Davenport Successful on Longs Peak !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 19, 2007      
Chris Davenport backcountry skiing Longs Peak, Colorado.
Davenport on Longs Peak, January 19 2007. Neal Beidleman photo, use by permisson only.

It’s 9:30 PM, Chris Davenport just called with the news. He, along with incredibly strong and experienced ski alpinists Neal Beidleman, Nick Devore and Danny Brown, made a successful descent of Longs Peak today. This is Davenport’s 54th fourteener in his ski-the-teeners project, and the crown on an incredible odyssey that bagged him ski descents of all 54 peaks in one 12 month period.

MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS from myself and the Dawsons to Chris for an outstanding and inspiring job!

A reporter asked me the other day what it feels like to ski from the summit of one’s last fourteener during a project like this. I told him that the most powerful thing for me back in 1991 on Kit Carson (which was the last one I skied during my own fourteeners project) was the feeling of fitting into a continuum of ski alpinists — actually feeling the presence of former fourteener skiers such as Fritz Stammberger, the Fitz brothers and Bob Pfeiffer up there with me. But more, feeling the presence of those who would come later, and ski the 54 with ever more poise and skill, down bigger and better lines — yet still receive the same gifts of joy, spiritual awe and actualization that past seekers had received. It’s a beautiful thing, the progression of a sport. A wonderful part of humanity, the pushing of limits, the growth, the testing and winning through adversity. Inspiring others — yes, inspiring those of previous generations such as myself. Chris Davenport is that next wave, and I salute him.

Chris mentioned that he’d get a trip report up ASAP at his website. Meanwhile, he did say they found a skiable route on the southerly side of the mountain, and of course had an epic in the dark getting out of the remote valley on that side of Longs. The peak didn’t give up her charms easily during the groups 12 hour day. But then, if it was easy…

Backcountry skiing on Longs Peak Colorado
Davenport gets ready to drop of the summit of Longs Peak. Can you imagine how that probably felt after 12 months and 53 other mostly difficult and dangerous mountains?

Again, this is an incredibly awesome and inspiring moment in the history of Colorado fourteeners. I hope it breaks open the floodgates for many others to attempt skiing the 54. More, the astonishing lines Davenport sought out and skied should give any ski alpinist a different view of just what an incredible gift the Colorado fourteeners are to ski alpinists. There might be no other group of mountains in the world that combines so many skiable lines with such good access and weather. Granted, not every year has perfect snow, but we have enough good years for me to honestly say the kind of skiing Chris has been doing is repeatable, safe if done with care, and as good as any place in the world.

Thanks Chris, thanks for your inspiration, your sharing, your optimism and your skill. You did Colorado, and ski alpinists everywhere proud!

Everyone, in honor of Chris and his companions I’m going to take a day off from blogging and leave this post at the top all day tomorrow, and update as info comes in. Feel free to leave comment congrats, if it’s your first comment here you won’t see it right away, but I’ll moderate as soon as possible and display, usually within an hour or so.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


27 Responses to “Davenport Successful on Longs Peak !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  1. Derek January 19th, 2007 9:43 pm

    Nice words Lou. You, and the others before you opened the door for this generation of ski alpinists. And they will continue to open the door for the next generation. Like Bill Briggs on the Grand, and the current Exum Guides of today, who continue to push the sport in that region.

  2. ecobrad January 19th, 2007 10:08 pm

    Unbelievable!!! Awesome. I remember reading the first trip report many moons ago and wondering… well, he’s done it. Chris is to be conmended, not just for the his skill and drive, but for his respect and acknowledgment of his predecessors.

  3. Ryan January 19th, 2007 11:06 pm

    So Lou, according to your figures, how many people have now skied all of the 14ers in Colorado?

  4. Oliver January 20th, 2007 12:16 am

    Congratulations Dav!!!
    What an inspiration you are to all of us.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful project the way you did…. and hopefully it works out with the movie sometime soon. Can’t wait to see it.

  5. Ricky January 20th, 2007 1:44 am

    Well done!

  6. Steve D. January 20th, 2007 5:30 am

    Congrats Dav!! What an achievement and what a great inspiration you are all of us!! And thanks Lou for being such a great mentor to people like Chris and the rest of us blog readers. You continue to provide humorous, practical and inspiration to all.

  7. Nick D January 20th, 2007 7:11 am

    Congratulations Chris! Your journey has been incredible to follow. You have inspired many and provided a very useful, logistical tool for skiing across all of our great state. And thank you for your incredible documentation of your historic journey. Congratulations!

  8. Lou January 20th, 2007 7:56 am

    Ryan, it’s tough to get an exact count because the definition of what constitutes a ski descent varies from individual to individual, as well as changing over time due to advances in the sport, climate changes, etc. I believe there will be and perhaps already is a public consensus on this, but I don’t care to dabble in it myself at this time, as I’m only one individual of many who have valid ideas about this stuff. That said, as far as my own opinion I can say I firmly believe that any ski descent of a Colorado 14er needs to match or improve on those known to be done prior during average snow years, before it can be counted as part of a public “project.” Chris has done an amazing job with that, and his claim is thus an easy one to make and easy to admire.

    But let’s nip this conversation in the bud for now. This is Dav’s time. He did an incredible job so let’s just bask in his accomplishment for a while before doing any hair splitting. What he did was incredibly tough and committing, I for one am blown away by it. Anyone who’s done some winter 14er climbs or skiing knows what I mean…

  9. Greydon Clark January 20th, 2007 8:34 am

    Congratatulations to Chris D. I have enjoyed getting his email updates.

    Lou, thanks for taking the high road with the troll.

  10. Randy H January 20th, 2007 8:36 am

    Congrats Chris! I have been glued to your site for that past year in anticipation of reading about each climb/ski. You did it! You are an inspiration.

    Lou- Your site is a daily stop for me and its nice to read your update and tribute to those who came before you. As always, written with class and respect.


  11. Mike Marolt January 20th, 2007 9:08 am

    Super job! Style and drive sets both you guys apart.


    PS Nice job to the wife and kids; that support is so important for these types of projects.

  12. steve romeo January 20th, 2007 9:09 am

    Nice work Chris!

    And in rad style to boot.

  13. Lucas Z January 20th, 2007 9:22 am

    Well done, Chris!

    You’ve inspired me to begin my own splitboard the fourteeners project…Congradulations again!!!!

    Many thanks to you and Lou for keeping us up to date on this wonderful acheivement.

  14. Steve Seckinger January 20th, 2007 9:49 am

    What an incredible accomplishment — congrats to Chris. This really reminds me of how cool Colorado is, what amazing athletes live there, and best of all, those 54 peaks. I miss living there!

  15. art January 20th, 2007 12:05 pm

    This is truly a remarkable acheivement. I can’t imagine that 54 Peaks in 12 months will be duplicated anytime soon. He did it with style and integrity, not to mention a boat load of tenacity when you consider the challanges he faced; Frequent high winds, brutal winter conditions, big approaches and exits, & a lean snow year on the Collegiates, Sangres and southern 14ers last year. Congratulations Chris! Outstanding!

  16. Scott T January 20th, 2007 12:24 pm

    Lou and Chris,
    Both of you are an inspiration and constant motivation for me. As with Randy H, I’m on both of your sites daily. You have done a great job of building our sense of community within BC skiing and ski mountaineering. Thank you. We are so lucky to be living in Colorado. Congratulations for both of your accomplishments.

  17. Andy January 20th, 2007 5:21 pm

    Wow!!! The dedication, endurance and skill that Chris and his crew showed is amazing. His goal-orientation and focus can inspire any athlete to progress.

  18. Mark Worley January 20th, 2007 8:44 pm

    Great work Chris. You have truly risen the bar an succeeded. There are many who are planning more 14er descents because of your inspiration.

  19. ray b. January 21st, 2007 1:06 pm

    f’in a…f’IN A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! best word i’ve had been anticipating in a long time, greatest. cool out to lou, too!

  20. ray b. January 21st, 2007 5:34 pm

    and most forgotten…peace out to yer team-mates. now that i think of it. can’t at this point figger out if i should send steaks or college don’s, but you g’s is sick-ey.!!!

  21. Brownie January 21st, 2007 11:09 pm

    I think this was done with great style and safety and set a great example for future Colorado alpinists, very much like Lou did for us.
    Congrats to everyone involved!

  22. Don J January 22nd, 2007 3:27 am

    What an awesome project!!! Congrats Chris. I’m going to miss following it every week. I’m trying to think of a cooler thing to do in the mountains, and I don’t think there is one. Let’s hope the Forest Service gets their act together for the movie.

  23. Lou January 22nd, 2007 5:33 am

    Everyone, I spoke with Chris on Saturday evening at his party at Sky Hotel. He’s been checking out the comments here, and was very thankful and gracious for your support. One of the best things about Chris is that he knows he’s done something exceptional, but still sees it as a contribution rather than just an athletic feat. He’s the kind of guy that the more radical he gets, the more humble he gets. A good quality for an alpinist.

    Keep the comments coming, even after this post gets knocked off the pole position.

  24. Oliver January 22nd, 2007 8:35 am
  25. Mike J January 22nd, 2007 8:14 pm

    Hey Chris & Lou,
    To Chris for your bravdo & relentless drive to keep your goals in sight even in the face of adversity, both with the challenges of the weather & terrain and your self imposed time frame. Congratulations!
    And to you Lou for your unselfish promoting of a great adventurer. Thanks for steering me to Chris’s site.
    Mike J

  26. Dan March 15th, 2007 3:02 pm

    Great article and an amazing accomplishment!! Having done a few ski descents of some of Co’s fourteeners I can greatly appreciate this accomplisfment. Myself and felloww members of the 10th Special Forces Advanced Mountaineering Cadre here in CO send our admiration and congratulations.

  27. Lou Dawson 2 April 15th, 2015 9:32 am

    A comment to bump this comment thread, today’s blog post covering Chris being inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame.

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