August 4, 2014

Tour de Colorado - Part 2 of Segment #8

Part 2 of Segment #8 — Camp Hale to Tennessee Pass 10500'
Riders: Chuck, Kristin 

The CoT
Date: July 25, 2014
Ride Type: out and back 
Mileage: 13.95 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1975'
Average Pace: 16 min/mile 
Total time includes breaks: 3 hours 45 min
Trail description: Starts with a little adventure through the historic camp Hale passing a long line of old concrete bunkers highlighted with graffiti.  The trail start with a consistently steep climb through dense forest before mellowing off a bit before crossing Highway 24 and continuing on the west side of the highway.  The next section offers nice meadow riding with vast views.  The last part of the ride ends with double track passing two partially collapsed coke ovens.  The segment ends in a parking lot across from the road leading to Cooper Ski area.  The return trip back to camp hale is a high quality very smooth downhill with only a few non strenuous climbs.     


Interactive GPS track recording:




Looking along some of the old bunkers of camp Hale


In 1943, Camp Hale had as many as 14,000 men in training.[2] Conditions in the camp were harsh: the altitude required acclimation; the shallow valley created polluted inversion layers; recreation was non-existent because of the camp's high mountain isolation, which prevented even the USO from visiting; and many of the non-skiing trainees hated skiing.[7] Trainees were taught to ski at Cooper Hill by ski instructors, brought from the ski-areas such as Sun Valley and Waterville Valley.[2] Located three miles from the camp, Cooper Hill had on-site barracks for the instructors and a newly built T-bar ski lift for the trainees.[9]
Military use of Camp Hale included the 10th Mountain Division, the 38th Regimental Combat Team, the Norwegian-American 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate), and soldiers from Fort Carson conducting mountain and winter warfare training exercises. Trainees were taught skiing, mountain climbing, snow survival skills (such as building snow caves), and winter combat.
Camp Hale was active for three years. In 1945 it was deactivated and the 10th Mountain Division moved to Texas.





Kristin waking up the lungs with the climb out of camp Hale on the way to Tennessee Pass




The remains of an old car sits just off the trail as you near the pass




A partially collapsed coke oven near Tennessee Pass.

Coke is a fuel with few impurities and a high carbon content, usually made from coal. It is the solid carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur coal.  While coke can be formed naturally, the commonly used form is man-made. In the 1900's beehive style ovens like this were used