Ted and Christy Mahon: Episode 12
The Centennials Project and the first woman to ski the 14ers.
Everyone has the time when they get that call from their parents (usually living on the east coast) and they say "I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal about, insert something remotely related to your hobby they don't understand, and I thought of you". Rarely is this at close to the mark and almost never do you stop and say "wait I know that person". It just so happened that Christy Mahon was that person and had a WSJ article written about her skiing all 54 Colorado 14ers. Both Randy and myself have lined up on many a ski mountaineering race next to Christy and and her husband Ted Mahon, where as partners they are usually on the podium. My recent obligatory phone call from the rents meant it was time to get the two of them on the phone.
Ted and Christy epitomize the outdoor power couple. They are four season athletes that live for getting out in the Mountains that are not afraid to enter the occasional friendly or not so friendly endurance race. I find this rare for truly accomplished mountain athletes. Usually the world's of true alpinism and the more contrived competitive sides of the sport don't actually line up (I loved the contrived events don't get me wrong). This is because many pure endurance junkies don't possess the technical skills to cut it in the big mountains and the big mountain athletes have their egos caught up in either not wanting to finish second, or the sport is too pure to be soiled by competition. Ted and Christy are both out their to enjoy the mountains and are not picky about how they do this. They are also an extremely humble duo that has no problem admitting that there is always some one out their more fit than themselves. This never stops them from entering a race to push themselves to the limits.
Even more accomplished than both of them skiing Colorado's 14ers is that they have skied all of the 100 highest peaks. Some of the 13,000 foot peaks in Colorado exceed even their taller brethren in remoteness and technicality. The Centennial Project was started with another guest of the show Chris Davenport and completed in the spring just prior to our podcast session. If you are ever short on inspiration check out the centennials or their beautiful personal website Stuck in the Rockies. Their follow through as bloggers, being one myself is truly impressive. I guarantee you if you google a peak to ski in Colorado you will land on one of their sites.
Chris, Ted, Christy and Friend of the Show Pete Gaston on top of Jagged Peak completing the Centennial Project.
I personally can always use a little more inspiration. Ski touring is such a fun sport that it is easy to get complacent. I could hit the same backyard skin track 50 times a season and never get bored, well maybe a little bored. On the other planning big missions takes time and diligence and getting to these remote peaks is even more of a commitment. The best trips in my life started with being huddled over a map in the kitchen plotting our next moves, but I find it easier and easier every year to return to the same stomping grounds out of pure laziness. That is one thing no one will ever accuse Ted and Christy of.
If there is one take away from this episode it is; Just get out there and get after it. Don't become a purest about any one aspect of your sport or sports that prevents you from enjoying it as a whole.
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- Doug Stenclik