– Professional skier and alpinist, Chris Davenport of Aspen, Colo., completed his quest to ski four of the highest and most famous peaks in the Alps: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the Eiger. Davenport, who famously skied all 54 of Colorado's 14 thousand foot peaks last year, completed his European quest in just 10 days from May 5 to May 14.
"These are some of the most famous mountains in the world. It's where modern mountaineering was born over 200 years ago," stated Davenport. "It was an honor, a challenge and a thrill to ski from the summit of these peaks and I think this project will help progress high performance skiing in the biggest mountains."
"Chris is really pushing new boundaries in the sport by combining technical climbing with aggressive skiing on steep faces, something that we like to call freeski mountaineering," states Kästle Ltd. president, Siegfried Rumpfhuber. "We believe that this is a growing category in the ski world and Chris continues to be a major influence on Kästle's ski technology."
Davenport is a downhill skier by training and unlike traditional ski mountaineers, he eschews super lightweight ski gear in favor of high performance skis and boots that allow him to ski the most demanding lines with speed and finesse.
"There's no way I could have skied these routes without specific gear and a terrific support team," explains Davenport. "I rely on Kästle MX88 skis, which have enough power and stability to handle the steepest terrain and Garmont Radium boots, which are light enough to climb in without sacrificing control or speed."
Davenport was joined on his climbs and ski descents by fellow pro skier Stian Hagen, photographers Christian Pondella, while pro photographer Peter Mathis and a film crew from Matchstick Productions documented the descents from a variety of dramatic angles for their upcoming film, CLAIM.
Four Classics in the Alps
Eiger 13,025 feet
Located in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland, first summitted in 1858 by Christian Almer, Charles Barrington and Peter Bohren. Davenport skied the west face from the summit on May 6, 2008.
Monte Rosa 15,203 feet
Extended mountain massif in the Valais Alps, between the Swiss and Italian border. The Dufourspitze is the highest peak of the Monte Rosa massif and is also the highest peak in Switzerland. Davenport skied the Marinelli Couloir, the longest couloir of the Alps at 7000 vertical feet, on May 14, 2008.
Mont Blanc 15,781 feet
The highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe, it forms the border between France and Italy. First ascent in 1786 by Horace Bénédict de Saussure, Jacques Balmat and Micheal Paccard. Davenport skied the north face to the northeast face of the Dome du Gouter on May 10, 2008.
Matterhorn 14,692 feet
Towering over the Swiss village of Zermatt, the Matterhorn is perhaps the most recognizable peak in the World, straddling the border between Italy and Switzerland. First ascent in 1865 by a party including Edward Whymper, Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow, Michel Croz, Peter Taugwalders Sr. and Peter Taugwalders Jr. Davenport skied the east face, from 500 feet below the summit on May 4, 2008.
About Chris Davenport
Davenport, 36, of Aspen, Colorado, is considered one of the world's most accomplished big mountain skiers. A former alpine racer, Davenport has won numerous freeskiing competitions including the 1996 and 2001 World Extreme Skiing Championships in Alaska. Davenport is a regular contributor to several ski publications and has been featured in over 20 ski films. Davenport is also a TV reporter and color commentator for ESPN, ABC Sports, and the Resort Sports Network (RSN).
Davenport joins a dynamic, international team of skiers on the Kästle Pro Team, which includes Hugo Harrisson (CAN), Martin "McFly" Winkler (AUT), Sascha Schmid (SWI), Giulia Monego (ITA), Baptiste Blanc (FRA) and Jennifer Farde (SWE).