The laws of time and space don’t give preferential treatment to anyone—not even Chris Davenport. For well over a decade Davenport has forged onward as a professional ski mountaineer and ambassador, earning him one of the most enviable ski mountaineering tick lists that spans the globe. He’s been in over 30 ski films, has a decorated career in ski racing and extreme competitions; he’s often a ski commentator for various television networks, works corporate events, gives slide shows, and conducts ski clinics on more than one continent.
And he’s married—with three boys. So, how does that work? We were able to squeeze in a little time to get an idea how Chris and company makes it all happen.
You’re a very busy man. How do you balance a professional career that sends you all over the world with having a family? There is no question that my life is a delicate balancing act. With three busy kids, a wife that works all winter as a ski patroller, and a hectic travel schedule, it can be very tricky. Without a doubt the glue that makes this entire circus function is my wife. Not only does she keep the home functioning and the kids organized, she really supports what I do for a job. Without her encouragement and understanding I would not have succeeded to the level I have, or I would have been divorced.
How does your career and parental role have an effect on one another? Being a parent and the principal breadwinner for the family is a big responsibility, especially living in a not-so-cheap place like Aspen. So it’s a bit of a burden. I have to create a program for myself year in and year out that balances many different aspects of skiing. The income has to be there to clothe, feed, and educate three boys who also play a ton of sports and travel to ski race. That comes from endorsements, guiding, my books, sports announcing, and speaking engagements mainly. But I also have to have a schedule that’s personally challenging and rewarding, with film trips, guided adventures, and expeditions that push my boundaries and raise the bar in the sport. I work extra hard because I have to, and because I absolutely love what I do.
You’re working with the Parisotto family (owners of SCARPA) in designing a new kind of boot. At your first meeting with them in Italy didn’t you unwittingly floor them a little with your vision of a boot because it was exactly what they’d been quietly designing already? This was truly one of those “Great minds think alike” moments… I spent the better part of an hour explaining my vision for this new high-performance AT boot, complete with some images and design ideas on my iPad. I talked them through my thought process and my analysis of where I believed the industry was at right now, and where it was going. My goal was to convince them that this boot would not only perform great but would be commercially viable and successful. After a short espresso break they came back into the room and presented me with their concept, which was exactly what I had been talking about. I was surprised for a moment but then realized that these guys had definitely done their homework and we were all on the same page. At that moment my decision to join the SCARPA team was made. Continue reading...