Kit DesLauriers Skis from Mount Everest Summit – But Doesn’t Get a Complete Descent


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Kit DesLauriers has become the first woman to ski off the summit of Mount Everest, but was not able to make an all-snow all-ski complete descent to match that of Davo Karnikar in 2000. According to the expedition report, “the complete ski descent was shelved in favor of safety.” Nonetheless, while descending much of the upper mountain on foot, Kit and companions made a skilled and bold descent that included skiing the monster Lhotse face in dangerous icy conditions.

Davo Karnikar skied through the Hillary Step during his first descent and was able to ski the mountain in its entirety, but it is tough to find the upper part of Everest in skiable condition and DesLauriers had to rappell the step, as well as travel on foot for quite some distance after the Step.

WildSnow congratulates these guys on an excellent Mount Everest ski expedition. Back alive is what makes it good, so job well done! More, Kit is now the first person to have skied off all Seven Summits. A toast to her!

Full details at guide service website.
Mount Everest news website

(This post updated December, 2006)

Comments

12 Responses to “Kit DesLauriers Skis from Mount Everest Summit – But Doesn’t Get a Complete Descent”

  1. Derek October 19th, 2006 7:01 am

    Yeeha, congrats! Another forward progression in American ski mountaineering.

  2. Mark Worley October 19th, 2006 7:35 am

    Wow! That’s great, and I must add it’s a feat whose time has come. Who’s next?

  3. Michael October 19th, 2006 10:57 am

    It’s definitely a great accomplishment for Kit.

    Few details have been provided throughout the expedition, In fact if you read through the expedition dispatches you’ll note that she never announced she planned to ski from the summit and they never actually report her descent. It’s defeintely a different approach than Maegan Carney took in 2003 when she let the entire world know what she was trying to do.

  4. Lou October 19th, 2006 11:42 am

    As an old school mouintaineer I was never comfortable announcing my intentions in public before a project, though I eventually had to do it with my 14ers project because I was trying to sell myself as a writer about backcountry skiing etc. At any rate, perhaps Kit just didn’t want the hype. Meagan made a big deal out of it and failed, and that’s got to be a bummer after all the PR.

  5. Mike Marolt October 19th, 2006 2:24 pm

    Trust me, Meagan isn’t crying over it. She did what she had to in order to try and accomplish something that she dreamed about and planned for all her life. She used a wave of media attention generated from being one of the best all around female skiers out there, and it worked. She made it to the show. But despite her top notch ability to get the job done, the conditions were not right. Enough said. But yes she did put herself out there and that obviously rubs some people wrong; but don’t confuse that with Meagan’s ability or character. She can climb and ski with the best of the best on any mountain, and she would give anyone the shirt off her back if they needed it. She is just a great all around person. And I would be willing to bet that she is first in line, if she has not already done so, to congradulate Kit. That is just the kind of person she is.

    Mike Marolt

  6. Michael October 19th, 2006 2:38 pm

    Actually, I think Maegan emailed encouragement to Kit right before the attempt, according to the expedition updates. My intention wasn’t to criticize Maegan-on the contrary, I applaud her audacity and effort- but only to highlight the contrast in the two attempts. Both women are no doubt amazing skiers and skilled mountaineers. Weather is always going to be a major factor.

  7. Lou October 19th, 2006 3:13 pm

    I didn’t mean to sound negative about Meagan as a person, I’m sure she’s great, just pondering the fact that lots of publicity before a feat can be a recipe for disappointment…

  8. Mike Marolt October 19th, 2006 8:23 pm

    Well thanks for clearing that up.

    As for the disappointment factor, without the pre-feat hype that can be used to fund expeditions, the disappointment of having to read about other expeditions on Everest news because you don’t have enough funds to go on your own leaves little to ponder.

    M

  9. Bill Stevenson December 29th, 2006 11:18 pm

    Dear Lou,

    I quote you “DesLauriers had to rappell the step, as well as travel on foot for some distance after the Step. ”

    If you read the expedition dispatches on Berg Adventures International it is clear that Kit actually travelled quite some distance on foot, i.e 2,700 vertical feet in crampons down the south-east ridge. This doesnot qualify as a ski descent of Everest.

    Bill Stevenson

  10. Lou December 30th, 2006 7:29 am

    Bill, I’d tend to agree with you now that I know more about the descent. I believe a “ski descent” of a peak can include some maneuvering on foot or a rappel, but descending thousands of vertical feet of terrain on foot is way past being able to call it a ski descent, especially when the entire mountain has been skied at least once, and most of it several times.

    What I’ve noticed is that the PR for this uses the wording “skied from the summit.” I hope this wasn’t done as a stunt so Kit could claim to have skied the Seven Summits. If so, that’s a bit much.

  11. brian harder February 28th, 2007 10:00 pm

    There has been lots of discussion about Kit’s descent and most of the finer points are made above. Anyone who has been above 8,000 meters with or without 0′s knows what a bitch it is. Anyone who gets to the top is special. My hat is off to those who pull it off. Strapping on skis and heading down adds a another level of effort and risk to the descent. Again, kudos to those that do.

    However, we moutaineers have rules that we make up by consensus as we go. The oxygen versus no oxygen ascents of big peaks are one example and climbers generally make the distinction. Same goes for fixed lines, etc.

    In that vain, I think ski alpinsts should carry their skis to the summit and if they don’t, should state as much during the media orgy that follows. Only in Nepal and Tibet, on commercial peaks like Everest can you hire Sherpas to do what is typically felt by most skiers as just part of the deal.

    Only until details like this and the amount of skiing versus walking on a given descent are known can the ski community truly weigh in on the merrits of a so-called ski descent.

  12. Jay R. Stanzer October 14th, 2011 3:31 pm

    I just wanted to say that I have had the privilege to hear Kit Speak @ The Vail Library.I was impressed by her demeanor and the courage she demonstrated while speaking of her climbing adventures. She is not only an inspiration to women but to men as well. I used to live in Vail From 1993-2000 During the Big expansions on the hills and all the Luxury Home building that took place during that time.
    Mountaineers and the lifestyle that they pursue has always intrigued me. I was and always will be inspired by the men and women who pursuit climbing, skiing and exploring the backcountry. I hope to return one day and be able to push myself to such limits. My Goal in Life is to climb and summit Mount Mckinley in Alaska

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