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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Skiing the 14ers in a Season

Wild Snow has the news on freeskier Chris Davenport's plan to attempt ski descents of all 54 Colorado fourteeners in a single season. Davenport, a champion extreme skier and ski-flick star, will start January 1 and keep going until he does all the descents or runs out of snow. Naturally, a film is planned. Lou Dawson, who runs Wild Snow, has posted a nice capsule history of recent attempts on the single-season push (scroll down to his November 28 entry). It's a monumental task: No one has come close to climbing all of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks in a single winter, let alone skiing them too. Davenport isn't trying to finish his descents by March 21—he can keep skiing into July—but it's going to take a lot of mountaineering ability and stamina, along with some great luck with the weather and conditions, to pull this off.

Dawson, of course, was the first—and, so far, only—person to ski from the summits of all the fourteeners. It took him 14 years to finish the project in 1991, and this year he was inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame for the feat. I profiled Lou in the December issue of 5280, focusing in part on his role as a mentor to younger skiers. Although Lou would be the first to say he couldn't teach Davenport a thing about skiing, Davenport has consulted with him this winter on the fourteener project. And, of course, Lou will be in the film.

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