Alpine Skiing

  • Avalanche Deaths

    Spring. Colorado realizes it's had its first winter free of avalanche deaths since the winter of 1968-69. The winter snowpack in the state was the most solid in decades, and skiers all over the state nailed amazing lines in midwinter.
  • backcountry skiing

    January, Colorado. Lawsuit against A-Basin ski area dismissed, a victory against those who would profit by blaming deep pockets for people's mistakes, and a plus for backcountry skiing because ski areas can open their borders with less fear of litigation.
  • AAC Press

    Louis Dawson published by AAC Press. First book to cover the history of North American ski and snowboard mountaineering, as well as covering 54 classic ski mountaineering routes on the continent. This chronology originated from the outline for Wild Snow.
  • Mount Rainier

    July, Mount Rainier, Washington state, Mowich Face. First descent by Armond Debuque, Doug Ingersoll, Andrew McLean, Carl Skoog. One of Mount Rainier's most continous and logical extreme descents.
  • Gendarme Face

    Pyramid Peak, Colorado, first descent of east face climbers left, known as "Gendarme Face," huge continuous snow face leading to small saddle a few hundred feet south of exact summit. Frank Konsella and Jay Prentiss, April 28. They name their ski descent "Frank's Angst." (Source: Dawson personal correspondence from Konsella.)
  • Gervasutti Couloir

    Mont Blanc du Tacul, Gervasutti Couloir, Tardivel entrance, France, May 8, 2002. Well known American ski mountaineer Hans Saari falls down couloir and is killed. Reports say he entered couloir from top, rather than climbing it first, thus encountering unknown ice conditions. He lost edge control on the ice and fell. (Sources: web and print media.)
  • ski descent

    Mount Everest, first complete ski descent, Davo Karnicar, October 7. Karnicar designs special 168cm skis for the descent so he can keep his skis on for the narrow sections of the route. In ski alpinism, it is considered the supreme accomplishment in a ski descent if you can start at the exact summit, keep your skis on for the whole route, and not descend by rappell (sliding down a rope). Karnicar accomplished this on Everest, thus eclipsing earlier efforts when individuals made noble, but incomp
  • Mount St. Elias

    Mount St. Elias, Alaska, first ski descent of peak by James Bracken, Lorne Glick, Andy Ward. Mira Face route, May. This is a milestone event in modern ski mountaineering history, as St. Elias is a huge mountain but nonetheless has plentiful skiing -- provided the weather cooperates, which it rarely does. More, the group's descent totaled 11,000 vertical feet of skiing! Rated VII D-19 R5. In 2002, Reid Sanders and Aaron Martin slid to their deaths off the icy summit of St. Elias while trying to d
  • Gervasutti Couloir

    Mont Blanc du Tacul, Gervasutti Couloir, Tardivel entrance, France, May 8, 2002. Well known American ski mountaineer Hans Saari falls down couloir and is killed. Reports say he entered couloir from top, rather than climbing it first, thus encountering unknown ice conditions. He lost edge control on the ice and fell. (Sources: web and print media.)