Cold War legacy lingers in Colorado valley
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Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY
9:39 p.m. MDT March 21, 2015A soldier and an instructor at Camp Hale take shelter in a half-built igloo during training in this September 1943 photograph taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.(Photo: C-Camp Hale)
High in the Colorado Rockies, a potentially explosive legacy lies below the surface of a former Army camp where soldiers became skiers to create the 10th Mountain Division.
Solay Howell for USA TODAYMINTURN, Colo. — High in the Colorado Rockies, a potentially explosive military legacy is slowly surfacing with every winter’s freeze and summer thaw.This broad valley at 9,000 feet above sea level was once home to a major Army installation named Camp Hale, where some of the nation’s best skiers learned to become soldiers in a rushed effort to help retake the Italian Alps from the Nazis during World War II. The training ground was later the site of a secret CIA program to train and arm Tibetan freedom fighters against Chinese Communists.The soldiers are gone now, but an unknown number of bullets, mortar shells and rockets, practice mines and grenades with which they practiced still litter the hillsides. Large signs warn anyone entering the area — even though it’s open to public use — of the danger beneath their feet. A cleanup is underway, but the pace and the lingering safety concerns frustrates the longtime owner of a nearby snowmobile tour company who jokes that he’s never seen any three-legged elk living in the area, and wishes the government would do more to assure users the area is safe.”I don’t glow at night and I don’t have any health problems,” laughs Steve Pittel, sitting inside … – Click Here To Visit Article Source