Featuring original and previously unpublished research, Episode 7 reveals the untold story of H. Adams Carter, the Harvard Five, and their groundbreaking efforts to make the 10th Mountain Division the best-trained, best-fed, best-equipped mountain unit in the world.
The Harvard Five—Carter, Bob Bates, Terry Moore, Charlie Houston and Bradford Washburn—were pioneers of American mountaineering during the 1930s. When World War II erupted, they harnessed their extensive expertise on the mountain troops’s behalf. The hub of their efforts was Carter’s intelligence work, which established the cornerstone of American mountain warfare doctrine.
Despite their pivotal roles in the 10th’s development, their contributions have remained hidden from the public eye—until now. Join us as we uncover the forgotten saga of these trailblazers and their profound impact on the foundations of American mountain warfare.
This episode highlights the experiences that made Carter the only person in the country who could translate the military mountaineering experiences of foreign units into a body of information the US Army could use to develop a mountain division of its own. Key elements include:
- The remarkable climbs Carter and his Harvard Five companions pioneered in Alaska, the Yukon, and Asia during the 1930s that gave the group their name—and the way they leveraged their experiences to benefit the mountain troops
- Carter’s early climbs in New Hampshire and the Swiss Alps, his experiences as captain of the Harvard and US ski teams and the development of his incredible language skills
- Carter’s efforts to develop the Army’s Vibram-soled “Ski/Mountain Boot”—the standard mountain boot for cold-weather mountaineering throughout the war
- Carter’s tireless work on mountain rations, training programs, clothing and equipment, all of which occurred on top of his mountain intelligence work
Thanks to our sponsors:
And to our partners:
Available only to patrons, the Unabridged episode of Episode 7 features the complete transcript of the episode, as well as bonus content for this and all other episodes.
Patrons are the heart of Ninety-Pound Rucksack. Their support allows us to pursue the show’s journalistic and educational objectives as we detail the Division’s living legacy. In return, patrons receive exclusive access to Unabridged content for all episodes.
If you haven’t already, please consider becoming a patron. Our goal with Ninety-Pound Rucksack is to inform and inspire the public about the Division’s living legacy. Patrons make that possible. In return, they receive access to all Unabridged content.