Congratulations and Happy 11th Birthday Chapin Newhard – On Your First Fourteener Ski Descent

Post by blogger | June 12, 2008      

Our friend and Backbone Media owner Penn Newhard sent this in the other day. Had to be a blog post.

Hey Lou,

Chapin told me he wanted to ski a 14er for his birthday (he turns 11 at the end of the month), so Big John Gloor and I meandered up Quandary this past Saturday and we ended up snagging Cristo Couloir in windy and creamy conditions.

Fourteener backcountry skiing.
Chapin on the descent.

Chapin did great on the uphill – high winds forced us to our knees at times and off the East Ridge onto the main face to avoid the gusts higher up. Overall a great trip.

Ski mountaineering in Colorado.
Quandary, with Cristo Couloir marked.

After nearly packing it in due to high winds and seeing a few parties retreat around 13K – we played the patience game, moving out of the most exposed areas and slowly gaining altitude.

“Let’s just go a bit higher and see how the snow is,” became the mantra and a great lesson for the young lad, who around 13,500 admitted “even if we don’t make the top this is the greatest adventure of my life…”

Backcountry skiing.
Gloor and Chapin at the summit.

A bit later when he asked how high we were and we said probably nearly 14 he rallied – “if we are that close there is no way we aren’t gonna summit!”

Anyway, Lou (and I shared this with Dav too) – thanks to you for being such a proponent and motivator for so many of us! I am certain Chapin never would’ve conceived of skiing a 14er if he hadn’t have met you and Chris and been inspired by both of you.

Backcountry skiing.
Chapin Newhard, his first fourteener ski descent, congratulations!


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20 Responses to “Congratulations and Happy 11th Birthday Chapin Newhard – On Your First Fourteener Ski Descent”

  1. Eric Borch June 12th, 2008 10:35 am

    That’s great! I really look forward to skiing in the back country with my kids. Anyone have any hints or tips to get them interested and started? My kids are only 5 right now, so right now we’re just working on learning how to ski.

  2. Jay J June 12th, 2008 10:37 am

    That is SOOO freakin’ cool – the bEST on his B-day and MANY MORE Peaks to ski!!

  3. Lou June 12th, 2008 11:07 am

    Eric, the key is intuitive and you know it’s the way to go, but it’s sometimes hard to put into practice, that being just simply making skiing fun, with little to no pressure. Then see how goal oriented your kid is as they grow. If they enjoy it, give them some moderate uphill goals and make the finish as fun as possible with chocolate bars and laughs. But if they’re not that into recreational goals just back off and enjoy lift skiing or just building snow forts. It also helps to have some family harmony and fun during the ski days. Many people have mixed success with that because of various stressers and conflicting goals, but at least do your best.

    Anyone else care to drop a few tips?

  4. BJ June 12th, 2008 11:29 am

    Right on, way to go Chapin! But come on, high winds on Quandary? That never happens! 😉

  5. scotthsu June 12th, 2008 12:48 pm

    This is just awesome. Congrats to all involved!

  6. Frank K June 12th, 2008 1:07 pm

    Chapin’s got some good technique… racer?
    Did you bootpack the whole way, or do you have a mini-AT set-up?

  7. Penn June 12th, 2008 2:27 pm

    Frank – Chapin does race with AVSC and skis well. The downhill was never in question but getting up there was. We hiked in sneakers thru the dirt and booted up the face. He does have an AT set up – some Rossi BC Scratches I got used for $30, some old Freerides that our friend Brad B gave us that fit a small boot and his race boots Nordica Dobermans.

  8. Lou June 12th, 2008 2:36 pm

    I love the size of the pack in the first shot. If my pack was that big, I’d be on my face. That kid is burly!

  9. Matt Hartmann June 12th, 2008 3:28 pm

    As the father of two boys (3yo and 3mo), I look forward to sharing mountain adventures with them. Thanks for sharing Penn! So is Chapin putting together a “tick” list now?

  10. Halsted June 12th, 2008 5:24 pm

    I can see it now Chapin skis all the 14ers before he’s 21……..

  11. Lou June 12th, 2008 5:26 pm

    That way he’ll have time to ski all 600 13ers (grin), right Chapin?

  12. Scott Nelson June 12th, 2008 6:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing. That is way cool! Heck, I’m 40 and never even skiied a 14er. It’s inspiring to read about you guys getting involved with your kids lives and introducing them to such cool stuff, not enough of that in this society.

  13. ray b. June 12th, 2008 7:12 pm

    all i can say…is that’s a beautiful thing! congrats and happy birthday

  14. Vince S June 12th, 2008 9:06 pm

    Nice work Chap! Thats got to make you proud, eh Penn?

  15. Penn June 12th, 2008 9:26 pm

    I’ll answer these as best I can from Chape’s perspective since he just read the comments. His first was a question: “what’s a tick list?” The other thing I’ll add relates to Lou’s intuitive comment on getting kids started. Chapin has always loved to ski, bike, play, do anything outside – so he is easy to get out the door. We are lucky as parents that way and don’t have to force things. He also is young enough not to think he can’t do things – that’s a lesson we need to learn as adults.

  16. Lou June 13th, 2008 5:28 am

    Thanks for the nice comments all! You make WildSnow special!

  17. dave downing June 13th, 2008 8:57 am

    When I first heard Chape had skied his first 14er, I was laughing with Jess, saying I was glad I skied one before him. hmmmm, he’s 11 and i’m 29, so i guess he severely beat me. Good job, Chape.

    **disclaimer: life is not a competition** 😉

  18. skiberly June 13th, 2008 11:15 pm


    Chapin Newhard, you are my hero!

  19. michaela July 22nd, 2008 5:07 pm

    Hey Chape awesome dude the probably was tough but good job just going 4 it u rock ttyl

  20. michaela July 22nd, 2008 5:09 pm

    oh and happy birthday by the way

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