THE LAST RIDGE - The Inspiring Story of the 10th Mountain Division, A Compelling PBS Documentary Based on the Book by McKay Jenkins
Connect Up Read Up Wise Up Lighten Up Share Memories Search Names
Filming Blog

TEAM 10TH FILMING REPORT FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 6TH 2005

LOCATION: CAMP HALE, COLORADO

TEAM 10TH FILM CREW NOW IN COLORADO

Greeting from a new configuration of Team 10th, as the intrepid crew for The Last Ridge shoots the national public television documentary on the 10th Mtn Division.

In 25 worlds or less, in the days since wrapping up filming in Italy, Producer/Descendant Abbie Kealy has moved from life in the Expresso Lane to life in the chilled out Frappacino Lane: editing, filming at the 10thArchives at the Denver Library and more interviewing to add to the hundreds of hours already completed.

We'll endeavor to send Field Reports covering the impending Colorado filming for the program. Highlights include filming on top of Chicago Ridge with the Colorado based 10th Mtn Living History Display Group. This company of would-be soldiers has volunteered to help with faux maneuvers for three whole days in some nice deep snowdrifts!.

We'll also be flying high in helicopters to film the lay of the land around Camp Hale and the greater training area. Stick with us as we take to the snow, sky and mountains. There's lots going on especially with the fun folks here attending the annual 10th Mtn Keystone Ski-In, a Must-Do Event for skiers, would-be skiers and armchair enthusiasts. There's plenty of folks here who can give you a few tips on how not to cross tips! Pencil it in for next year and stay tuned on how to get more information in future reports.

FUN FACT:
During recent filming at the 10th Archives in Denver, I found several photos of the 10th Cavalry in action as they approached battle in Italy's Po Valley. This was the last Cavalry stand in the U.S. Army according the Military Historian Flint Whitlock. Who Knew?

ANOTHER SPECIAL NOTE:
McKay Jenkins, author of The Last Ridge has a new book now on the bookstands titled "Bloody Falls of the Coppermine." This spell-binding account of the clash of cultures between Arctic Eskimos and the missionaries in 1806 still resonates with issues top of mind in today's world.

Always Forward with Coffee,
Abbie Kealy, Bill Bealmear, Flint Whitlock, Dave Little

TEAM 10TH FILMING REPORT FOR MONDAY, MARCH 7TH 2005

LOCATION: FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD--OR AT LEAST THE TOP OF SKI COOPER AND CHICAGO RIDGE

TIP OF DAY: STAY HUMBLE AT HIGH ELEVATIONS
What can humble The Last Ridge film crew and a company of 10th re-enactors faster than you can say "D-Series?" How about five feet of soft and fluffy snow to flounder in, at an altitude of nearly 13,000 feet.

Yes, our brave company of soldiers from the 10th Mountain Living History Display Group, powered by their fearless leader Dave Little and accompanied by their original founder Flint Whitlock, re-created very authentic floundering and flailing while filming maneuvers on Chicago Ridge, which towers over Ski Cooper, site of WW2 era 10th training. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 10th trooper John Woodward was on site to advise and consult and he assured us it was just like this.

Meanwhile back at Ski Cooper base lodge, 10th members attending the Ski-In had their own packed schedule: skiing, cavorting, skiing, parading, and skiing before attending the Memorial Service at Tennessee Pass to honor their comrades fallen in battle.

FUN FACT:
The Award for Traveling the Greatest Distance goes to Brian Kealy, who came from London, England to meet the 10th vets and work on camera with the film crew.

Always Forward with Coffee,
From Abbie Kealy, Bill Bealmear, Flint Whitlock, Dave Little (& his cast of characters)

TEAM 10TH FILMING REPORT FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 8TH 2005

LOCATION: CAMP HALE, COLORADO

THE LAST RIDGE FILM CREW COMPLETE D-SERIES IN ONE DAY!
What's the best way to experience D-Series, the infamous 1944 training exercise? In one day, of course! Yes, through the magic of television and a few Forest Service Permits, our film crew knocked off the epic D-Series maneuver in one rather long day throughout the Greater Camp Hale area. And without frostbite, sub-zero temperatures, the Easter Blizzard and the yummy rations. What were you guys doing out there for over a month? Our 10th documentary crew filmed everything from bushwhacking to bivouacking to setting up remotes campsites, snowcaves, cooking, equipment testing, guard duty and more. Martha Stewart would be proud if she wasn't so busy making wreaths in prison.

Again, we were ably assisted by a dozen of Dave Little's 10th Mountain Living History Display Group, try and say that ten times fast. They came well-equipped and ready for live weapons fire, with blanks of course. Weapons included carbines, M-1s, a Thompson Machine gun, an air-cooled 30 caliber machine gun and several '03 Springfield sniper rifles. Good thing they're on our side. No mules, mortars or pack Howitzers, but if you find any when you're cleaning house, Dave Little would like to hear from you.

The Annual 10th Mtn Keystone Ski-In is in high gear skiing the high country, with high class apr├Ęs ski activities that passes the off slope time. Pencil it in for next year! Special thanks to the Weasel Battalion, aka Russ Morgan & Dan Emmich, for their helpful Weasel transport to remote locations off of Resolution Creek Road. We didn't really feel like making the march up there like the old times, sure you understand.

BEST PLACE TO CAMOFLAGE THE AMMO BLANKS:
Dave Little prefers Corn Dog cases, no kidding. Just keep it away from the microwave. It was so well camouflaged even we didn't know they were there!

Always Forward with coffee,
Abbie Kealy, Bill Bealmear, Flint Whitlock, Dave Little (& his cast of characters)

TEAM 10TH FILMING REPORT FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9TH 2005

LOCATION: CAMP HALE, COLORADO

THE LAST RIDGE FILMING CREW FINALLY OUT OF THE WOODS!
With D-Series behind us, the seasoned cast and crew of The Last Ridge filmed specialty scenes in the Great Camp Hale area. If you ever wondered what was really in that ninety pound rucksack, you'll love the time-lapse filming of the loading up of the famous rucksack, which even included a pound of authentic WW2 grub, which looked about as good today as it did in 1944.

Then, if only medical emergencies could be resolved as easily as our on-call10th medics during mock warfare. The patients miraculously walked off the stretchers at the end of every scene, due to our medic's Tender Loving Care, and with no insurance paperwork hassle!

In an innovative scene suggested by Flint Whitlock, co-author of the 10th classic "Soldiers on Skis," the March 1943 Life magazine cover featuring the late Horace Quick came to life, complete with a model of Horace and a nearby soldier reading the aforementioned issue. OK, maybe we could be busted back for taking artistic license on that one, but it's neat.

We've also conducted an in-depth interview with military historian, Flint Whitlock, who adds perspective and context to our telling of the 10th tales. He is the co-author of the 10th classic "Soldiers on Skis."

Back at the ski slopes, the 10th Mountain Annual Keystone Ski-In participants continue to burn up the slopes under sunny skies and nightly fresh powder. They are led so capably by Trooper Newc Eldredge, who has been a trooper considering the absence of organizing partner Mac Mackenzie, who is under the weather back in New Hampshire. Get well soon Mack-we miss you (especially Newc!)

Before turning in, we must bid a fond farewell to our 10th Living History Display Group. We're trading out rucksacks for a ride in a Blackhawk helicopter to film aerials of the 10th's Mountain training zone. Fingers crossed for fair weather and Blackhawk up, not down.

Always Forward (with coffee),
From Abbie Kealy, Bill Bealmear, Flint Whitlock, Dave Little (& his cast of characters)

TEAM 10TH FILMING REPORT FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 11TH 2005

LOCATION: CAMP HALE, COLORADO

THE LAST DAY OF COLORADO FILMING FOR THE LAST RIDGE
Alas, the last day of Colorado filming for The Last Ridge has come to pass and we're regretfully packing up our poles and parkas. Next stop is filming next week in the Seattle area in cooperation with the 10th Mtn Rainier Chapter--thanks to Sunny & Karl Stingl for all their help setting up the many interviews in Seattle.

Ski Hats also off to all of the wonderful helping hands and friends in Colorado who've made everything possible. There's only ten million or so of you, but you know who you are. That also includes Jeep for the Jeep, Vail for the lodging, Ski Cooper for the Snowcoach & the Army for the chopper. Cheers to Jill Hahn, master of the E-Mail Universe for spreading the word.

The 10th Mtn Annual Keystone Ski-In has likewise packed up and shoved off, but will return next year. For details on signing up, touch base with Hugh Evans online at: hevans621@aol.com

WHO WERE THOSE MEN IN WHITE?
We were SO lucky to have the 10th Mtn Living History Display Group to recreate D-Series and other maneuvers for us. They are Dave Little-chief, Flint Whitlock-founder, Mike, Stubbs, Terry, Bruce, Brian, Jeremiah and Ben.

Until Seattle, Always Forward with Coffee,
Abbie Kealy & Bill Bealmear



<< Back to Blogs Main Page

For More Information Contact:
Abbie Kealy, 5316 Glen Falls, Reisterstown, MD 21136
(443) 570- 9482 | E-mail: AbbieKealy@hotmail.com

Order the DVD
Outreach, Promotion and Development for The Last Ridge have been made possible by the R.C. Baker Foundation, honoring the extraordinary legacy of World War II veterans.