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What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby RobertPetrowsky » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:38 pm

I suppose skiing in bounds is a bit different. I have had to turn around close to the summit of peaks from weather. Did I climb them? People get their panties all in a bunch about what it means to ski a peak. It is pretty clear what it means to climb one. Why mince words?

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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:56 pm

Maybe you should have to carry your skis to the actual summit, even if you don't ski from that point.
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby lodgling » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:41 am

Interesting to read that old thread and see how my own views have changed as I've gotten further on in the project. My advice to anyone with even remote aspirations of making a later claim -- familiarize yourself with the standards established by those on the completion list now or you will probably find yourself repeating descents later.

Also something that's not been mentioned is the seemingly well-accepted practice of creatively skiing different aspects of the same peak without losing elevation in order to piece together a longer "continuous" descent in less than perfect snow conditions.

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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby ulvetano » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:07 am

leadvilleclimber wrote:As far as the downclimbing the crux section and counting it goes I would have to say it isn't skiing it. Some people like the one earlier who said taking one turn on a peak was skiing it need to admit they are not capable of skiing the 14ers. I've skied a few and on a bunch more and know that I'm not up to dropping off the top of Capitol. I wouldn't dream of saying I skied it if I climbed it then skied the apron under the secret chute.

I also believe in the rules that if it can be skied off the top by a better skier, but you don't do it, then you haven't skied it. The Crestones are a good example: if you aren't capable of skiing from the top take time to get better and go ski it again.


100% agree. And if skiable terrain is lacking snow, then you've gotta come on back again and get it done. And if the crux is sketchy due to avi conditions and you have to down climb a ridge to get to safer skiable terrain, you've gotta come back and get it again.

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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:27 am

Aside from what constitutes a "ski," there's also the issue of what is the "list." Generally, the combination of 1) the 300-foot rule and 2) named peaks has defined our list. Challenger Point has not yet been proven to be off that list, so, to avoid having an asterisk next to your name on the "Skied the CO 14ers" list, I'd recommend skiing Challenger. Some of the finishers have not skied Challenger (including Davenport, I think) and this could be an issue down the road if the finisher list is debated.

While Challenger is mostly accepted as an official 14er these days, there may also be future list changes (like a 13er reclassified as a 14er) which could muddy the waters. I guess my point is that 14er skiers/finishers are setting the criteria and the list may change slightly over the years so the list should be based on what is the most widely accepted, official peak list at the time.

I hope I conveyed that thought properly. :?
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby Bean » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:34 am

BillMiddlebrook wrote:Some of the finishers have not skied Challenger (including Davenport, I think)

Careful, talk like that might get you called out as a "hater" on twitter.
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby bonehead » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:47 am

From another thread: A 14er?????
Sunlight Spire?
Love to see the video drop off of that.
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:33 pm

Bean wrote:
BillMiddlebrook wrote:Some of the finishers have not skied Challenger (including Davenport, I think)

Careful, talk like that might get you called out as a "hater" on twitter.

lol. Not a hater and have complete respect for those who have skied all the 14ers, especially since I hope to finish them all once my kids get a bit older. Well, minus "Sunlight Spire," unless 100' of snow piles up next to it.

Who was the hater called out on Twitter? Bean, tell me it wasn't you...
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby djkest » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:03 pm

ulvetano wrote:100% agree. And if skiable terrain is lacking snow, then you've gotta come on back again and get it done. And if the crux is sketchy due to avi conditions and you have to down climb a ridge to get to safer skiable terrain, you've gotta come back and get it again.


The 14er skier people are super hardcore! I never realized that you had to follow so many rules for it to count. That makes it all the more of an achievement.
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby Bean » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:04 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:lol. Not a hater and have complete respect for those who have skied all the 14ers, especially since I hope to finish them all once my kids get a bit older. Well, minus "Sunlight Spire," unless 100' of snow piles up next to it.

Who was the hater called out on Twitter? Bean, tell me it wasn't you...


Wasn't me. A certain ski mountaineer raged on twitter about getting "hate" from a "hater" at TAY a couple weeks ago. I tracked down the posts by the supposed "hater," which read like pretty light criticisms. Told said ski mountaineer that he seemed to be overreacting, and the post on twitter about the "hater" had mysteriously vanished by the next morning.

I've got to admit, the thin-skinned ski mountaineer's reaction made me suddenly think quite a bit less of him.
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby Gueza » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:26 pm

ulvetano wrote:100% agree. And if skiable terrain is lacking snow, then you've gotta come on back again and get it done.


Some peaks rarely get enough snow to ski from the summit. Take for example Wetterhorn's class 3 pitch, it can be skied if it gets the coverage, but it rarely does, even on a great snow year. Correct me if i'm wrong, I believe the only person to ski from the summit of Wetterhorn continuously down that class 3 pitch is Jordan White and he still took his skis off to get over the prow.

http://www.elksandbeyond.com/14er-ski-descents/wetterhorn/

Therefore Jordan is the only person to have skied it? I would have to disagree.

Its tough to find the right conditions for skiing that 100ft of steep rock that consistently gets hammered with wind all season. If one should find the conditions to ski it continuously, it should be looked at as a plus factor for that particular day rather than it being a set standard for that particular peak.
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Re: What does it mean to "ski a 14er"?

Postby pioletski » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:01 pm

As expected, this is becoming an interesting (if perhaps repetitive) discussion. Thanks to all for keeping it civil, and lighthearted.

Gueza: Jordan is the only person I know of who has skied the class 3 chute at the top; he was there on the one day in a million. This is why Dawson's criteria specify doing what's skiable in a "normal" year. Most of us that claim summit descents on Wetterhorn, myself included, carried our skis to the summit (yes, Jim Davies), made 3 or 4 turns on the cap of snow at the top, then carried them back down to the Prow and skied from there. Yes, it's a little silly. You could argue that the entire concept of skiing the 14ers, or climbing them for that matter, is silly. (Lionel Terray: "We are conquistadors of the useless.")

Bonehead: Yes, Sunlight Spire would be spectacular. I don't know of anyone who has included it on their list, I think it fails the 300' criterion relative to its big brother Sunlight Peak. Sunlight, incidentally, is one of the ones that never offers a perfect summit ski.

Bill: good point about The List. I think you're right about Challenger but I'm not sure what folks have used instead to round out their lists (Conundrum perhaps, which I think lacks the full 300' prominence relative to Castle). North Maroon, strictly speaking, fails the 300' rule but nobody would say they had completed the tour without having done it. My personal list is 60 peaks, including North Eolus, South Elbert, North Massive, and others for the simple reason that they have interesting ski lines on them and happen to be above 14,000 feet, even if some wonk at a desk doesn't count them. BTW, Pluto is still a planet in my book.

About numerical criteria in general: I know of a few people who say that you need to ski at least 1000' vertical to "make it count," and the example of Belford/Oxford was a good one. In the earlier thread that gb referred to I made a vague statement about skiing until you either run out of snow or gravity, and I still stick by that. You know when you have skied the mountain, just as you know on the way up when you have finished the "approach" and are now doing the actual "climb." BTW, in case anyone hadn't noticed, none of the ski mountaineers I know respects the 3000 foot rule that some hikers make into such a big deal. All of them would agree with ulvetano and leadvilleclimber, though, that if you are prevented from skiing the "crux" of a peak by weather, snow conditions or inadequate ability where others have skied it before, then you haven't skied it. Whether you "have" to go back and do it again depends what your goals are.

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