Chris Davenport reveals his ‘hat’ collection
The Aspen Times
Aspen’s Chris Davenport could be anything for Halloween.
The iconic skier, climber and ski mountaineer could don any number of costumes for today’s national holiday in Aspen.
He could wear virtually any hat. After all, the man is a mountaineer who has climbed and skied all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks (in one year).
He’s an accomplished climber who’s reached the summit of Mount Everest.
He is a big-time, big-mountain skier who has created longevity in a profession known for tragically short careers.
For 20 years, Chris Davenport has survived, flourished and acquired all kinds of hats — extreme skier, engineer, product designer, guide, husband, father.
Last week, Davenport wore a new hat, a new costume — juror.
The longtime Aspen resident, like all longtime Aspen residents, was summoned to jury duty in Pitkin County.
“It was fascinating,” Davenport said of his experience in the judicial system. “It was an interesting experience, for sure.”
Davenport, who just launched a new online video project with longtime sponsor Red Bull, said he had been called to jury duty several times in Aspen. But last week was the first time he was selected. He served in a multi-day felony trial.
“I would encourage anyone who hasn’t had jury duty to embrace it,” he said. “I learned a lot.”
Davenport’s role as a juror in his hometown fits right into the theme of his latest video project with Red Bull.
“This video series is a documentary about life. Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved skiing so much,” Davenport said. “I wanted to be involved in every aspect of it.”
The eight-part video series on the Red Bull website takes a look at the ski life of Chris Davenport — behind the scenes.
“When Red Bull approached me about the project, I thought it would be so cool to tell about all the different hats I wear in skiing,” Davenport said in an interview with The Aspen Times. “We were able to step back and tell more of my story. It’s personal, and it gave me a chance to share who I really am.”
The series is called “The Faces of Dav.”
“There’s also the metaphorical … reference to the faces of mountains,” Davenport said, adding that his success in the ski industry is based on his diversity.
“Much of my success as a skier, a businessman, has been that diversity,” Davenport said. “There’s plenty of skiers out there. I’m not the best skier in the world, but I’m pretty darn good with the business side,” said Davenport, who won his first World Extreme Skiing title in 1996 in Alaska. “Put those together … that’s the secret to longevity.”
On the way home to Aspen after winning in Alaska in 1996, Davenport started to develop a skiing business plan with the springboard of his world title.
A year later, Red Bull kicked off its inaugural North American sales by signing former University of Colorado ski racer Chris Davenport as its first North American-sponsored athlete.
“There’s no question the relationship with Red Bull has allowed me to blossom in my career,” Davenport said. “They’ve been there to finance these projects I’ve come up with.”
He mentioned the Colorado 14ers project, among others.
Now, Red Bull is taking a look behind the skiing climber.
Filming for “The Faces of Dav” started last winter. It included scenes in Aspen, Norway and British Columbia, Canada.
Episodes include the Engineer, The Minimalist, The Father, The Mountaineer, The Explorer, The Adventurer, The Guide and The Legend.
The show airs every two weeks through January on RedBull TV, Redbull.com and the Red Bull YouTube channel.
“Nothing will put your life in perspective like having children,” said Davenport, the father of three sons — ages 13,11 and 6. “My greatest trick is being able to pull off a career and raise a successful family. In our world, they are usually mutually exclusive.”
Part of the family life, of course, is Halloween in Aspen.
For the record, Chris Davenport is not dressing as an internationally known skier.
“This year, I’m going to go as a 1970s hippie-rocker,” Davenport said. “I’ve got a pair of tight bell-bottom jeans, a too-small T-shirt with a mogul skier and a hippie wig.”
Ella Johnson gave thought to the risk when she decided to close out her senior year at Glenwood Springs High School playing soccer and make a bid for another shot at the Class 4A state track meet podium finish.
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