Home / Sports / Davo Karnicar Dies at 56; Made First Full Ski Descent of Everest

Davo Karnicar Dies at 56; Made First Full Ski Descent of Everest

On Oct. 7, 2000, Davo Karnicar’s fervor for excessive snowboarding introduced him to the summit of Mount Everest. His objective: ski nonstop to base camp, 12,000 ft down — a feat nobody had but accomplished.

A skier since his adolescence in Slovenia, Karnicar had way back set his points of interest on Everest. He had made ski descents from a number of prime peaks world wide; in 1995, he used to be the primary skier to make a a hit descent from the summit of Annapurna in Nepal.

“Everybody has a present,” he informed The Occasions of London in a while ahead of the expedition began. “I understand how to ski. Somebody else would possibly understand how to pressure a System I automotive.”

Karnicar and his workforce had spent a month mountaineering the south face of Everest, and after a couple of hours’ relaxation, he started his descent from simply over 29,000 ft within the early morning — escaping the risks of collapsing ice partitions, robust winds and deep crevasses.

Karnicar used to be born in Jezersko on Oct. 26, 1962. His oldsters skied and climbed mountains, inspiring his interest for each interests. As a boy, he woke up early to ski ahead of going to college and would sooner or later compete for Yugoslavia’s nationwide Alpine snowboarding workforce.

Since 1980, he made an estimated 1,700 climbs and descents. Prior to descending Everest, he had skied down Eiger and the Matterhorn, amongst many different mountains.

He understood the risks that his adventures introduced however used to be undeterred.

His brother Andrej misplaced 8 feet to frostbite all over their descent on Annapurna in 1995. A 12 months later, Davo misplaced two palms to frostbite all over a typhoon that killed 8 climbers — a crisis detailed by means of Jon Krakauer in his e-book “Into Skinny Air.”

And in 1997, Karnicar’s brother Luka and 4 different individuals of his rescue team died when a security line attached to a helicopter broke all over a coaching workout.

“Anyone who’s content material to suppose, ‘Why would he do these items? It’s not standard,’” Davo Karnicar stated in “Unstoppable,” a contemporary documentary about him. “In most cases, those other folks don’t project very a ways from the security of the sofa.”

Lou Dawson, a ski mountaineer who based and writes for the website online Wild Snow, stated it used to be now not recklessness that drove other folks like Karnicar to ski down eight,000-meter mountains.

“It’s a mixture of bodily skill, psychological fortitude and intelligence,” he stated by means of telephone. “There’s a facet of mountain spirituality to it. A reckless individual would do it extra for a thrill or to provoke somebody; an individual doing those excessive sports activities does it extra as a craft.”

Right through his descent of Everest, Karnicar have shyed away from threat at the Hillary Step, a just about vertical rock outcropping, and the Khumbu Icefall, the place ice blocks can wreck and fall with out caution.

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