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.
At one level, he glimpsed the frozen frame of a climber from an expedition years previous.
4 hours and 40 mins later, the descent used to be entire. Karnicar arrived at base camp, his palms numbed by means of the frigid air, tired and not able to sleep “It used to be as though I used to be gentle years from this global,” he recalled in an interview with the Planet Mountain website online in 2002. “I couldn’t even set up to really feel satisfied.”
Karnicar — who after Everest made in a similar way uninterrupted ski descents from the best possible peaks at the different six continents — died on Sept. 16 in a tree-cutting twist of fate on his assets in Jezersko, Slovenia. He used to be 56.
His dying used to be reported in Slovenian media and showed by means of Elan Skis, considered one of his sponsors.
“Davo Karnicar flirted with demanding situations in probably the most most threatening portions of our planet,” the corporate stated on its website online. “And he at all times discovered his long ago secure and sound. It kind of feels unreal that he met his future a stone’s throw from his doorstep.”
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.
“Snowboarding on ridges is like being on a knife’s edge,” he informed The Unbiased quickly after the descent. “Repeatedly, a part of my skis had been putting over into Tibet, and every now and then into Nepal. So you’ll believe I didn’t have complete touch with the skin.”
Over the following six years, Karnicar skied down the best possible peaks on six different continents: Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa; Mount Elbrus in Europe; Aconcagua in South The us; Mount Kosciuszko in Australia; Denali (previously Mount McKinley) in North The us and Vinson Massif in Antarctica.
He had deliberate to ski down K2, the arena’s 2nd tallest mountain, for years.
In 2009, his fellow climber Franc Oderlap, who had accompanied Karnicar to Everest in 2000, used to be killed by means of falling ice whilst they had been trying out apparatus on Manaslu, within the Nepali Himalayans. Karnicar used to be unhurt. In 2017, Karnicar climbed so far as base camp at K2 however deserted his quest when he harm his again.
Details about his survivors used to be now not right away to be had.
Karnicar stated in “Unstoppable” that the fortify of his circle of relatives validated the immense dangers he had taken.
“Once they glance into my eyes and say sincerely, ‘Daddy, we agree with you,’ that’s what actually counts,” he stated. “It’s great to listen to after they say, ‘Davo is unstoppable.’”