Hey all, if you landed here due to interest in Davo Karnicar, please know this list is reasonable, but could use some work. The list on Wikipedia looks fairly up-to-date, check it as well. Back when I first began working on this, in the 1990s, no other lists existed. Lou
WildSnow.com list in chronological order:, I’m adding info links as we go, feel free to quote info in the comments so that acts as footnotes. I a snowboard descent does a better job of finding a “from the summit” line that appears better than ski descents to date, we’ll include that as well.
Annapurna, first ski descent, 1979, Yves Morin. (Morin went from summit, other guys with him went from below summit. Morin only skied part of the mountain, he quit skiing just over 4,000 vertical feet below the summit. In 1995, Davo and Andrej Karnicar also skied from the summit and ended their descent much lower on the mountain.) Info
Manaslu, first ski descent, 1981, Peter Woergoetter and Sepp Millinger (from 30m below summit) Info
Gasherbrum 1 (Hidden Peak), first ski descent, 1982, Sylvain Saudan (Saudan made a movie about this, which I saw way back when. Overdone but still pretty good.) Info
Gasherbrum 2, first ski descent, 1984, Patrice Bournat & Wim Pasqier. Info
Shisha Pangma, ski descent, 1985, Oswald Gassler & Peter Wörgötter. (Was this the first ski descent? Did they go from the true summit? Word is they went from the central summit. The central slightly lower, summit is frequently climbed and has been skied a number of times since probably 1987 when it’s said that Jerzy Kukuczka skied the peak. The 8027 meter main summit is separated by a one hour climb on a knife ridge and there are serious doubts about if anyone has really negotiated this on skis. Thus, we are not certain the more difficult to reach main summit has ever been skied from in a meaningful way according to our WildSnow.com definitions. Indeed, tradition may come to define skiing Shish as going from the central summit. Time will tell. The first American descent from the central summit was made in 2000 by Mike and Steve Marolt, and triggered their own quest for 8,000 meter skiing.
Cho Oyu, first ski descent, 1988, Flavio Spazzadeschi & Lino Zani (This may not have been the first summit descent, but the first ski descent of Cho was no doubt done fairly early in ski descent history. Also, in 2000 Laura Bakos backcountry skied from the summit and became the first North American woman to ski an 8000 meter peak. Another interesting factoid about Cho is it was the first 8000 meter peak to have a significant (but non-summit) ski descent: In 1964 Fritz Stammberger did the first climb of the the peak done without supplemental oxygen, then skied down from 24,000 feet.) Info
Nanga Parbat, ski descent, 1990, Hans Kammerlander & Diego Wellig. (Skied from about 100 feet below the top, first ski descent by Wildsnow.com definition?)
Broad Peak, ski descent, 1994, Hans Kammerlander. (By some accounts Kammerlander skied most of the way from top to 4800 meters elevation, but by other accounts he skied the peak FROM 7,000 meters elevation which would not even be close to the WildSnow.com definition of a ski descent. Interestingly, Broad was also skied from the 25,000 foot (7,620 meters) elevation by Patrick Valencant in 1981, but he was 1,400 vertical feet short of the summit on that very early attempt.)
Mount Everest, first ski descent, October 7, 2000, Davo Karnicar. Info & Karnicar article
Lohtse, 2018 Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison via the Lhotse Couloir. More here.
Dhaulagiri, first ski descent, 2009, David Fojtik. (Started 20 meters below summit and did not ski a possibly skiable section between 7200 – 6700 meters, so perhaps Dhaulagiri still waits for a true ski descent.) Info
K2, by WildSnow standards no “complete” ski descent to date though a standard seems to be developing for how a descent would be defined (it’s doubtful that 100% of the mountain can be skied). Honorable mention for efforts by Hans Kammerlander and Dave Watson (see post comments for details.) Info K2 tends to be a rather grim mountain, with several skiers having perished while climbing or descending.
Kangchenjunga, by WildSnow standards no complete ski descent to date. Hans Kammerlander skied from 7,600 meters in 1998.
Makalu, by WildSnow standards no complete ski descent to date, skied from 7,500 meters by Hans Kammerlander in 1986. It appears Makalu might not be skiable from summit?
(Also see the Wildsnow chronology of North American ski history, which includes some other stuff as well.
The Fourteen 8,000 Meter Peaks Ranked by Height:
1. Mount Everest
Elevation: 29,035 feet (8,850 meters)
Elevation: 28,253 feet (8,612 meters)
Elevation: 28,169 feet (8,586 meters)
Elevation: 27,890 feet 8,501 meters)
Elevation: 27,765 feet (8,462 meters)
6. Cho Oyu
Elevation: 27,765 feet (8,201 meters)
Elevation: 26,794 feet (8,167 meters)
Elevation: 26,758 feet (8,156 meters)
9. Nanga Parbat
Elevation: 26,658 feet (8,125 meters)
Elevation: 26,545 feet (8,091 meters)
11. Gasherbrum I
Elevation: 26,470 feet (8,068 meters)
12. Broad Peak
Elevation: 26,400 feet (8,047 meters)
13. Gasherbrum II
Elevation: 26,360 feet (8,035 meters)
Elevation: 26,289 feet (8,013 meters)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.