SKIING’s interview with Chris Davenport, one of North America’s top 25 skiers.
Name: Chris Davenport
Age when you started skiing: Four
Hometown/where you learned to ski: Mt. Cranmore, NH and I grew up in Ipswich, MA.
When did it hit you that you could be a pro/competitive skier? “In 1995, in Las Leñas, Argentina — I finished fifth overall, and I realized that I could win, which is the key to success as a pro.”
Current ski mountain: Aspen/Snowmass
Claim to fame/results: Won 1996 World Extreme Skiing Championship; 24 Hours of Aspen winner in ’98; won last year’s Red Bull Snow Thrill of Alaska (the IFSA World Freeskiing Championships); this summer, won extreme day at the Rip Curl Heli Challenge. Is an Aspen ski ambassador.
Signature trick or event: “Big-mountain freeskiing on the biggest, steepest, gnarliest mountains in the world. That’s where I am comfortable.”
Have any pets? “Taz — a Border collie that’s part human.”
What’s your favorite food? Sushi
What’s your beverage of choice? Red Bull
What’s your favorite band? Widespread Panic
Are you religious? “Yes, my religion is the mountains. I’m a devoted mountain person; there’s spirituality in it, I tell you what. It’s as spiritual as any cathedral I’ve been in.”
What kind of car do you drive? An Audi A6 wagon
Last book you read: “Glamoramaby Bret Easton Ellis. It was freaky.”
Do you have a ski hero? Who? Why? “Fritz Stammberger, who was lost in the Himalayas. He did some big first descents around Aspen in the 70s. He’s really hardcore.”
Pastimes off the hill: “Rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, road and mountain biking, and I’m about to be a dad in June.”
Plans for the future: “I have a family on the way and I’m looking forward to working professionally within the winter sports industry. It’s a different capacity than competing and making movies.”
What are your thoughts on the state of the ski industry? “I really want to see the ski industry do some soul searching. There should be more activities at ski resorts, more summer stuff. Manufacturers are on the right track as far as innovation. Not enough people are finding out about it, though.”
Do you think fat skis are a game-improvement tool or a crutch? “Fat skis… is that a rhetorical question? They’re the wave of the future. They’re better for everything except moguls. I’m a big advocate.”
What’s the biggest scare you’ve ever had on skis? “Jumping off a big cliff, landing in deep powder, plugging in deep snow, and having to be dug out by a friend. I couldn’t breathe.”
Any words of wisdom for our readers? “Turn your skiing into a mountain adventure. Explore the whole mountain, go anywhere, and don’t be afraid to get away from what you’ve been doing.”