Twenty of the world's top athletes and explorers share their wildest dream trips—a dazzling list of never attempted feats daunting to even these world-class competitors. For the rest of us, consider their must-do adventures—and start planning. —Kate Siber
Photogrpah by Ted Mahon
Few other mountains in the United States inspire the same lust among beginner ski mountaineers as Rainier. Its crevasse-riddled glaciers, steep snowbound slopes, and 14,411-foot altitude offer plenty of challenge, yet it’s easy to access and thus an obvious proving ground.
“I always recommend a ski descent of Mount Rainier to all my ski clients and fans who ask,” says Chris Davenport. “Rainier is one of North America's most amazing ski mountaineering peaks, with so many possibilities it would be hard to ski them all in a lifetime.”
RMI Expeditions offers ski mountaineering courses on Mount Rainier that introduce proficient skiers to techniques like cramponing and rope travel on steep slopes, couloirs, and cliffs. The best part, of course, is carving wide S turns down slopes most Washington residents only see from far below.
RMI Expeditions’ five-day introductory ski mountaineering courses cost $1,298.
Next: See Chris Davenport's Dream Trip: Ski South Georgia Island
Since winning his first World Extreme Skiing Championships in Alaska in 1996, Chris Davenport has appeared in more than 20 ski films, has skied first descents in Antarctica, and was the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in a year.