Chris Davenport, the ski mountaineer who became the first person to ski all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in a year, was elected into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame on April 11. The New Hampshire native has also climbed Mount Everest and skied the Lhotse Face.
Davenport credits Lou Dawson’s two-volume guide to Colorado’s fourteeners for inspiring his 2007 quest to ski them all in a year. According to the Denver Post, Davenport found the book during his freshman year at the University of Colorado.
“I loved that book,” Davenport told the Post. “Not only was it a guide to the fourteeners, it included skiing for all the peaks. It was something I’d never seen before, a guide to ski mountaineering. That book became my bible.”
Davenport grew up in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley and was skiing in Tuckerman’s Ravine before he hit his teens. The late Shane McConkey put Davenport on the track to ski mountaineering stardom when he called Davenport in 1993 and suggested he join him at the U.S. Extreme Championships in Crested Butte. From there, Davenport went on to ski Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, win two world extreme skiing championships, and earn a Winter X Games medal, in addition to his Everest summit and fourteener project.
At age 44, Davenport says he still has plenty of gas in the tank. “I feel like I have so much more to do skiing and so much more to give,” Davenport told the Post. “I’m young. I want to be Klaus Obermeyer. I want to be 95 and skiing Buttermilk every day.”