A Long and Historic Journey
Ski Cooper offers affordable snow skiing and snowboarding at one of Colorado’s oldest and most historic ski areas near Leadville, CO and Colorado Springs. One of few true family resorts in Colorado, you’ll be skiing the same slopes at the 10th Mountain Division did in the 1940s, when they trained here for Word War II battles in Europe. Be sure to stop and see the veterans’ memorial at the entrance to Ski Cooper on Highway 6&24. Learn about the history of the 10th Mountain Division and the Leadville area.
Ski Cooper Is...
Inimitable family ski area atmosphere!Fun
Laid back, easy-going, smiles abound!Affordable
The most affordable lift tickets and passes!
Snowcats take you as high as 12,867′!Get Deep
Plenty of untracked powder!Get After It
Show off your big-mountain skills!
THE 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION
Ski Cooper’s origin goes back to World War II. In 1942, the U.S. Army selected a training site near an isolated railroad stop of Pando, CO. Nearby Camp Hale was built as the training site for the ski troopers of the famed 10th Mountain Division. The Army selected the site because of the availability of rail transportation, its rugged mountainous terrain, and a 250-inch average annual snowfall which assured a six-month-long ski training season at the nearby, 11,700-foot-high Ski Cooper.
Following two years of rigorous training, the 10th Mountain Division was ordered to Italy in 1945 to spearhead the advance of the U.S. Fifth Army. In a series of actions that included Riva Ridge and Mt. Belvedere, the 10th Mountain Division breached the supposedly impregnable Gothic Line in the Appenines and secured the Po River Valley to play a vital role in the liberation of northern Italy. By the time of the German surrender in May, 1945, 992 ski troopers had been killed in action and 4,000 wounded, the highest casualty rate of any U.S. Division in the Mediterranean.
Following the war, Ski Cooper opened to the public as a backyard ski area for the enjoyment of the local area residents. Today, as a seven-day-per-week ski area with modern lifts and full base facilities Ski Cooper has firmly established itself in a well-defined market niche as an affordable alternative in a region famed for world-class skiing.
COLORADO SILVER BOOM
Leadville’s National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum is the only Federally Chartered mining museum in the country is a tribute to the industry. The Colorado Silver Boom of 1879 made Leadville a mining mecca and to the men and women who pioneered the discovery, development and processing of our Nation’s natural resources.
Fortunes were made by the likes of Horace Tabor, David May, J.J. Brown and his wife Margaret, the Guggenheims and the Boettcher family. You can see the relics of the richest mining district in the American West by following the Route of the Silver Kings, a self-guided driving tour of the mining district, to see the relics of the richest mining district of the American West.