54 Colorado 14'ers Skied in 12 Months
Free skier Chris Davenport has succeeded in an ambitious quest to ski all 54 of the Colorado 14'ers in less than 12 months. Davenport, along with Neal Beidleman and Nick Devore, skied the south side of Longs Peak on his second attempt last Friday, 363 days after starting his project. The Aspen resident thus became only the second person to ski all of the Colorado 14'ers from their summits; the first was Lou Dawson, who took 14 years to polish off all the 14'ers, finishing in 1991.
Davenport originally had hoped to ski all the peaks in a single season (January-June, 2006), but lack of snow in southern Colorado halted his efforts. An unusual series of heavy storms in December paved the way for success, including very rare midwinter descents of Crestone Needle and Longs Peak.
Although more than 1,000 people have ascended all of the Colorado 14'ers, climbing them all in winter conditions is very rare, let alone skiing them, too. Only three people are known to have climbed all of the peaks during calendar winter. Davenport bagged 35 of the 54 peaks outside calendar winter, during the spring of 2006, but even spring ascents can be technical climbing adventures. Of his April 20 ascent of Capitol Peak (followed by a ski descent by a bold new route), Davenport wrote, “This was the hardest alpine climb I have done in the States. I have climbed Capitol Peak four times in the summer, and in winter it is just an entirely different experience.”
At least two other skiers are very close to completing the 14'ers. Sean Crossen has skied all but Capitol Peak. And, in a remarkable effort in 2003-04, Jason Ivanic skied all the 14'ers but one in a single season, solo, but did not make a descent from the summit of at least one of those peaks.
See stories and photos from all of Davenport's 14'ers descents at www.skithe14ers.com.
Dates of Ascents/Descents: January 22, 2006-January 19, 2007