Peter Shelton

About Peter Shelton

Peter Shelton writes about skiing, politics, movies, the West, and anything else that might crowd out more constructive use of his time. He and Ellen have moved to Bend after 38 years in Colorado. His occasional posts will appear here from time to time. (Don’t you love that phrase: “from time to time”?)

32 Responses

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  1. cloe shelton said, on October 31, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Yeah Dad!
    Fun to see your blog…..are you having fun?

  2. Kyle said, on January 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm


    This is a fantastic blog! You’re a great writer. I’ll have to check out one of your books.

    From one random person on the interweb to another,


    • pshelton said, on January 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks, Kyle. It’s good to know folks out there are reading, and appreciating. I appreciate the feedback. -P

      • Thomas Duhs said, on February 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm

        Peter, I’ve read “Climb to Conquer” three times and have it highlighted, and bookmarked throughout. I often wonder what happened between you and Robert Redford in 2014 when he was talking to Kurt Johnstad about making a movie based on the book. Oh Well? I’ve studied the story of the 10th Mountain Division from start to finish and have over sixty references with books, DVD’s magazine articles, newspaper columns, and personal interviews with the living veterans. I co-authored two books on the subject and am in the process of discussing the possibility of making a miniseries on the story of the 10th Mountain Division.

        Right now I am in a dilemma about an incident in your book on page 7 the first page of chapter one. “The idea for America’s first and only Army mountain division grew out of a conversation before the fire at Johnny Seesaw’s, a one-time roadhouse turned ski lodge near Manchester, Vermont.”

        Other author’s; The Last Ridge- McKay Jenkins Pg. 15 “On a Saturday night in February 1940, Charles Minot Dole sat by a log fire at the Orvis Inn in Manchester, Vermont, having drinks and talking about the war in Europe with Bob Livermore, Roger Langley and Alex Bright, three of the most prominent skiers in the country.”

        Adventures in SKIING- Minot (Minnie) Dole Pg. 90 “In February 1939, (he means 1940) the Hochebirge Ski Club of Boston held its annual outing and races at Big Bromley, Manchester, VT. On Saturday evening, when the day’s work for the ski patrol was over, Alex Bright, Bob Livermore, Roger Langley, and I had gathered around for drinks before the log fire at the Orvis Inn while the snow blew and the wind whistled outside. “

        The Ski Troops- Hal Burton Pg. 63 “At Johnny Seesaw’s the oldest ski lodge in the Manchester area, the four men warming their shanks before the fire shared a special interest in that war on skis.”

        So four authors cite two different locations. Minnie Dole is completely mixed up with the date of the meeting as he writes it took place in Feb 1939 which was a year too early.
        I think there were more than one meeting of the group of four men. They probably frequently skied together and visited both ski lodges. So my question to you is; What reference did you use to come up with Johnny Seesaw’s Inn as the meeting place? I would much rather use Johnny Seesaw’s as the place of the meeting in case we film in there as it has recently been completely renovated.
        I hope you will take the time to read this and answer me.
        Tom Duhs
        (719) 640-0490

  3. Ric Reiter said, on February 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hi Peter- It’s been a long time since we last crossed paths (re: your article “Going Home” circa 1985…). It has been a pleasure to follow your writing over the years, and I still owe you a debt of gratitude for getting me involved in the ski biz oh so many years ago!
    Check out Mt Reba/ Bear Valley Ski School Alumni group on FaceBook. We are trying to find a bunch of the old crowd from the PB days!

    Next time you happen through Vail, stop in and we’ll make a few turns!

    Best Regards, Ric

  4. Bob Leupold said, on June 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Peter, It’s been awhile since we skied together at Mad River Glen. Good to see you are still writing fine articles. I did a google search to check up on you. I have skied at Silverton Mountain several times in the past four years. We have had some great snowcat skiing with Bob Rule’s San Juan Ski Company too. Staying in Ouray on July 1 & 2 and Telluride on July 3 which prompted me to say hello. Bob

  5. murray wagnon said, on July 29, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Hello Peter,
    I enjoyed your piece on Pete Brinkman. He was truly a force of nature. A fun memory just popped into my mind as I am writing this, of his Peche melba, or Poire Bell Hellene contributions to the weekly Ski School Pot lucks used to crack me up. His connections in the entertainment and business worlds were profound, and, having known him, it seems that more should have been written about him. One item in your story, however, bears correction. Peter’s relationship with Jeanne Crain was as her brother-in-law, as she was the wife of his brother Paul. Thank you for the memories of Brink, a character that was larger than life.
    Murray Wagnon
    Bear Valley 1970-1974

    • pshelton said, on July 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Yes, Murray, of course you’re right about The Brink’s relationship to Jeanne Crain. I’m not sure how I got that idea, maybe from my mother, who is an imprecise but passionate follower of 40s Hollywood. And the Brinkmans lived nearby in Laguna Beach. Anyway, thanks for the memories. (I’m going to make another assumption): You must be related to John Wagnon?

  6. Tom Holz said, on September 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I greatly like your book “climb to conquer”. it is of special interest because my father-in-law, Gordon Stimson, was a 10th Mt Division trooper.

    i have found a box of slides that Dad took while he was stationed in the Aluetians in the 1940’s serving as a ski instructor. Do you know of a foundation or museum that would be interested in accepting these slides?

    Tom Holz

    • pshelton said, on September 30, 2010 at 12:14 am

      Yes, Tom, the 10th Mountain Division archive at the Denver Public Library would love to have your father-in-law’s stuff. They have the largest, probably the definitive, collection of 10th stuff in the country. Good, caring, dedicated people. You can find them on line. -P

      • Anita Stalter Tapley said, on February 16, 2019 at 9:15 pm


        My late husband served with your father -in-law, in the Aluetians. Tap Tapley ( my late husband ) spoke of him often. I am working on his biography. Have you donated your slides to the 10th library ?

        Thank you , Anita Stalter Tapley

      • Tom Duhs said, on February 17, 2019 at 2:10 pm

        Peter, Have the lady contact Ms. Keli Schmid- Archivist/Librarian at the Denver Central Library/ 10th Mountain Division Resource Center. Her contact info is: Keli Schmid 10 W. 14th Avenue Parkway Denver, CO 80204-2731 720-865-1812

        I have a friend who knew Tap very well. My friend attended Colorado Academy in high school when Tap was a teacher there. My buddy loved Tap. Once we went to Camp Hale and placed some ashes of one of the veterans who had recently died. This guy’s ashes were placed in the 86th Mountain Infantry area. Then we had an impromptu memorial ceremony for Tap in the 87th area. What I know about Tap is that he was quite a guy. Hopefully his wife will send the box of records to Keli for inclusion with the rest of the veterans. I did get a piece of info on Johnny Seesaw’s from the VT historical society. So still working to confirm but I think I have a good answer. Tom

  7. lance waring said, on December 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks for your Bear Creek prognostication, Peter. I hope you’re right.
    Ski you soon,

  8. patrick said, on April 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    greetings – happy easter and happy birthday – miss placed your phone number and found your blog – very much enjoy your writings and am looking forward to the next installment of your viet nam era adventure.

    hope you are well and happy – give my best to your family.


  9. Doug said, on September 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for your wonderful writing…
    I’ve kept your “out of joint” article (SKI, 1-’11) to steel myself against the inevitable hip work that you’ve already had done.
    I’m not there yet (52 yo), but anticipate it before too long. I’m wondering how you’re doing now that you’re 4 years into it? How about a follow-up article?

    I see you’ve skied MRGlen. We’re next door at Sugarbush.
    So, interested in knowing how many days I have left here in (on) Paradise, I am
    Yours Truly,

  10. Jo Ann Reed said, on October 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hey Peter !! and E. my long ago friends!! I loved reading The Education of a Ski Instructor…think I may know some of those you quoted. Thinking alot of you both and had to take a peek at what you are doing these days. Keep in touch!!
    Jo Annie

  11. Paul Kallmes said, on September 19, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Hi Peter (and Ellen of course),

    I’ve been reading your blog posts lately and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy them. Your writing style really resonates with me and makes me want to plan all sorts of adventures. I also thought you”d be happy to know that I told your story ‘don’t wax on vice nor wane on virtue’ to great acclaim recently, with proper attribution of course. I hope you and Ellen are both doing well and I hope to see you out there some day before too long.

    Cheers – Paul

  12. Janice salsa bauman said, on November 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Peter , I went to ACP with your sister W. . I would love to catch up with her .
    Please give her my email . Thanks !
    Janice s.

  13. Ric Reiter said, on November 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hello Peter-
    Again, it’s been awhile since we last chatted, but certainly long past time.
    I’m not sure if you heard the word from home (Bear Valley) that our dear friend Roger T has passed away. It was about 8-10 weeks ago. Would have written sooner, but I found rather late myself.
    Phil D hosted a well attended service at the Powder Bear Cabin, but I understand another will be held at the annual Bear Valley History Night, this year scheduled sometime around mid- Dec. Ellen Hoffman is one of the producers of the event. (FB is probably the easiest way to find her)
    Though I rarely get the chance to get home, I’m thinking it may be time to drop in for a visit…

    Best wishes to you and Ellen, and congrats on busting the move to Bend! If you happen to get up to the Gorge, stop in at ProMotion wetsuits…. you might be suprised by who the owner is… another blast from the BV past!

    Regards, Ric Reiter

  14. Robert Bissiri said, on November 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I am an old Trailfinder having attended the school in Altadena and the summer camps 1936-38. Some years ago Bud Halley( avid skier)
    had reunions at the James Reserve each year around June that I attended. Bud would always play his guitar and sing old western and Trailfinder songs that we sang around the camp fire. I don’t know if Bud is still living as I moved north to Santa Rosa about ten years ago and am now 90. Love to hear from you if you have time.

    Bob Bissiri

  15. john fago said, on March 21, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Hi Peter,

    What a treat to stumble on these tracks and find you making turns with skis and words. I’m surviving nicely back here, always on the lookout for quality quiet snow. My fourteenth season riding the single up Major Stark Mountain, four liners later still in the boot Mel gave me when you brought me (or sent me?) into his shop in the early eighties.

    Picking up my beat-up Samsonite hardshell, overweight with oversize silver prints at the carousel recently in Boston, a “youngster” stepped up to give me a hand wrestling it onto a cart and asked, “Are you by any chance a skier?” I gave him a smile, a wink and a piece of dark chocolate.

    Check out the 3/16 2015 MGR drone video snow report at – not epic but a worthwhile day for sure. Time to be off on our next and perhaps last thousand days on snow, eh? The wind is beginning to fill them in but it’s also good to find Lance’s tracks on this hill…

    Love to you and E.
    Happy trails…

  16. Peter Camann said, on April 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Doing research to publish my first book, a memoir of my brief encounter with skateboarding. Following my time at Keytsone as Director of Racing, I got involved with skateboarding of all sports. From a single event I organized in Dillon, 1976, I turned it into a full-blown pro-am tour the following two summers, 1977 and ’78. I was researching one of the guys who raced with us out of NM. He was schooled in the nuances of the Peugeot Circuit, the “B” tour to Beattie’s World Pro Skiing. In researching some of the racers from that era like Duncan Cullman, Oliver “Ollie” Ortiz and the French skiers, brothers Jean and Dado Mayer, I stumbled onto your writing, Peter. Good to see you’re still at it…from time to time.
    Drop me a note when you stumble onto mine; warm regards to Ellen.

  17. Marina Corinne said, on February 24, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Peter,

    I recently came across an article you wrote in Ski Magazine about the “The Unknown Masters” . . . I am the granddaughter of one of those unknown masters and I just had the pleasure of attending a race my grandfather started in 1985 called the Bernard Cup in Squaw Valley. Norma Lausmann was there – she was in your article – and she is now 93 years old! She raced until she was 86! Goes to show that an active lifestyle makes the heart young!

    Thanks to Norma I have started a new ski suit company based on the crazy suits she used to make for the Masters Ski Racers – If you want you can check out the story here –

    If you are interested I can send you some of the original photos.

    Again, it was wonderful to come across your article!



  18. Jim McMaster said, on January 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Peter, we’ve never met, but I am writing an historical novel based upon a fictional 10th Mountain soldier and am enjoying your source material immensely. Today when my “word of the day” e-mail cited you (“Kanone” was the word), I thought I’d find out more and ran across this blog.
    Thanks for all your contributions to skiing history.
    Jim McMaster, Denver.

  19. Fred Hohn said, on April 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    I am the youngest son of Hans Hohn a WW2 passed veteran who served in the 10th Mountain Division from its earliest days. He trained in Camps; Swift, Lewis and Hale.

    While on Holiday this past September in Norway I met a Jackie Baker, another child of the 10th. Both are Dad’s trained in Camp Hale during the winter of 42-43. Jackie told me an incredible story her Mom had told her while a small child involving her Dad Jack, 87th Div. Jackie spoke of her Dad being one of three survivors of a terrible fatal avalanche killing 30 soldiers. The commanding 10th officer had told Jack Baker he would be dishonorably discharged if he spoke a word about it!

    Throughout your years of research and the authoring of ‘Climb to Conquer’ did you ever come across any evidence that might support this incredible story?

    Best regards,
    Fred Hohn

    • pshelton said, on April 4, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      No, Fred, I’ve never heard anything about this. Did it take place in Colorado?

  20. Susie Stanton Wilson said, on September 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    From time to time. I’ve wondered what happened to you, old friend. You’re an adventure writer? Cool beans! And you live in Bend? How interesting. We lived in Lake Oswego for 5 years {2009 -2014} and are back in CA again. Greeting from across the aisle in Home Room from Susie Stanton

    • pshelton said, on September 11, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Wow. That’s a long reach from across that aisle of time, Susie. Thanks for reaching out.

  21. Melody Hessing said, on October 2, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Peter: Just saw the Beckey movie, talked to the director and he sez you’re in Bend — a little closer to us in B.C. Glad to read your stuff — I do this too, musing this theatre under the stars that is home. Love to you and Ellen. Please write. Melody

  22. sharky said, on October 29, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Jeez P + E, it’s been so long. I just googled your name and saw the article about Mike G.
    So many memories. Sometime in Bend, perhaps. My heart quakes when I think about it all.
    love, Sharky

    • pshelton said, on October 29, 2018 at 5:08 am

      Yo, Sharky. Wonderful to hear your words over cyberspace. Yes, a long time. How are you? Where are you? You have a big heart. L, -P

  23. Raffaele Perfetto said, on March 5, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Buonasera, da appassionato di storia, ho acquistato il libro “Climb to Conquer” e sono rimasto alquanto sorpreso dal leggere che Hitler provasse disprezzo per Mussoliniil e suo esercito indisciplinato. La inviterei a dar prova di quanto da lei affermato, non fosse che per dovere di cronaca. Ferma restando l’idea di dover disapprovare in toto quanto abbiano fatto i due, tutta una serie di documenti testimonierebbero altro pensiero, non certo lusinghiero alla fine, ma certamente di affetto da parte del primo verso il secondo. Senza entrare nel merito di ulteriore analisi, mi preme solo invitarla a documentarsi in maniera più professionale laddove si voglia discutere di momenti storici che, posso comprendere, non le appartengono culturalmente. Per quanto riguarda l’esercito indisciplinato, certo quello italiano nel corso della II Guerra Mondiale ha dato certamente prova di essere quantomeno equivoco, ma anche in questo caso, prima di etichettare lo stesso in modo così frivolo, le chiederei di fare un’attenta analisi del perché lo stesso non abbia inteso condurre una guerra nel modo in cui lei e tanti avreste voluto. Gli italiani, dopo la I guerra Mondiale, condotta con grande onore e coraggio e, cosa più importante, perseguendo un ideale, non avrebbero mai avuto in mente di doverne condurre una nuova, priva oltretutto appunto di un ideale, avendo memoria delle tante tragedie e sofferenze a cui la stessa aveva condotto, tantomeno con popolazioni che nulla avevano fatto per indurli a quanto.
    La verità in questo caso è che mentre Hitler ha saputo soggiogare i tedeschi fino al punto di condurli oltre la guerra e, dunque, a perpetuare azioni di violenza inaudita, verso quanti non fossero ariani, per tutto il corso della guerra; gli italiani hanno avuto quanto meno il merito di giungere a tardiva lucidità e per quanto avessero seguito il loro leader spinti da aspettative di rinascita economica, sociale, hanno poi avvertito di non aver alcuna inclinazione a violenza gratuita e, dunque, a disconoscere qualsiasi forma di barbarie. Solo per questo gli stessi non hanno poi saputo condurre una guerra nei paesi dove son stati condotti.

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