More 8000 Meter Backcountry Skiing Thoughts


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 8, 2005      

Yesterday, distracted by the issue of meaningless “firsts,” I neglected to cover what notable skiing had actually been done on Cho Oyo.

The peak is the easiest 8,0000 meter peak to climb and ski, and is very popular as a climb. By saying “easiest” I don’t mean to denigrate the challenge of climbing Cho, as it’s still a high, tough mountain — especially if done without supplemental oxygen or heavy handed guiding.

Cho Oyo was first skied from the summit in 1988, by Italians Flavio Spazzadeschi and Lino Zani. In 2000 Laura Bakos (defunct link removed 2015) backcountry skied from the summit and became the first North American woman to ski an 8000 meter peak. Laura’s firsts pale in comparison to the actual 1988 first descent, but nonetheless have a lot more significance than a first based on what gear the skier used.

Another interesting factoid about Cho is it was the first 8000 meter peak to have a significant (but non-summit) ski descent: In 1964 Fritz Stammberger did the first climb of the the peak done without supplemental oxygen, then skied down from 24,000 feet. More Stammberger backcountry skiing info.

Still up for more mountain skiing firsts? The first ski descent of an 8,000 meter peak from the summit was probably that of Josef Millenger and Peter Wrogotter, who skied the NE face of Manaslu in 1981. After that, another early ski descent of an 8,000 meter peak was done by Sylvain Saudan in 1982, on Hidden Peak (8068 meters). (research links for this information went defunct, deleted 2015)

Up for a bit of Saudan trivia? The guy was talented — and also known as a somewhat harsh business man who attempted to extract profit from everything possible. He even went so far as to sue Whistler ski resort for “illegal” use of his name when they named a run after him! (The “Couloir Extreme” was originally named for Saudan).

Comments

Got something to say? Please do so.





Anti-Spam Quiz:

You can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box to left, but you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE before you submit.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.
:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.
Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use. ...

Switch To Mobile Version