Hall of Fame Class of 2019
Kit DesLauriers was the first person to ski from the top of the Seven Summits and the winner of consecutive Freeride World Tour titles, she is one of the most accomplished ski mountaineers in history.
After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1991, Kit moved to Telluride and immersed herself in the mountains, fully realizing that she was really “a Rocky Mountain girl born to New Englanders.”
She quickly found her sense of place in the high spaces of the San Juan Mountains and then the Tetons. The records she compiled are even more impressive, almost inconceivable, given her relatively late start.
In 2004 and 2005, DesLauriers became the first female to win back-to-back, season-long titles on the Freeride World Tour, despite being roughly a decade older than the rest of the international field.
At the same time, she embarked on her breakthrough journey to become the first person, male or female, to climb and ski from the top of each of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the continents.
DesLauriers, who married renowned big-mountain-skier-turned-Jackson-Hole-lodge-developer Rob DesLauriers in 1999, grew up in Massachusetts. She competed fiercely in several sports, and both her father (Peter) and grandfather (Whit) were skiers.
At Camp II on Everest in October 2006, Kit was poised to complete the two-plus-year Seven Summits journey with her husband, who had accompanied her on five of the Summits.
Kit told Rob that if they survived, once they returned to their Jackson Hole home she would be ready, finally, to start a family.
They battled minus-45-degree temperatures and blue ice on Denali, but did end up descending on the Lhotse Face, the most difficult skiing they’ve ever done and a feat that has not been repeated.
Kit has also completed several first ski descents of the highest peaks of the Brooks Range in Alaska, she became the first woman to climb and ski New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring, and is only the third woman to do so on Wyoming’s notorious Grand Teton, which she has done 10 times, including solo.
Her focus in the past decade has been on expeditions to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including mapping the highest peak in the Brooks Range, for which she was honored as the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2015.
DesLauriers’ memoir, Higher Love, Skiing the Seven Summits, was published in 2015.
She is a natural storyteller in high demand as a speaker and has been a member of the The North Face Global Athlete Team since 2005.
The DesLauriers’ two daughters share their parent’s sense of adventure, have climbed many of the highest mountains in the Tetons with their parents, and have already made the family trek to the Mt. Everest base camp.
Tia, 10, is on the local Nordic ski club team, while Grace, 12, passed her Level I avalanche training and has already skied Corbet’s Couloir.
The whole family appeared in the final segment of the Warren Miller’s 70th film, 2019’s “Timeless.”
For her career as a ski mountaineer highlighted by skiing the Seven Summits and winning two straight World Freeride Tours, Kit DesLauriers earns entry into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.
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