Dec 082011
Authors: Erik Carman

From Chile to Russia, Mongolia to Mexico, CSU students were given the opportunity to see what its like to ski some of the highest glaciers in the world Wednesday night.

Jordan White, Caleb Wray and Anton Sponar, veterans of the sport known as ski mountaineering, gave an in-depth presentation in the TILT building, sharing stories about some of their more memorable ventures.

According to senior economics major Peter Jaacks, co-president CSU’s outdoor club, ski mountaineering, which includes climbing up a mountain and later skiing down it, requires expertise in both mountain climbing and back country skiing – one of the lesser practiced sports in the outdoor community.

Jordan White, who graduated CSU in 2008, has skied every “fourtneener” in the state of Colorado. That’s 53 mountains, 52 of which he climbed, White said.

White, Wray and Sponar, who have been ski mountaineering together for the past five years, have visited some of the highest peaks in North and South America. Perhaps the most notable of which was a trip to Orizaba, Mexico, where the group was chased for over 20 miles by a car full of “angry-looking locals.”

White advised, from personal experience, to try to not get lost and end up in people’s marijuana fields. More importantly, however, he stressed the importance of being knowledgeable about the risk of avalanches.

“Its not an exact science,” White said, adding that those wishing to ski mountaineer should have at least a basic knowledge of avalanche prevention.

Many at the event, including junior wildlife biology major Lizzie Cato, thought the event was inspiring.

“It was really good,” Cato said, “I learned a lot.”

Jaacks and his co president, senior construction management major Collin Jacobsen, who brought the group to campus said they try to get new speakers each month, sometimes every other week.

With regard to the speakers who presented last night, Jaacks said the team presented an elite level of talent and ability.

“Only the top 2 percent of all skiers can do that,” Jaacks said.

Bringing in speakers is a great way to cultivate the outdoor community here at CSU, the co- president stated.

“It shows us what’s really possible.”

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at

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