The Mount Baker summit welcomed Chris Davenport and his team on May 19, 2012, as they completed a 14-day expedition to ski 15 volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest. Jess McMillan, Christy and Ted Mahon, and Ian Fohrman, alongside Davenport, traveled a total of 141.32 miles by skin, cramp-on, and ski through the Northwest’s scenic glaciers, summiting and skiing the wrinkled faces of more than a dozen towering peaks.
Rolling through Oregon and Washington upon the spinning tires of the Spyder Land Yacht, the team ticked off Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta, Mt. McLoughlin, Mt. Thielsen, Mt. Bachelor, the 3 Sisters, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Baker, in sequence, starting on May 5. Overall the trip covered 78,674 vertical feet, or 2.7 times the height of Mount Everest, with the longest day spent traversing the 3 Sisters, north to south, 10,062 vertical feet over 16.3 miles.
On average the group skied 9.4 miles a day, covering close to 5,245 vertical feet per day. These grueling distances at high elevation, coupled with only two full rest days make this another impressive feat on Davenport’s long list of accomplishments. Along with summiting and skiing all of Colorado’s 14ers, Davenport also climbed Mount Everest in the spring of 2011, and skied the Lhotse Face, a rarely attempted face below a 27,940-foot peak on the South Col Route of Everest.
“We all find ourselves fulfilled, but at the same time wondering what to do today? To me this is the true measure of the success of an adventure. We succeeded on many levels, yet are now as motivated as ever for more,” wrote Davenport on his blog following the successful ascent and descent of 10,781’ Mount Baker.
The expedition was not without a touch of good fortune however. Weather in the Pacific Northwest at this time of year can be uncertain. Wind and the PNW’s notorious rain are a constant threat to those seeking the high altitude snow found on the glaciers in Oregon and Washington, somehow though, Davenport and his team found nothing but clear skies during their 14-day stint on the road. “We all discussed how it could be that we were able to stand on 15 summits under perfect conditions in just 14 days. What have I done in my life to deserve this? Well, Mother Nature, your blessings don’t go without deep thanks and gratitude,” wrote Davenport.
For more information visit chrisdavenport.com/2012/the-ring-of-fire-tour