Skiers complete Colorado epic

2nd June 2015, by Abi Butcher

Christy and Ted Mahon, Chris Davenport and Dave Gaston atop Jagged Mountain. Pic: Centennial Skiers

Christy and Ted Mahon, Chris Davenport and Dave Gaston atop Jagged Mountain. Pic: Centennial Skiers

Three skiers have secured their place in history by climbing and skiing Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, a project that has taken five years.

Pro skier Chris Davenport together with husband-and-wife team Christy and Ted Mahon, finished their “Centennial Peaks ” project at lunchtime on Wednesday, 27 May, after successfully summiting and skiing Jagged Mountain in the San Juan Mountains with their friend Pete Gaston. The team said Jagged (13,824ft) was one of the most technical peaks they had tackled, which involved a four-day trip in the Weminuche Wilderness of camping, skiing, rappelling and hiking.

“It was a fitting final summit, a microcosm to the whole incredible larger objective,” wrote Davenport in a blog posted on the project’s website at the weekend.

“Our goal to climb and ski the 100 tallest mountains in Colorado was almost monumental in scale, and our experience through it all can not be summed up in a single blog post. It would be a disservice to even try. The three of us invested so much time, effort, energy, and focus, it will likely be a while before we’ve processed it all.”

The project began on a whim, Davenport told Where to Ski and Snowboard earlier this year. All three Aspen-based skiers had separately skied the “14ers” — 53 Colorado peaks higher than 14,000ft — starting with Davenport in 2007 then Ted Mahon in 2008. Christy Mahon became the first woman to do so in 2010. 

Together, they decided to ski the highest 13ers as well — 47 of Colorado’s highest peaks above 13,000 feet.

Last month, three peaks before finishing the project, Christy Mahon told Where to Ski and Snowboard how frustrating finishing the project has been.

‘Spring is the best time for us in Colorado, it’s when you get spring snow that sticks to the mountains, in the winter the wind blows it off and it’s lighter so it doesn’t stick to the top of the peaks, so the avalanche danger is higher,” she said.

“For big objectives, April and May are the better months, for summiting peaks – 14ers and 13ers. It’s sometimes hard – you want to go out in January but you can’t.”

Davenport added on his blog: “Jagged Mountain, 13,824 feet, is considered to be the most remote, rugged, and challenging summit of the Centennials. A nine-mile approach on a steep, unmaintained trail along Noname Creek is required, and it takes more than a day to complete. Add isothermic snow, mud, and a seemingly impossible number of downed trees to navigate with massive backpacks to the challenge of just getting to camp.”

To read more about their incredible feat, visit

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