Mike Marolt Speaks About Backcountry Skiing the 8000 Meter Peaks

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 20, 2005      

Mike Marolt, one of a handful of North Americans to ski from very near the summit of an 8,000 meter peak, showed his Himalayan ski film and gave a talk at our son’s school this morning.

Mike is a 5th generation Aspenite from a famous skiing family, and along with life as a husband and CPA, his mission is to climb and backcountry ski big mountains. Along with his twin brother Steve, and Jim Gile and Cheri Silvera, Mike climbed 26,291-foot Shishapangma in Tibet in 2000, the world’s 14th highest peak. Mike and Steve skied back down from the central summit of Shishpangma, thus becoming the first North Americans to ski the peak (though not from the exact summit), and joining an elite cadre of skiers who have glissed from 8,000 meters.

Mike Marolt backcountry skier and climber.
Mike Marolt speaking at Alpine Christian Academy, Basalt, Colorado.

A few years later, the boys traveled to Mount Everest and skied high on the world’s highest mountain. Though they didn’t get Everest from the summit, Mike says he won’t climb without backcountry skiing as a component, and by skiing as high as possible on Everest they achieved their goals for that trip, though they’ll be returning soon to try and carve a bigger chunk off the big one.

Mike weaves themes of teamwork and spirituality into his inspirational lecture, along with a healthy dose of humor and interesting fact. The kids asked a ton of questions such as, “how old can you be and still climb Mount Everest?” A wake up call for Mike? Serious queries included talk about prayer wheels and risk vs. reward. Good stuff!


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