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Snowboard mountaineering goes late night
11:29 a.m. EDT Jun 21, 2003
8000er ski/snowboard mountaineering is really taking off. Just several years ago, the first snowboard descents of Everest happened and this past fall season, saw no less than three teams attempt to ski/snowboard from 8000m peaks. Doug Stoup and Emilio Previtali both led expeditions going for snowboard descents of Cho Oyu. Emilio has snowboarded down Pik Lenin and in an interview with ExplorersWeb, expressed a desire to go for Everest in the future. The third expedition, ended in tragedy when Marco Siffredi died while attempting his second descent from Everest’s summit.

This past fall season on Everest saw several climbers ski various parts of the mountain, although none from the summit. Even 70-year-old Yuichiro Miura and his teamed joined in on the action and donned some skis, playing around above Camp II on the South side. Yuichiro is the father of big mountain skiing, and became internationally famous back in the 70’s when he screamed down Everest’s Lhotse Face on a pair of skis, with a parachute in tow to keep his speed in check. This year he became the oldest ever to summit Everest.

This extension of mountaineering really seems to be going mainstream now as just this past Thursday, snowboarder Stephen Koch appeared on, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” a popular, late-night talk show in the US. Stephen is on a quest to snowboard down all the seven summits, and only has Everest left. This July he will set off for Everest’s North Face along with two others to ski the steep and narrow Hornbein Couloir, the same descent that tragically took the life of Marco Siffredi last year.

Image of Emilio Previtali tearing it up courtesy of FreeRideSpirit.com.

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