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:: Thursday, July 18, 2002 ::

Pete Seibert, RIP
Pete did a lot of remarkable things, including founding Vail, the biggest ski area in the U.S. He was also a veteran of WWII's 10th Mountain Division, the skiing army.
Here's an excerpt from the Rocky Mountain News' obituary:
'As a platoon sergeant in the Army's famed 10th Mountain Division, Seibert was gravely wounded by mortar fire March 3, 1945, during the battle for Italy's Mount Terminale.

'His right kneecap destroyed, his left arm nearly severed at the elbow, Seibert was not considered a good bet to walk again. And doctors were sure he'd never ski.

'But after 17 months of surgeries and convalescence, and an honorable discharge at 22, Seibert returned to Colorado. With a bum right knee and a numb left hand, Seibert landed a job with the Aspen ski patrol in 1946.

'The next year, he won the Roch Cup, then one of the most cherished honors in U.S. skiing. Three years later, he qualified for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team.

' "A lot of the muscles had been blown away in his right leg," Parker recalled. "Much of his skiing was basically on his good leg, holding his right leg tight against it. The boarders these days talk about a beautiful single tack. And that's the way he skied, for years." '

I had the pleasure of making Pete's acquaintance a few years ago. Gregarious and confident, even as a diminutive man in his seventies he was a remarkable presence. He flirted with women half his age, and was trying to become a low-handicap golfer. He left me a standing invitation to stay at his place in Vail, but I never had the opportunity to take him up on it. I loaned him a Callaway 5-iron demo to try out -- he never returned it. That's one of the best investments I ever made.
I have his business card around here somewhere. It says 'Pete Seibert. Vail. Founder.'

:: Walter 9:51 PM [+] ::

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