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 test force for cold-weather and mountain warfare at Ft. Lewis, Washington.

The episode includes excerpts from interviews with Ninety-Pound Rucksack board member McKay Jenkins, the author of The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and the Assault on Hitler’s Europe, and Lance Blyth, the Command Historian of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and an Adjunct Professor of History at the United States Air Force Academy.

See here for an overview of the characters mentioned in this episode.

Available only to patrons, the Unabridged version of Episode 5 features the complete interviews with Jenkins and Blyth, as well as a transcript of the episode, historic images and a complete chronology of events leading up to the ski training that began in Paradise Valley in Mount Rainier National Park in February 1942.

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.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Cilogear, and our partners, The 10th Mountain Division Descendants, the Denver Public Library, The American Alpine Club and the 10th Mountain Division Foundation, as well as to our advisory board members, Lance Blyth, McKay Jenkins, Chris Juergens, Jeff Leich, David Little, Sepp Scanlin, Keli Schmid and Doug Schmidt, for their help in putting this episode together.

Thanks, too, to our new patrons, Nancy Kramer, Chris Hall, Mountain Doc, Kendrick Efta, Stephanie Spackman, Dennis Phillips, Yves Desgouttes, Daniel Tille, Max Ludington, Maria Hayashida, Thomas Campbell, Tim Poulterer, Craig Copelin, Eric Blehm, Jim Begg, Kaly Pass, Karen Tomky, JB Goldman, Molly Absolon, Mike I., and David Poseda, for their support.