The majestic East Face of Mount Cook on New Zealand's South Island

I discovered steep skiing when I was young. It was the era when Kris Erickson, Hans Saari, Andrew McLean, Alex Lowe, Doug Coombs and others were bringing a more twisted vision of what could be descended in the North American mountains. New gear and climbing backgrounds opened up first descents and creative new lines across the Rockies and beyond. The romanticism of this swept me up and grew into an obsession.

A ski mountaineer used to be judged by their tick list and the style in which they proceeded in the mountains, not by the amount of followers on social media. Through the years I’ve tried to become a disciple. I’ve chased after many of the “classics” and when possible added some first descents. I wanted to be like Hans Saari (resume).  I’m still floored with what he skied in the short time he was in the game. I was fortunate to meet him in Chamonix in 2001 and spend some time hanging out at the Gite Belvedere. Unfortunately, he didn’t survive a fall down the legendary Gervasutti Couloir later on that trip. His death impacted my life and my steep skiing trajectory greatly. I saw first-hand the real consequences of fucking up and that even the best aren’t invincible. From that I toned down my ambition, and discarded many bad ideas even though they could have made great additions to the list.  In fact, restraint, or lining up your desires with the right conditions is probably the hardest thing about steep skiing. I’ve hoped to make this a lifetime pursuit and been lucky enough to continue this far. I still love looking over chronological tick lists for motivation and inspiration and that has led me to compile some of my proudest and dumbest patches of snow that I’ve put edges on.

 

NOTABLE SKI DESCENTS

-2017-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

Mount Olympus, Hades (1st descent)

Odin (1st descent)

Mount Timpanogos North Peak, Bury The Hatchet (1st descent)

White Baldy, Northeast Face (1st descent)

Mount Timpanogos, East Ridge

Roberts Horn, East Face

Little Cottonwood Canyon, Triangle Couloir

Dromedary Peak, Firing Squad

La Sal Mountains, UT

Mount Tukuhnikivatz and North Tukuhnikivatz

Sierra Mountains, CA

Mount Williamson, Giant Steps

Red Slate, North Couloir (summit entry onto north face)

Bloody Mountain, Bloody Couloir

Ruby Mountains, NV

Terminal Cancer

Elk Mountains, CO

Maroon Bell, East Face/Bell Cord

Castle Peak, East Face

North Maroon Bell, North Face

San Juan Mountains, CO

Wilson Peak, Northeast Face

Mount Hood, OR

Newton Clark Headwall (solo)

Northeast Face (solo)

Mexico

Pico De Orizaba (3rd highest peak in North America)

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-2016-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

Big Cottonwood Ridge, Major Tom Couloir  (1st descent)

Storm Mountain, The Complex (1st descent)

Storm Mountain, Spindrift Couloir  (2nd descent, 1st ski descent)

Mount Nebo, Genesis Couoir (1st descent)

Broads Fork, Yonkers  (1st descent?)

Cascade Peak, Grrr Couloir

Upper Mill B, Diving Board

Mount Timpanogos, Grunge Couloir

Lone Peak, NE Couloir

Yellowstone National Park, MT

Explored and skied possible first descents into the The Grand Canyon

San Juan Mountains, CO

Completed first ski traverse of the Hardrock 100 (100 miles, 33K feet)

Teton Mountains, WY

Grand Teton, Ford Stettner Route

Central Alaska Range

Moose’s Tooth, West Ridge Route (2nd descent, 1st ski descent)

Mount Barille, Japanese Couloir (complete descent, no rappel)

Mount Crosson, East Ridge

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-2015-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

SLC Twin Peaks, “High Five”, (all 5 major lines off summit)

Mt Olympus to Wilson Pk  “Wildcat Traverse” (16K feet) 

Pfeifferhorn, North Ridge, 2:07 (winter FKT?)

Lone Peak/Chipman/Box Elder link up (12K feet)

Wasatch Powder Keg, (8th place overall finish)

Beartooth Mountains, MT

Glacier Peak, Catch a Fire

Glacier Peak, The Patriarch (3rd descent?)

Courthouse Peak, The Gavel (1st descent?)

Teton Mountains, WY

Middle Teton, Glacier Route

Middle Teton, Ellingwood Couloir

Middle Teton, Becky Couloir

Apocolypse Couloir

V-Notch Couloir

Sawtooth Mountains, ID

McGowan Peak, North Chute

Horseman Peak, Sickle Couloir

Devil’s Bedstead, North Face

Central Alaska Range

Mount Hunter’s, East Ridge (Attempted 1st descent)

Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Attempted Artesonraju and Shaqsha

New Zealand

Mount Cook, East Face

Mount Aspiring, Northwest Ridge

Mount Dixon, East Ridge

Mount Walter, Southeast Ridge

Mount Green, East Face

Mount Hamilton, North ridge

Mount Ellie DeBeaumont, Southeast Ridge

Mount Darwin, Southeast Face (1st descent)

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-2014-

Cascades

Mount Rainier, Success Couloir

Teton Mountains, WY

Mount Teewinot, South Couloir

Wrangell St Elias Mountains, AK

Slotterhouse Expedition, (several 1st descents)

Tushar Mountains, UT

Mount Blady North Chutes(2) and South Chute (solo)

Wasatch Mountains, UT

Central Wasatch Traverse, (35 miles 11K feet)

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-2013-

Cascades

Mount Rainier, Success Cleaver (solo)

Yellowstone National Park

West Yellowstone to Mammoth traverse, (40 miles, solo)

Wasatch Mountains, UT

Mill B, Rampage and Diving Board (solo)

Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Link-up (WURL)

Central Alaska Range

Ruth Gorge Expedition

Tordrillo Mountains

Skiing/Filming expedition for Powderwhore

Cascades

Holden Village, Copper Couloir (1st descent)

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-2012-

Missed season due to surgical repair of ACL/meniscus (skiing Deer Valley)

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-2011-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

LCC, Great White Icicle

Cardiff Fork, Lightning Bolt (solo)

Pfeifferhorn, Northeast Ridge (3rd descent)

Devil’s Castle, The Ribbon

Mount Timpanogos, North Peak East Face (1st descent)

Kessler Peak, “4X4” – (Every major line off peak) (14k feet)

Completed “The Chuting Gallery” (1st person after Andrew Mclean)

Lost River Range, ID

Bad Rock, North Ramp (1st descent?)

Mount Church, Northeast Face

Mount Donaldson, North Couloir

Svalbard, Norway

Sailing expedition, (several 1st descents)

Camping expedition, Pyramiden Peak (1st descent)

Antarctica

Mount Victoria, South Face (1st descent?)

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-2010-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

Pfeifferhorn, Plinko – (1st descent, not repeated)

Central Alaska Range

Revelation Mountains Expedition, (12,1st descents)

Haines, Alaska

Skiing/Filming expedition for Powderwhore

Ruby Mountains, NV

Terminal Cancer

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-2009-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

LCC, Monte Cristo Direct, (solo)

Alta to Lone Peak, Stupor Tour

Lone Peak Triple Overhang to NE Couloir (failed attempt)

Central Alaska Range

Mount Foraker, Archangel Ridge (failed attempt)

Haines, Alaska

Skiing/Filming expedition for Powderwhore

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-2008-

Uintah Mountains, UT

Kings Peak, Standard Route (11hrs) (solo)

Wasatch Mountains, UT

Thunder Ridge, Dresden Face (solo)

LCC, Lisa Falls

Mount Olympus, Medusa’s Face (solo)

Mount Olympus, Apollo Couloir (solo)

LCC, Triangle Couloir

Mount Olympus, Memorial Couloirs (5 in one day)

LCC, White Pearl (solo)

LCC, Y- Not

BCC, Powerhouse and Generator link up

LCC, Wolverine Cirque in one day (16 chutes) (solo)

Thompson Pass, Alaska

Skiing/Filming expedition for Powderwhore

Selkirk Mountains, Canada

Hut trip

Sawtooth Mountains, ID

Bench Lake hut trip

Patagonia, Argentina

Ushuia

El Chalten

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-2007-

Chugach Moutains, AK

Expedition, (several 1st descents)

Mount Shasta, CA-

West Face Gully (solo)

Mount Hood, OR-

Hogsback (solo)

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-2006-

Wasatch Mountains, UT

“Wasatch Supercoaster” First and only completion (14K feet)(solo)

Mount Timpanogos, Grunge Couloir

Central Alaska Range

Denali, Orient Express

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-2004-

Baffin Island, Canada

Expedition to Sam Ford Fjord (1st descents and several second descents)