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New School meets Old School - Warren Miller Films Skiers in Vintage 10th Mountain Division Ski Gear

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Skiers in Vintage 10th Mountain Division Ski Gear in the new Warren Miller Ski Movie.Skiers in Vintage 10th Mountain Division Ski Gear in the new Warren Miller Ski Movie.

Bummed about mud season...counting the days until the fresh powder falls next winter...well if you're like us YES is the only possible answer.  If you fall into this category most likely you start off your snow season with a trip to your local theater to watch the annual release of Warren Miller's latest flick.  

Next year will prove to be a special treat for any ski history aficionado! A few top athletes will reenact 10th Mountain Division daily life in and on period authentic gear. 

Chris Anthony, Tony Seibert and Scott Kennett literally walk in the footsteps on the old military training grounds of Camp Hale high in the Colorado mountains. 

Chris Anthony is no doubt a veteran in Warren Miller movies with 22 consecutive debuts. “This is a project I've been trying to put together for about five years to acknowledge the 10th Mountain Division,” Anthony said. “The Warren Miller guys said, ‘Wow, this is something important. We should definitely tell this story.'” 

Vail Valley pro skier and Warren Miller film star Chris Anthony with period authentic gear above Camp Hale in Colorado.Vail Valley pro skier and Warren Miller film star Chris Anthony with period authentic gear above Camp Hale in Colorado.

As many of you know we at VintageWinter.com share Chris's passion and share the story of Camp Hale and the gear the soldiers used in our virtual museum. We have also sold and provided gear to veterans, reenactments and movies throughout the years. If you ever need to borrow vintage 10th Mountain Division skis, snowshoes, poles, goggles or any other snow related gear let us know. 

Chris and his team have experienced what I like to call "GEAR SHOCK"! They have been raised on modern ski equipment that while has roots in the 1940's, behaves in completely different ways. They are use to lightweight composite skis not the 15 pound wooden skis used by 10th mountain soldiers. 

Bear trap bindings are also a struggle as they basically provide a rudimentary telemark binding without the safety release capabilities we are spoiled with today. 

“Like everything else in this industry, we're finding how many things in the industry are connected to these guys — the 10th Mountain Division,” Anthony said. “When they came back form Italy, they brought with them everything from ski schools and ski patrols, to commercial ski mountains and the evolution of the equipment. They came back and stayed involved in this whole passion for skiing.” 

Of the most concern to the crew is the vintage leather ski boots worn by the athletes. They provide very little support and do not shield against the uncharacteristically cold late April weather. 

“There's absolutely zero ankle support. So you're skiing on the skinny wooden skis with these annoying bear trap bindings, which are basically like an AT binding, but there's just nothing easy about them,” Anthony said. The setup hikes pretty well, once you get going. But when you get to the top, removing the skins is an arduous task that can't be accomplished with gloves on. Even the backpack is a pain to open. 

“It's like we've made every single thing easier because of what they went through. I'm learning to appreciate the design of everything,” Anthony said. “Skiing down, they're not the greatest turning things at all. I'm like, ‘Oh my God, this is what those guys were on?” “You can see where all the innovation came from. They had to start somewhere. You can really appreciate what those guys went through,” he said. 

Check for the short clip in next falls Warren Miller ski film. You can also buy copies of the more in depth documentary featuring historic photographs and educational material from the Colorado Ski Museum.   

© Vintage Winter


1 Response

Patrick Kiser
Patrick Kiser

August 06, 2011

Great stuff guys! I’m a long time collector and re-enactor of World War II mountain troops from all countries. Did a vintage climb in the French Alps last summer. Here’s a little film I shot of it: http://vimeo.com/groups/backpack/videos/25541788

Ski und Berg Heil,
Patrick

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