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Fire on the Mountain

Directors/Producers: Beth Gage and George Gage
Writer: Beth Gage
Editors: Scott Conrad and Krysia Carter
Music: Todd Barton
First Run Features; NR; 72 minutes
Release: 12/96
With: Steve Kanaly and soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division

Skiing's popularity as recreation grew from its necessity as alpine transportation. The soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, a rugged, extremely fit group of skiers, were used strategically in World War II, ousting German troops from Italy's Apennine Mountains in 1944. The documentary follows these men as they train atop Mount Ranier with 100-pound packs on their backs, testing their gear for the first call of duty. Their experiments and expeditions yielded the snowmobile and the Vibram-soled hiking boot. After their Army experience, many of these men built on their love of the outdoors to establish ski resorts, such as Vail and Aspen, teach skiing, manage resorts and found huge companies, including Nike.