On the Hill: Jason Ivanic skis them all | AspenTimes.com
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On the Hill: Jason Ivanic skis them all

Jason Blevins
The Denver Post

SNOWMASS ” Unworthy? Neglected? Overlooked? Ignored?

Jason Ivanic doesn’t care. He is hardly bothered by his leper status among elite skiers of Colorado’s fourteeners.

From February to July 2004, the Colorado Mines graduate skied 65 of the state’s highest peaks, a momentous and unrivaled feat. He skied the privately owned fourteener Culebra Peak a few days shy of the one-year anniversary of his project. It was a personal quest to ski from the top of all of Colorado’s fourteeners in a single year. In his mind, he succeeded.

But, according to strict climbing and ski mountaineering ethics, Ivanic’s adventure is nothing for the record books. The 300 feet of snowless rock he down-climbed from the summit of Pyramid Peak negates his entire effort, as does his admission that a handful of summits were snowless and that he walked several steps down before skiing.

“I didn’t care about exact summits. I skied all them off the summit or near the summit, it was usually within 20 to 30 feet when there wasn’t snow directly on top. I skied everything from the first and highest place I could find snow. I’m really fine being left off the trophy shelf,” says Ivanic, 27.

“I just like skiing. I like being out there. I don’t know if I was careless or lucky or both. Everything just clicked. I’m not the best skier, and I’m not the best mountaineer. I’ll just wake up at 4 a.m. and climb all day and then I’ll do it again the next morning.”

If you pursue the glory and recognition, it is a strict game in the world of climbing and ski mountaineering. Many climbers have pioneered bold new routes up monster peaks, only to turn back a few short steps from the summit. Those are called unsuccessful attempts. A climber who reaches a summit and dies on the descent is credited with a successful summit.

It’s all about reaching the top in the realm of alpine climbing. But in ski mountaineering, which lacks the historical precedent of climbing and has no governing body, it’s more about the line and where the descent began.

For Aspen’s mountain-man Chris Davenport, he is following the strictest of guidelines in his push to claim ski descents from all 54 Colorado fourteeners.

“Every peak from the exact summit. Nothing else counts,” says Davenport, who is more than halfway through his race to ski all of Colorado’s fourteeners in a single snow season. “It’s an ethical thing and … I’m making sure no one can ever question my ethics or accomplishment.”


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