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The story of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division
and the dawn of outdoor recreation in America

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Our patrons help underwrite the research and work that goes into each episode of Ninety-Pound Rucksack. Not a Patreon member? For as little as $5/month, you’ll get exclusive access to bonus episodes, Monthly Q&As, unabridged content, and more! 

Unabridged episodes!
PODCAST EPISODES
Gear Heads, Part 2: Episode 09

Gear Heads, Part 2: Episode 09

Illuminating a pivotal moment in both military and outdoor recreation history, this groundbreaking episode reveals the collaborative efforts of America’s leading mountaineers to equip the 10th...

GEAR HEADS, PART 1: EPISODE 08

GEAR HEADS, PART 1: EPISODE 08

Episode 8: Gear Heads, Part 1 is the first segment of our two-part mini-series that examines the equipment, clothing and food developed, at great expense, for the 10th Mountain Division. Not...

The 10th, Then & Now: Bonus Episode

The 10th, Then & Now: Bonus Episode

With this special bonus episode, the 10th Mountain Division’s commanding officer, Major General Greg Anderson, and its Command Sergeant Major Nema Mobar identify some of the lessons learned...

Mountain Intelligence: Episode 07

Mountain Intelligence: Episode 07

Featuring original and previously unpublished research, Episode 7 reveals the untold story of H. Adams Carter, the Harvard Five, and their groundbreaking efforts to make the 10th Mountain...

Ninety Pounds of Rucksack: Episode 06

Ninety Pounds of Rucksack: Episode 06

This Abridged version of Episode 6 follows the mountain troops to Mount Rainier National Park where, in the middle of February 1942, they began their ski training at one of the best places a...

PARADISE: EPISODE 05

PARADISE: EPISODE 05

This Abridged version of Episode 5 explores the 10th Mountain Division's halcyon days: the pivotal period from late 1941 until early 1942 when the War Department activated America’s very first...

The Ski Patrols: Episode 04

The Ski Patrols: Episode 04

Episode 4 takes a deep dive into the US Army's experimental ski patrols of 1940-1941, and the events that led to the activation of the 1st Battalion (Reinforced), 87th Mountain Infantry at...

The Drumbeats of War: Episode 03

The Drumbeats of War: Episode 03

This Abridged version of Episode 3 explores the 10th Mountain Division's backstory in the lead-up to America's entry into World War II. The episode includes abridged interviews with Chris...

The State of the Art: Episode 02 Part 2

The State of the Art: Episode 02 Part 2

Episode 2, Part 2 delivers a deep dive into the state of American and European climbing before the war, as well as how the rise of the Third Reich caused some of the best German and...

The State of the Art: Episode 02 Part 1

The State of the Art: Episode 02 Part 1

Episode 2 Part 1 provides a sweeping overview of the history of skiing in America as told through the experiences of one of the 10th Mountain Division’s greatest unsung heroes, John Andrew...

The Winter War: Episode 01

The Winter War: Episode 01

This Abridged version of Episode 1 looks at how the 1939 Soviet invasion of Finland catalyzed the creation of the 10th Mountain Division… with a little help from the National Ski Patrol System,...

ABOUT NINETY-POUND RUCKSACK

The story of the 10th is famous for good reason. Not only did its insertion into the war help end Germany’s occupation of Italy; post-war, its veterans founded and developed ski areas across America, started companies like NOLS and Nike and launched the fields of avalanche science and wilderness rescue.

Ninety-Pound Rucksack is a podcast that examines the stories that made the unit famous as well as those history has forgotten. Equal parts real-time research, intimate conversation and revelatory journalism, Ninety-Pound Rucksack explores not only the conventional wisdom about the 10th, but the transformative power of the mountains to forge a collective identity among the mountain troops—and to ignite a passion for the outdoors that reshaped American society in the process.

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SPONSORS 

PARTNERS

Tenth Mountain Division Foundation
The American Alpine Club
Denver Public Library
10th Mountain Division Descendants, Inc.