A Life of Accomplishments
For almost his entire life, Yakima’s Nelson Bennett has had a passion for the snow.
He’s operated ski resorts, taught celebrities how to ski, and even directed a ski patrol out of Idaho.
One of his greatest accomplishments was also serving in the US Army as a ski trooper.
Near the end of World War II, Bennett was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, a platoon stationed in Italy, with one mission;
“The 10th Mountain Division was committed to capture or chase the German army out of Italy,” said Bennett.
For months, his infantry defended the borders from German onslaught, until the German forces finally surrendered, and allied troops were able to push their way into enemy territory, leading to the victory and end of the war.
“Following the war, a letter from one of the generals indicated that had the 10th Mountain Division been alerted and brought into the war [sooner], it could have been over two years earlier,” said Bennett.
Following the war, Bennett says he moved back to the Yakima Valley and ran the White Pass ski resort for well over 25 years, and also worked with other ski resorts around the area.
Bennett is also credited with helping create the first working rescue toboggan, a sled which injured people can be transported on.