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Ninety-Pound Rucksack Recounts Story of World War II’s 10th Mountain Division

A new podcast, Ninety-Pound Rucksack, is recounting the story of World War II’s 10th Mountain Division and its contributions to outdoor recreation in America.

Hosted by veteran alpinist and climbing historian Christian Beckwith, the podcast offers a deep dive into the origins of the 10th, an unprecedented unit of US Army climbers and skiers who trained for more than two years in the Colorado Rockies to fight the Axis powers in extreme cold and mountainous terrain.

Informed by an advisory board of the 10th’s foremost experts, the podcast details a different chapter in the unit’s history with each episode, providing a sweeping overview of the Division’s influence on both American military and its outdoor recreation industry. Post-war, 10th Mountain Division veterans founded and developed ski areas across America, started companies like NOLS and Nike and launched the fields of avalanche science and wilderness rescue.

Based on the podcast’s first few episodes, Beckwith was invited to keynote the XVIII Airborne Corps’ Leadership Forum at Ft. Drum, New York, in February. He is now serving as an advisor to the 10th Mountain Alpine Club, a nascent organization that is helping the unit reconnect with its historic identity, and will keynote the 10th Mountain Division’s Mountain Fest 2023 in June.

Ninety-Pound Rucksack is available at

2 Responses to “Ninety-Pound Rucksack Recounts Story of World War II’s 10th Mountain Division”

  1. Crackers says:

    As a recreational mountain guy and a vendor to top level military mountaineering customers, I’m thoroughly enjoying the podcast. It’s worth a lesson.

  2. G1E says:

    It was great to see active duty 10th Mountain Division troops back at Camp Hale a few months ago! Mini Dole was correct we need soldiers that can fight in the mountains, great venue for training and development.