Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peruvian Flakes

Chris Davenport, the guy who skied all of Colorado’s fourteeners in a single year, has big, big plans for 2008. First up is skiing all of the California fourteeners (there are 12 to 15, depending how you count—I’m not sure how Davenport is counting). If he succeeds, he’ll be the only person to ski all the fourteeners in the Lower 48. But that’s just the warm-up. He also wants to ski several of the iconic peaks of the Alps, including the west face of the Eiger, the east face of the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, and Monte Rosa. And his wildest goal is skiing Alpamayo, the 19,511-foot peak in the Cordillera Blanca that’s sometimes called the most beautiful mountain in the world. Alpamayo (in photo) has not been skied before. Anyone want to guess why?

5 comments:

George Smiley said...

The 14ers in CO and CA are not all the 14ers in the lower 48:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tahoma

Dougald said...

Sure, but he's already skied that one...

George Bell said...

I'm pretty sure the Ferrari face on Alpamayo has been skiied, but maybe not from the summit?

Dougald MacDonald said...

George Bell did some sleuthing and determined that Benoit Chamoux, Eric Favret, and André Genand (FR) skied the northwest face of Alpamayo in early June 2003, one of a whirlwind of extreme ski descents they did in the Cordillera Blanca that year. However, the French were not able to ski from the summit of Alpamayo; they startedabout 200 feet below the top. The summit ridge of this classic peak is often heavily corniced, and many climbers call it good at the top of the face. So, Davenport still has the chance for a first complete descent, but he'll have to be very lucky with conditions on the final ridge.

Dougald MacDonald said...

Update: I spoke with Davenport yesterday, and he has abandoned his plan for skiing Alpamayo this year, because he has too much else on his plate. The season for skiing big faces in Peru overlaps too much with another big project for this spring: the iconic Alpine faces.