Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Ski-the-Teeners Standards

Items that do not fit the categories above.
User avatar
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:26 pm
Location: aspen

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby tmahon » Wed May 20, 2009 7:07 pm

All the answers given this far should be considered the right ones, for the simple reason that it's personal.

Standards are important in all sports but the plain fact is that as more people get into the ski 14er checklist there's going to be some differences in how it gets done. People won't be skiing the same line on every peak, with the same coverage from top to bottom so the rules as to "what counts" will vary from person to person. If they want to use a snowmobile, walk a short stretch of rocks, ski a short distance, consider the Snake official or declare the list to have 59 peaks, you might disagree but that will just have to rest with you as a difference in style.

Starting with Sean Crossen and continuing through to the present, most everyone putting in a real effort to ski the peaks has put up TR's somewhere for the public to see. IMO that's great, particularly when everyone has a high standard. As a result it's been made clear by everyone what the general rules are, or at least what those involved think they should be. Down the road you can bet there will be some ski 14er finishers who won't feel the need to do the same and when they announce they finished, we'll all have to say congrats and trust it was done right. When you finish climbing (and not skiing)the peaks, you get a hardy congratulations from your friends and that's the end of it. No one needs or asks for proof, and ten years from now I imagine that's what finishing skiing the peaks will be like. Whatever style was implemented will have to be good enough.

I know quite a few people who are in the beginning of trying to ski them all and have a much looser standard than what I have, and they don't care, nor should they too much because that's their style and their standard.
And besides,what can you do about it anyway?

User avatar
Posts: 754
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:17 pm
Location: crested butte

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby gb » Wed May 20, 2009 7:34 pm

First off, Lou did it first, and he got to set the "rules", such as they are. He went from the top, sometimes going back over and over again to do so. So that's the standard. His list is on his site for all to see-- he started just below the summits of Mt Wilson and El Diente, at the register below the summit boulder on Sunlight, and below the summit ramp on Wetterhorn. You want to put your name next to his, that's the minimum you can do. Davenport took it up a notch by skiing off the summits of Mt Wilson and El Diente as well- something Joe, Jordan and myself also did (Ted gets the grandfather clause). Jury's still out on Wetterhorn.

Ivanic did some cool things. He climbed the peaks and he skied them. By all accounts, he had fun doing so and has a wealth of good memories to remember until the day he dies. Similar to what Schralpthegnar said, he had fun and that's ultimately all that matters. He played by his own rules, and it was a fun game, but ultimately it was a different game than the one that myself or the other finishers played. By his own admission, he missed 300' of Pyramid. That's a pretty good sized chunk of mountain. Plenty of other Ivanic ski descents, like Capitol, could be similarly questioned. Again, and I want to make this clear, I admire what he did, but I also like both apples and oranges.

The other questions start to get towards climbing terms and "ethics" and style about who redpointed this and who freesoloed that, and that isn't really something that skiers should aspire to in my mind. Ultimately, if you do this a lot, you know what a good descent was and what wasn't. 1,000' is arbitrary, it just seemed like a good number, but if I skied 1,000' and had lots more snow on a good route below me, I wouldn't feel very good about stopping. I find routes without any ropework to be aesthetically superior to ones without. When I finished my list, I counted Sneffels with a descent of the snake. About a week after I was done, I skied the birthday chutes off the summit with Brittany and I have to say that I feel MUCH better about that descent than the one of the snake, even though the snake is the better line. There is just a difference between pushing off the top and rapping off it. Walking over rocks with skis on or off is best avoided, and I know I wouldn't feel very good about a descent if it had a ton of it (but skis on or off doesn't make any difference in my book). If a skier is walking all over a ton of rocks, it means they should have waited for better conditions on that mountain, and should probably re-do it if they want to feel good about reaching a goal like skiing all the 14ers. Even more so if the skier knows that other people in other years have skied the same route in better conditions.

It's funny, I could probably give myself an 'A', 'B', 'C', or 'D' for all the 14ers I skied (no 'F's since that would mean I wouldn't have counted it). Thankfully I would give myself an A or B for all but a few, and hopefully all the other finishers would say likewise.

Again, hopefully it's all about the fun. If you want to hold yourself accountable, then simply set a high standard and ski them all. Just my $.02.

User avatar
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:26 pm
Location: aspen

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby tmahon » Wed May 20, 2009 8:00 pm

Well said Frank.

I should just clarify on what I said earlier, that while I believe some claims made in the future might unfortunately follow a somewhat "looser" standard, I agree with Frank that everyone should match, if not improve upon, those before you.

And I'm still planning on improving those two I got grandfather in on but it looks like it won't happen this year.

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby lodgling » Wed May 20, 2009 9:20 pm

Let's all be honest about riding the 14ers. With the exception of a few of them, the descent is NOT the difficult part. The hard part is hauling whatever gear you choose to ride to the top of a 14er that is sometimes more remote because of the time of year required to find it in condition.

With that in mind, I see it like this:

1. Haul your gear to the top, no exceptions (see Joe's Sunlight pic). If you are using it to make the trip down easier, bring it all the way up.

2. If it happens to be one of the 14ers that is known for the difficulty of the descent (e.g. Capitol, Pyramid), you better make sure that you ski off the top and probably should document it somehow.

3. The length of the descent seems somewhat irrelevant, so long as it is long enough to get you through the crux of a "tough" descent (e.g. Little Bear, Crestone Needle). In my book the longer the descent, the easier.

4. If you are in a rush to finish, by all means billygoat. If not, come back and get it right. By the way, I think that the term "Davenporting" more appropriately applies to airing off the summit to get a full descent (e.g. Mt. Wilson), rather than skiing on rocks.

User avatar
Posts: 575
Joined: Sun May 14, 2006 7:33 pm

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby Geof3 » Thu May 21, 2009 12:16 am

Lodgling brings up a good point. Are we talking simply the "decent" here? What classifies could be a bit nebulous. To me, if talking standards, the route skied should be climbed, the route should access the summit, and then be decended from the summit to the bottom. This is a non-negotiable standard. The problem is, this isn't a practicle standard. If one accesses Pikes from the road or the cog is it a true decent, as the ascent was motorized? Or Evans? How long should the approach be? What if one used a mule to tote gear, maybe an alpaca? :wink: If a natural line does not exist to the exact summit, is it reasonable to "construct" a line to decend off the summit? Wouldn't that be like chipping holds in essence? The line doesn't exist, so lets make one. I'm not arguing these things, just food for thought...

To me, this is the problem of "bagging". Too many opinions on what matters. Really, what matters most is having fun, screaming and yelling and whoo-hooing all the way down, and slappin' some high fives and downin' some brews when it's all done... =D>
Blue Steel

User avatar
Posts: 1205
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Aspen, CO

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby Jcwhite » Thu May 21, 2009 8:26 am

lodgling wrote:Let's all be honest about riding the 14ers. With the exception of a few of them, the descent is NOT the difficult part. The hard part is hauling whatever gear you choose to ride to the top of a 14er that is sometimes more remote because of the time of year required to find it in condition.


I disagree here. Now for some people it may be (ie frank). I have no problem hauling the gear, and the climbing rarely, if ever, bothers me. The skiing on the other hand (at least on the big lines) is what get's me feeling more on edge.

Geof: In the case of Pikes the trailhead is the summit. You still have to climb what you ski. You just do it in the reverse order. We skied down to the flat boulder field in the bottom of the bottomless pit and then climbed back up to the car to have a couple beers at 14k.

That said I think Ted and Frank have hit it pretty spot on. The only issue I have is that if someone goes and hauls their skis to the summit skis a 100 foot patch of snow somewhere on the mountain and then downclimbs the rest of the peak it would be a shame to see them trying to claim it as a part of their project to ski the 14ers because, skiing aside, the age old idea behind mountaineering has always been to improve or at least match what was done before you. Ski mountaineering should be no different.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE."- Hunter S Thompson

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby lordhelmut » Thu May 21, 2009 9:00 am

So what if someone walks, in AT boots, 4 miles, skins over downed trees and dirty snow another 2. Gets up the next morning, skin through knee deep wet snow, with most of it sticking to your skins, from 10,200 ft all the way to 13,990ft. climb exposed, loose, slick class 3/4 ridge to the summit that is now completely hammered with a freak storm, you can see maybe 10 feet in front of you, you actually put your skis on to make an attempt at a faint line, taken them back off, downclimb 60-70 feet back the way you came, all the while with your skis on your back. Then drop in and ski over 3500 feet back to your camp and hike the 6 miles back to your car, completing a 18 hour day.

Do you think the first thing on your mind is hoping the skiing community will give you credit for this one? Its probably something along the lines of I'll never ski this f**king mountain ever again.

Nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for the people who put in the effort to ski all of them and path the way for others.

User avatar
Posts: 575
Joined: Sun May 14, 2006 7:33 pm

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby Geof3 » Thu May 21, 2009 9:56 am

Jcwhite wrote:
lodgling wrote:Let's all be honest about riding the 14ers. With the exception of a few of them, the descent is NOT the difficult part. The hard part is hauling whatever gear you choose to ride to the top of a 14er that is sometimes more remote because of the time of year required to find it in condition.


I disagree here. Now for some people it may be (ie frank). I have no problem hauling the gear, and the climbing rarely, if ever, bothers me. The skiing on the other hand (at least on the big lines) is what get's me feeling more on edge.

Geof: In the case of Pikes the trailhead is the summit. You still have to climb what you ski. You just do it in the reverse order. We skied down to the flat boulder field in the bottom of the bottomless pit and then climbed back up to the car to have a couple beers at 14k.

That said I think Ted and Frank have hit it pretty spot on. The only issue I have is that if someone goes and hauls their skis to the summit skis a 100 foot patch of snow somewhere on the mountain and then downclimbs the rest of the peak it would be a shame to see them trying to claim it as a part of their project to ski the 14ers because, skiing aside, the age old idea behind mountaineering has always been to improve or at least match what was done before you. Ski mountaineering should be no different.


Actually JC you don't HAVE to climb what you ski on PP. I know that is the usual thing, but it's not a must. So... If you climb out the Rumdoodle is it good? What about Barr/Elk park? I think its good no matter what, but some may not.

And I am with you on the climb thing. The climbing to me is the easy (strenous but easy) It's the decent that gets me keyed up...
Blue Steel

User avatar
Posts: 1205
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Aspen, CO

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby Jcwhite » Thu May 21, 2009 10:00 am

Geof3 wrote:Actually JC you don't HAVE to climb what you ski on PP. I know that is the usual thing, but it's not a must. So... If you climb out the Rumdoodle is it good? What about Barr/Elk park? I think its good no matter what, but some may not.

And I am with you on the climb thing. The climbing to me is the easy (strenous but easy) It's the decent that gets me keyed up...


I'm just saying climb back to your car..no hitchhiking :roll:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE."- Hunter S Thompson

User avatar
Posts: 670
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Location: Erie, CO

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby doumall » Thu May 21, 2009 11:17 am

I agree 'standards' is a better representation of what we are discussing. I do however see a way 'ethics' could be the correct term, such as if people start claiming descents and finishes that ignore previously established standards, then 14er skiers who come later will potentially have a diminished challenge to pursue, hence affect someone else's experience. I get that some people don’t give a hoot and are just out for some turns, but some do care and having a clear measure of what skiing a given peak involves is valuable to them. Apples and oranges, as Frank puts it, is a great way to separate these two approaches to skiing 14ers.

I just did what I could on every peak I attempted to meet or improve upon the previously established standard and I think this is a healthy approach to the project. If those who do the project in the future continue this approach, we will continue to see new routes and better style which is far more interesting than stagnation.

To this date, two peaks haven't seen a descent encompassing their full summit to reasonable-line-end vertical. How to go forward on these is up to debate, the others are pretty clear.

Wetterhorn: It is my assumption that the peak holds snow on the summit platform reliably year to year. The snowfield is long enough and steep enough to get half a dozen fun turns in right off the summit. It seems since the project is about skiing from the summit, a Wetterhorn summit ski should involve skiing on this summit snowfield, and otherwise the outing would be just skiing 'on' Wetterhorn. I can tell you that those turns up there were some of the most gratifying of the project, so if others follow suit, they too will enjoy some special turns off the summit. It also means you carry your skis to the true summit. Of course I have to mention Jordan's ski on Wetterhorn, where he made his way with a few jump turns down the class 3 rock pitch which rarely holds snow. He did have to remove the skis several times, but he clearly tried to push the standard and we all now have a very interesting TR to read and perhaps a rare feat to repeat.

Sunlight can be skied reliably from the base of the summit boulder pile, maybe 20' below the summit and still above 14k. To claim a 'summit descent' in the same style as previous finishes, it should be skied from the register location. If it becomes accepted to start skiing from the top of the south face, then you remove one of the more challenging/risky bits of skiing from the project. A significant challenge to completing this project comes down to a few very difficult sections of skiing and climbing. Remove those and your just skiing the Sawatch (the oranges)!

Skiing on belay doesn’t matter; see Ted Mahon's descent of Capitol. How could you not count that? Keep in mind good style is important though and the frequented lines don’t require a belay unless you’re on bad snow (which means you probably shouldn’t be there) or don’t have the ability you should have for those lines. I remember a buddy of mine telling me he would never ski the secret chute line on Capitol with someone who required a ski belay because it meant they didn’t belong up there. Maybe there is some validity to that.

User avatar
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 1:50 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby Nathan Hale » Thu May 21, 2009 1:03 pm

tmahon wrote:I know quite a few people who are in the beginning of trying to ski them all and have a much looser standard than what I have, and they don't care, nor should they too much because that's their style and their standard.
And besides,what can you do about it anyway?


I totally agree with this. While I don't think that skiing them all will ever be as popular as climbing them all, the progression in the "ethics"/"standards" of what constitutes climbing them all is instructive to look at. I don't think anyone knows what standards people like Ellingwood and Blaurock used in their ascents, and people today each follow their own goals. Some people use the 3000' rule, some people count saddles, etc. And these days, (perhaps partially *because* it's so popular) no one asks for proof, etc of each person who claims to have finished.


pioletski wrote:And... #6. My personal 14ers quest involves 59 summits, not 54. (The standard list, plus Cameron, Challenger, Conundrum, North Eolus and South Elbert.) It has long bothered me that certain peaks that are obviously distinct enough to deserve a name "don't count" because they are too close to slightly taller peaks. Another case of imposing a numerical requirement on a geographical phenomenon. (For the same reason, I don't hold with the "thousand foot rule" for climbing two peaks in one day - the saddle is where it is; if it makes the hike easy, use it, there are plenty harder challenges out there as well.)


I think that a personal goal is admirable (though I've never heard of South Elbert in place of N. Massive), but I would contest your implied point that Cameron is distinct at all, much less distinct enough to be named. I have no evidence to back it up, but I suspect that the main reason it is named is because the people who named it had a perspective on it that didn't allow them to see Lincoln at the time it was named. Because it's barely a bump on the ridge as far as I'm concerned, but from down near Kite Lake it looks significant. My thoughts. I've always thought that the list of 59 (whether for climbing or for skiing) was a bit silly just because of Cameron. I think that Challenger, Conundrum, N. Eolus, N. Massive, and S. Elbert are all reasonable though, and I agree that the 300' rule is rather arbitrary since each of those peaks is fairly distinct from their neighbors.

Personally, for climbing, I used a list of 55, which is the standard 54 plus Challenger. Though I should mention that I also did everything on the "classic" list of 59, which includes Cameron, Conundrum, N. Eolus, and N. Massive in addition to the 55.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.

http://mtns.nathan-hale.com

Re: Ski-the-Teeners Ethics

Postby pioletski » Thu May 21, 2009 1:09 pm

Cheers Nathan. One reason why I include South Elbert is that it looks like there is a really nice ski run down the S side, into Black Cloud Gulch. Your point about N. Massive is well taken though.
The greater danger, for most of us, is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach it.
- Michelangelo

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: aweilert, Google Adsense [Bot], Jon Frohlich, jwagner and 21 guests