Andreas Franson – Amazing Denali Ski and Climb Trip

Post by blogger | June 7, 2011      

Chamonix based ski alpinist Andreas Franson is turning heads with a mind-blowing romp on Denali during May. Not only did the guy make Cassin Ridge climb in 33 hours round trip, but he soloed down Denali’s South Face, skiing 3,000 meters of that 4,000 meter mountain wall. This all of course after running around on the ‘easy’ side of the mountain dropping little things such as Messner Couloir and Orient Express.


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9 Responses to “Andreas Franson – Amazing Denali Ski and Climb Trip”

  1. thomas June 8th, 2011 1:02 am

    impressive but not the 1st descent. A previous swedish team skied the S face in 1999 I believe.

  2. Lou June 8th, 2011 5:53 am

    Thanks Thomas, any way to get details on that?

  3. brian h June 8th, 2011 8:27 am

    After reading the link, I got the impression that Franson is uncomfortable with calling it descent (in the truest sense). For sure, it was an impressive effort.

  4. Matt June 8th, 2011 8:34 am

    Lou, Any advice on which would be the better approach to Grizzly Chute on Monday the 13th? The Lincoln Crk Rd doesn’t open til the 16th per USFS. Better to Mtn Bike up the road or take the route from the Indy townsite per your guidebook?

  5. Lou June 8th, 2011 8:46 am

    Brian, it’s best with that sort of thing to let the community develop a consensus, so kudos to Franson for doing so. If the South Face has been descended twice with skis involved, then it would be good to combine impressions of both descents to develop a take on what my be some sort of “standard” on how it is skied. At that point, descents have something to compare to. In other words, no need to ski every inch of the thing, but there is no doubt some logical and more common way it would be skied according to how the snowcover usually is, etc.

  6. Lou June 8th, 2011 8:50 am

    Matt, the Indy Townsite route works if you’re very careful about either doing it as an overnight or a super early morning start. Even so, return is the problem as you’re forced to go back over to Inde after things have warmed. It’s really not that far for a fit party, it’s just timing that’s the issue.

    These days, instead of going from Inde town I tend to recommend use of bicycle or ATV on Lincoln road. Personally, I’d never do it the Inde way again, I’d either wait till the road opened or use ATV such as mountain bike, quad, or motorcycle.

  7. Matt June 8th, 2011 9:01 am

    Thanks a ton Lou! We had the same concerns about making the return trip in the warmth of the later day. Love your blog! Thanks for the stoke and beta!

  8. brian h June 8th, 2011 9:13 am

    Lou, your assessment reminded me of the ‘ wait for the right conditions’ tactic that Spricenieks/ Jungen used on Robson. Although the weather on Denali would probably moot that idea.

  9. Lou June 8th, 2011 11:24 am

    Brian, yeah, another thing I like to do for defining ski descents is that the standard of what’s skied is based on “average” conditions. In other words, if a mountain has a once in 30 years snowpack, and someone skis all of a line that perhaps had a rappell on it, the first descent is still the “first,” but we can still acknowledge the new one by saying it was the “first descent without rap that’s usually necessary,” or something to that effect. Another part of this is that snow climate changes, and has actually gotten better, for example, here in Colorado. Does that obviate earlier descents just because folks can ski things a bit more continuously at times than was the norm in the past? To me it does not, though nothing wrong with keeping the facts out there about who did what, and again, letting the community decide.

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