Ed Roberson, host of the podcast Mountain & Prairie, interviewed Christian Beckwith about Ninety-Pound Rucksack in May. Listen to the episode here.


“For today’s conversation, I was thrilled to chat once again with Christian Beckwith, a Jackson, Wyoming-based writer, historian, conservationist, and entrepreneur. Christian’s latest project is “Ninety-Pound Rucksack: A podcast about the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division and the dawn of outdoor recreation in America.” 

“If you enjoy spending time up high in the mountains here in the American West, then you’ve surely heard at least a passing mention of the 10th Mountain Division. It’s nearly impossible to travel up and down the I-70 corridor here in Colorado without seeing a few references to the 10th. But if you’re like me, you probably do not have a sufficient appreciation for the exciting story of how and why the division was formed, and how its creation set the trajectory for climbing, skiing, and recreational outdoor adventure for decades to come.

“Whether you’re a climber, skier, or simply a history buff who enjoys diving into untold stories from pivotal moments in our past, then I highly recommend Ninety-Pound Rucksack. The podcast starts out exploring the 1939 Russian invasion of Finland, and how, despite being outmatched on nearly every level, the Fins were able to put up a heroic fight thanks to their ability to efficiently maneuver through cold, snowy, rugged terrain on skis. The story then shifts to America, where a small group of young mountaineers and skiers recognized the importance of mountain warfare and began to lobby the government to focus on this unconventional approach to battle. I won’t give any more details away, but the podcast is just the kind of history I love: big adventures, one-of-a-kind characters, and people driven by causes larger than themselves. 

“To learn more about Christian’s personal background, I’d encourage you to go back and listen to our first conversation from many years ago. Because in this one, we talk all history, all the time– from the backstory of the 10th, to the adventurous young men who dreamed it up, to how that time period affects us still today. Toward the end of the conversation, Christian offers up some valuable wisdom on the need to be tenacious in all creative and entrepreneurial endeavors, and he also has some really great book recommendations.

“Follow the links in the episode notes to listen to Ninety-Pound Rucksack, and please pass the podcast along to any of your history-loving friends. A big thanks to Christian for working so hard to create this podcast and for joining me for another conversation. Hope you enjoy!”