Friday, November 06, 2009

From The Verdepr Blog: One Of The Longest Ski Descents

One of the coolest and craziest stories can be found on Imagine going to one of the most remote mountain ranges on the planet, with unpredictable weather condition, a gnarly snow snowpack, a brutal hike to the top and then skiing down? Well, for us outdoor people that might sound fun, but keep reading for how much fun...
“Soaring from the Alaskan coastline to an impressive 18,008 feet (5,488 meters), Mount St. Elias’ massive vertical dwarfs even Mount Everest, which is only 11,428 feet (3,483 meters) from summit to base camp. Due to its remote location and notoriously heinous weather, it rarely makes media headlines. Its imposing mass is mostly obscured by clouds that roll in from the Pacific Ocean and rarely attempted. Just making the summit is a true test of endurance. Attempting to descend on skis, some would say, is utter madness.” [Red Bull]

"YOU CRASH, YOU'RE DEAD!!!", now talk about consequences, but that's directly from one of the skiers trying to attempt the 65-degree pitch descent. If that's not enough to make you think twice, then the metrics might...

Skiing the entire mountain face of St. Elias means continues 18,008-foot (5,488 meters) vertical slope. As a comparison for us Europeans the highest peak in Europe is Mont Blanc (4,811 meters), but skiing from the top of Mont Blanc down to Chamonix valley makes only 3761 meters because the altitude of Chamonix vallee is 1050 meters. So skiing mount St. Elias means a longer descent than from the the top of Mont Blanc down to sea

Alex Naglich, architect and adventurer, has to look at all this steepness and danger and confidently brush the concern aside. For him it can't be about the risks, but the rewards!

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