Discipline: High Altitude Skiing
Favorite Mammut gear: Champ series; all gloves
Favorite skiing area: Colorado Rockies Domestic; South America all over
Favorite climb: North Ridge Everest
In May of 2000, after a lifetime of growing up climbing and skiing in the Colorado Elk Mountains, as well as over a decade of venturing into the world’s greatest mountain ranges, Mike and Steve Marolt along with life-long buddy Jim Gile, climbed and skied the Central Peak of Shishapangma in Tibet. This marked the first ski descent by a climber/skier from the western hemisphere to ski from an 8,000 meter peak. With this experience, the group made a decision that they would make an attempt on climbing and skiing Mt. Everest. In 2003, the three, along with 6 other Aspen based climbers set off for the north ridge of Everest. Although the weather did not cooperate, Mike and Steve, along with their cousin, Jeremy Oates, did manage to ski from over 7650 meters (25,000 feet), an altitude that only 4 other American skiers had ever skied from with 2 of those being Mike and Steve on Shishapangma in 2000. Three other members also managed to ski from the north col at over 7,000 meters (23,200 feet). But more importantly, this expedition played a crucial role in gaining the experience needed to ultimately be successful with a project of the magnitude of skiing Mt. Everest. Added to the obvious difficulties entailed in climbing the world’s highest peak, the group climbs with a pure style, employing no porters, and using no oxygen or altitude drugs.
Second ski descent Sajama, Bolivia; Cayabre, Cotopoxi, Chimborozo, Ecuador Ski Descent; various un-named descents Colorado. Featured in Aspen segment of the Warren Miller film, Higher Ground.
The team will head back to Tibet in May 2006 with an acclimation climb and ski of Cho Oyu as prelude to the ultimate goal, climbing and skiing the north side of Everest.