Chris Davenport completes quest to ski 100 tallest peaks in Colorado

Chris Davenport, a 44-year-old internationally acclaimed ski mountaineer, put a feather in his alpine cap this week, completing his mission to ski the 100 tallest peaks in Colorado by topping and descending Jagged Peak, in the southern part of the state, with partners Ted and Christy Mahon on May 28. According to the Denver Post, their successful summit and descent of the final peak makes the trio the first people known to complete the Centennial.

“We did it. Skied #100—Jagged Peak—gorgeous day,” tweeted Davenport Thursday.

Davenport was joined by ski mountaineers Ted and Christy Mahon, who have been with Davenport every step of the way. After skiing all of Colorado’s 54 14,000-foot peaks separately, the trio decided to band together to ski a new milestone, 100 of the state’s highest peaks, referred to as the Colorado Centennial, starting in May 2013.

Many of these peaks require perfect conditions, timing and weather to be completed safely, and thus the project has taken years instead of months. Jagged, for instance, was skipped last year after weather rendered a safe ascent and descent impossible.

This season shaped up differently, as Davenport led the historic charge into the Weminuche Wilderness, a remote wilderness area accessible only via train and foot travel, and up 13,380-foot Jagged Peak. According to a POWDER digital feature documenting the struggles last year, the Jagged climb required navigating exposed cliffs and knife-edge ridges (think walking a balance beam in ski boots), and needed absolutely perfect weather to be attempted.

Davenport finishes historic quest.
Chris Davenport has skied peaks on every continent, but this may be his biggest accomplishment yet. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

The group was unavailable for comment as of Thursday afternoon, but Davenport confirmed on his Facebook page that they had made it back to their camp along the Animus River and were awaiting the train ride back to back to Silverton, Colorado — history in tow.

After being inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in April, the Aspen native further stamped his legacy by completing one of the greatest feats of endurance, planning and execution in ski mountaineering history — and doing so in a little less than three years.

EDIT 5/29/15: The Denver Post has asserted that the three mountaineers are the “first known people to climb and ski Colorado’s 100 highest peaks.” This story has been edited to include this information.

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