Practice in the Spring

Tip from Chris Davenport

Chris Davenport climbing     Photo: Chris Davenport

Skiing is a sport of experiences; the more you have the smarter you will be when it comes to making good decisions. And ski mountaineering is all about decision-making. Whether it's assessing the snowpack, understanding the impacts of the weather, group dynamics, or route selections, there are always choices to be made, and many of them may save your life. So if you are looking to get more into the mountaineering side of the sport, you'll need experience. Get out there when the snowpack is safe, during the spring corn cycle, and choose straightforward objectives. If you can hook up with more experienced partners, attempt to learn all you can from them by asking questions and observing. Be a sponge and soak up information every day you are on the hill. Experience develops intuition, and intuition leads you to good, safe skiing.

Chris Davenport, of Aspen, Colorado, is widely regarded as one of the most successful and progressive big-mountain skiers of his generation. A two-time World Champion skier, Chris is the author of two books, a ski-film star and producer, a guide, a ski camp owner, a sports announcer, and an acclaimed speaker.  In the spring of 2011, Chris successfully guided a climb of Mt. Everest and made a rare ski descent of the Lhotse Face of Everest along the way.

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