December 25, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoMother Nature was hard on Chris Davenport last season. She made up for it this past week.Davenport, who has three weeks and five peaks remaining in his mission to climb and ski all 54 of the state’s fourteeners in one calendar year, crossed Mount Princeton and Humboldt Peak off the list on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both peaks were bare last year, forcing Davenport to bypass them and pray for snow early this season. There was little time to spare. Weather, the trip’s largest variable, finally cooperated. The Sangre de Cristos were covered in white after a recent storm buried much of Colorado.The snow on Princeton, according to reporter Joel Stonington, who tagged along on the excursion, was hardly comparable to skiing down Highland Bowl on a powder day. But the group – Davenport, Stonington and Nick Devore – made due. Then, they moved on.Saturday, Davenport and Devore set their sites on Humboldt. They were excited to see that the gentle south and east sides of the mountains were covered, Davenport wrote on the project’s website. The skiing was straightforward, save for a tricky band of boulders a few hundred feet from the summit. The snow, which looked firm, was forgiving under their skis, Davenport wrote. It was a welcome relief after negotiating Princeton’s hard crust and abundant rocks. Once they entered the trees, powder was abundant and much appreciated.The project’s end is in site. While Davenport wrote that he had hoped to finish before New Year’s, the reality is he may need those first few weeks of January. He’s hoping enough time will elapse for some precipitation to fall on the slopes of Mount Shavano, which is currently dry.Whether Mother Nature will abide in the coming days and weeks remains to be seen.