Davenport, Beidleman and Mahon Ski Pyramid Peak — East Face Landry Route

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 13, 2006      

I just got an exciting phone call from Chris Davenport. Along with Neal Beidleman and Ted Mahon, this morning Dav completed a beautiful descent of the Landry Route on Pyramid Peak in Colorado’s Elk Mountains. This descent is the second of the Landry route, and to the best of my knowledge only the third time the peak has been skied from the summit. Dav told me they had “great conditions, knocked off a few sluffs that cleaned off the route and were able to make solid turns.” By doing the route early in the spring season, they found the exit from the route to be filled in and skiable (during his 1978 first descent Landry had to do a short downclimb to exit the route). Dav agreed it was a steep route, with much “consistent 55 degree skiing.” I don’t doubt that. When I skied the upper part of the route during my ‘teeners project in 1989 I measured several pitches with an inclinometer at 60 degrees. Indeed it is steep, but more, it’s simply an incredibly beautiful line — perhaps the most beautiful extreme skiing line in Colorado if not the entire United States.

Congratulations to Dav, Neal and Ted on a job well done! Davenport trip report.

Pyramid Peak east face, Colorado
Pyramid Peak viewed from the east, Landry route marked with faint dotted line. David Hiser photo, to be published in new edition of my 14er guidebook. Route is rated Grade V D20 R5


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9 Responses to “Davenport, Beidleman and Mahon Ski Pyramid Peak — East Face Landry Route”

  1. andrew mclean April 13th, 2006 6:38 pm

    Congratulations Chris, Ted and whoever that other guy was with them! That’s been a loooooong time coming, and what perfect conditions.

  2. Sean April 13th, 2006 8:08 pm

    Wow! on the trip report. You could really sense the total awe and joy Chris had about the whole deal – the climb and descent.

    What amazes me is the juice these guys had for a strong, in-control descent after a climb like that. I know I would’ve been whipped after the ascent – I climbed it in summer and thought it was tough without having to make precision, powerful turns down.

    Hats off!

  3. Mark Worley April 14th, 2006 4:41 am

    How’s that for almost perfect fall-line skiing? Phenomenal line indeed.


  4. podenbeck April 14th, 2006 7:09 am

    The Laundry Chute goes!

  5. Pat April 14th, 2006 8:13 am

    Way to go guys. It is good to see some local guys reminding everyone of the big sick lines Colorado and the Aspen has to offer, Jackson what? Congratulations fellas

  6. Western Colorado Climbing April 14th, 2006 8:49 am

    That is truly an amazing line. Anybody else want to go ski it? 😉

    -B.J. Sbarra

  7. Greydon Clark April 14th, 2006 10:35 am

    Lou, what was your route? Reading Mr. Davenport’s account was really fun. I can’t wait to see the footage.

  8. Sky April 14th, 2006 12:09 pm

    What’s the vert on that? Top of peak to bottom of photo? Top of peak to end of no-fall zone?

    Definitely a beautiful line…

  9. Lou April 14th, 2006 12:27 pm

    Hi all, I think the vert shown in the photo is about 3,500, no-fall zone is about 2,200 vert.

    I’ve skied a couple of routes on Pyramid. The one I had the best time on was on the opposite side, but I couldn’t get it from the summit (started about 100 vertical feet below summit). So I (along with Jeff Maus) skied the first 1,000 vert of Landry route and exited to the 13,000 foot saddle then skied down into the north cirque. Due to avalanche danger we belayed quite a bit of the upper section, but doing so was kind of a joke as we didn’t have good anchors. We were psyched to get down the whole peak on skis from exact summit, but our style would not have made it into a TGR film (grin). Dav, Ted and Neal’s descent was the most elegant so far as they used no ropes and were able to ski it 100%. That’s as it should be, the next generation should be improving on the one that came before — otherwise it would be boring!

    I’m truly excited that Landry’s fine route finally got a second! Took long enough, but perhaps all these guys were distracted by terrain parks or movie stints or something like that (grin). Seriously, the problem with the route is that it’s hardly ever in condition for a safe clean descent. Plenty of people could have skied it after Landry, but simply did not find it in condition.

    The Dav group deserves cred for not only excellent skiing, but being able to pick the day.

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