Big mountain skier and climber Chris Davenport is currently mounting an assault on Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world at just over 29,000 feet above sea level. Davenport is no stranger to climbing peaks and skiing first descents, having reached summits all over the world, including all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks within the course of one year.
Davenport and his crew are now in their third rotation on the mountain, fully acclimatized and waiting for ideal weather conditions to make their final push to the summit. Upon returning to Base Camp after their second rotation, Dav updated his blog with an account of the adventure to that point, including a rare ski descent from just above Camp III.
“This ski descent has only been accomplished a handful of times before, and the conditions that the mountain gave us were truly incredible,” writes Chris. “If I were to rank it in my lifetime resume of ski descents, it would definitely make the top three, joining perhaps the Messner Couloir on Denali and the East Face of the Matterhorn near the top of the list.”
Davenport is acting as a guide, assisting Mountain Trip on their 2011 Mount Everest Expedition, but of course he brought his skis “just in case,” as he says. He and Neal Beidleman weren’t going to pass up the one-of-a-kind opportunity to make the descent on Everest.
“The sense of scale is pretty hard to comprehend,” he continues. “You really feel like a fly-on-the-wall out here [Davenport and Beidleman can be seen in the lower right quarter of the photo above]. I found the skiing to be really enjoyable. The problem is that after twenty turns or so you are about to pass out from oxygen deprivation.”
“We skied the face in stages, stopping to catch our breath, regroup, and admire our surroundings. At every one of these stops we would look at each other with these 'holy shit' grins, half scared and half in disbelief about where we were.”
Dav anticipates a summit push somewhere between May 17 and 25, so keep an eye on his blog to see how it goes and to check out more breathtaking photos.
Check out another of Davenport's adventures, this time in Antarctica: