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Catch Him If You Can


chris-davenport_1Chris Davenport in California’s Sierra. Photo by Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content PoolDown days don’t come around often for Chris Davenport. If the ski mountaineer isn’t on the steeps—at home in Colorado, around North America, or in Europe, South America, and Antarctica—then he’s writing and researching books, giving interviews, and making appearances for films and sponsors. Even in October, the brief shoulder season between winter in the Southern and Northern hemispheres, Davenport’s schedule spans multiple continents. Mountain caught up with him at home in Aspen last week while he was driving skis to the local shop to get mounted.


Have you been skiing yet this season?
I have not gotten any turns in Colorado yet this year. I skied all of August in South America, so in September and October I like to ride my bike and run. But I’m going to Austria on Sunday for a week to ski, so I’ll have a lot of on-snow time this next week.


What will you be working on in Austria with Kästle?
We’ve got a couple new collections. One that’s coming out is an ultra lightweight, but fat, ski mountaineering kind of ski. I’m looking forward to testing that. Right after I’m in Austria, I’m going to Antarctica on a trip guiding for a couple weeks, so I’m going to bring some of those prototype skis down there and try them out. Another line that we have coming up, that I’m not necessarily involved in, is a twin-tipped freestyle collection from Kastle, which is the first of its kind that we’ve done.


In the Early Winter issue of Mountain, we featured the Kästle BMX108 in the ski buyer’s guide. What’s your take?
For the Western United States, it’s such a fun ski because it’s light and very user-friendly with an early-rise tip so you get really nice flotation. It’s not so fat that it makes it difficult in crud or in firmer conditions, like spring corn. Advanced expert skiers can take advantage of that ski in a whole variety of conditions, which is really cool.


The Warren Miller film, “…Like There’s No Tomorrow” premieres in Salt Lake City Friday. What’s happening in your segments?
The Tuckerman Ravine segment was amazing, and the other segment that I filmed with them was in Portillo, Chile. Tuckerman was amazing because that’s where I grew up. It’s kind of my old stomping grounds, and that’s really where I first sampled steep skiing and ski mountaineering as a kid. And Warren Miller, in 63 years of movies, they’d never shot in Tuckerman Ravine. It was exciting for me to be the person that organized that and brought Warren Miller to this place that’s just full of history and classic characters.


You’ve written Ski the 14ers and Fifity Classic Ski Descents of North America. Are you working on any books this season?
I don’t have another book project in the working phase, although I’ve got a couple ideas in the planning phase for a book, just doing some research and potentially starting next year on a new one.


You’re got a pretty crazy schedule. How do you stay fired up about skiing with all your different commitments?
You definitely have to have the passion for it, because there are times when it feels like work. I was just in New York City for two days, flew back last night, I’ve got this one day here at home, and tomorrow I go to Salt Lake City. And it’s like that from now until May. The way that I look at it is, I feel blessed and honored to be able to do what I do, and I don’t take it for granted. I feel like if I don’t work as hard as I possibly can and keep the gas pedal down, so to speak, then that dream can go away—and it really is living the dream. I feel super lucky to be able to make a living and support a family being a skier, which is a rare and awesome opportunity.  —Olivia Dwyer


Keep up with Davenport’s adventures at his website, steepskiing.com. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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