for active duty military. Retired military and dependents get $59 lift tickets anytime.
Eagle Point in Utah offers a 15% discount to active duty military on lift tickets.
Grand Targhee Resort located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Alta, Wyoming offers active duty military a full-day regular lift ticket for $65 and holiday lift tickets for $69.
Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe offers a military discount on lift tickets for active duty military. Retired military can purchase discounted lift tickets on the military bases in Colorado.
Keystone Ski Resort in Colorado offers a military discount on lift tickets. Retired military can purchase discounted lift ticket on the military bases in Colorado. Keystone also offers a discount on the Liberty Pass (unlimited, unrestricted pass for active duty) and Liberty Honor Pass (unlimited pass with limited restrictions for retired military).
At Killington Resort in Vermont all active duty, retired and honorably discharged military members can get a complimentary Killington Express Card. This card gets you 50% off midweek and 25% off weekend/peak day ticket rates.
Mount Snow, in southern Vermont, offers a $10 discount on full-price lift tickets, (single or multi-day) any day of the year (no blackouts) with a valid military ID. Discount is off the purchase of a full-day lift ticket.
Mt. Rose in the Tahoe area offers active duty military lift tickets for $59.
Mt. Shasta Ski Park in California offers a $25 lift ticket any day of the week with a military ID.
Ski Butternut in Massachusetts offers military discounts on lift discounts, equipment and group lessons.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Snowshoe, West Virginia offers 40% off the midweek window rate and 20% off the weekend and holiday rate for lift tickets. Snowshoe also offers a Patriot Pass that includes 10% off lodging, retail, dining and the spa.
Snowy Range in Wyoming offers military discounts on half day, one day and multi-day lift tickets.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in California offers active duty military a restricted Tahoe Super Pass plus summer Aerial Tram access at Squaw Valley. The cost of the season pass is a $25 donation that will support specific organizations.
Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine offers military personnel a discount of $10 off lift ticket rates.
Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah offers military discounts on lift tickets as well as season passes.
Vail Ski Resort in Colorado offers a military discount on lift tickets for active duty military. Retired military can purchase discounted lift tickets on the military bases in Colorado.
Winter Park Resort in Colorado offers discount season passes to active and retired military and their dependents. In addition to the Winter Park season pass office and ticket windows, look for discounts at the following installations: Air Force Academy ITT, Peterson AFB ITT, Buckley AFB, Schriever AFB ODR, Fort Carson and FE Warren AFB ITT.
*information provided by military.com
Brief Backstory of the 10th Mountain Division:
(*See Snowbrains: The History of the Legendary 10th Mountain Division, The Men Who Started USA’s Ski Industry – for more details).
In 1939, Finland’s army annihilated and deeply embarrassed Russian troops when they used skis to their advantage in battle. Charles Minot “Minnnie” Dole, president of the National Ski Patrol, took notice. He lobbied the War Department for similar troops in the United States Army and a “Mountain” division was created. They became the 10th Mountain Division.
The “Ski Troopers” trained at Camp Hale, an army base in Colorado at 9,200 feet, the Seneca Rocks in West Virginia and the peak of Mount Rainer at 14,408 feet. In January 1945, the 10th Mountain Division faced German troops in the mountains of Italy. That attack was a complete success. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for all battles.
Post-War Ski Industry Impact:
Veterans of the 10th Mountain Division came home to manage or direct ski schools at 62 ski areas. Roughly 2,000 of them became ski instructors, along with other contributions, including those listed below.
Aspen (1945): “Ski Trooper” veteran Friedl Pfeifer, who grew up skiing St. Anton in the Austrian Alps, joined forces with Chicago industrialist, Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth to develop the Aspen Ski Area.
Arapahoe Basin (1946): “Ski Trooper” veteran Larry Jump along with Frederick “Sandy” Schauffler, member of the 1940 Olympic ski team and Olympic medalist Richard “Dick” Durrance formed Arapahoe Basin, Inc.
Vail (1962): 10th Mountain Division Alumni Bob Parker, Ben Duke, William Brown, Dick Wilson, and Pete Seibert opened Vail Ski Mountain.
Donner Ski School for Amputees (1953): Jim Winthers, veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, opened the Donner Ski School for Amputees at the Donner Ski Ranch in California. Several of his friends from WW2 had had a leg amputated and Winthers taught them how to ski on one leg and a new industry was born.