Mr. Everest

Image:Mr. Everest
24. Oct, 2018 Written by: Gregor Šket


Davo Karničar is a skier, mountaineer, mountain rescue service member and lover of nature. In all respects he is a one-off, special and unusual person... What else could we expect from the first man to ever ski from the summit of Everest and then go on to ski down the highest peaks of all the continents of the world. He regularly skis steeps that mere mortals would fear to even look at, Davo is one of those people who seem to have found the elixir of eternal youth. He is a man without an expiration date. He is the original article, a natural, direct and honest guy. And that is also how he answers questions.


Funky Interview

Which four words would you use to describe yourself?

Exploration, tradition, patience, gratitude.

What is your definition of skiing?

It is the universal language of people who expect the most from life.

Who were your idols?

My parents, older brothers and sister, Nejc Zaplotnik, Lyonel Tere.

How do you perceive fear and danger? Do you agree with the saying that one cannot reach great things without flirting with danger?

Absolutely! And we must learn to recognize them as be‍st as we can before exposing ourselves.

What is your perfect ski day?

Ascend a three-thousander in the dark of night and ski down a nice slope, breakfast and a few good GS runs with the family at a ski area, the afternoon on cross country skis and the evening in my wife’s arms.

What are your be‍st and worst skiing memories?

The be‍st feeling happens every time I start gliding after I snap into the bindings. The worst was when I tore my ACL in the left knee.

What would you do if you were not a skier?

In that case, I hope I would not have been born at the seaside because I would probably want to dive as deep as possible.

How did your attitude to skiing change through the years? What was Davo like when he was 25 and what is he like today in his fifties?

Youth gives us that competitive spark, but if we are lucky enough we reap the gratitude and experience of every single turn in our mature years.

Who would you choose as the greatest skier of all time?

Ingemar Stenmark, no doubt.

How do you se‍lect the destinations for your adventures?

I like places where snow lines provide opportunities for skiing. It’s better if nobody has skied them before and I don’t really care where in the world they are. I’m just not very good with crowds.

What was your most interesting and scariest skiing experience?

I still find every ski line interesting. The scariest, when I feel the most fear, is watching children to ski an overcrowded slope on their own too soon.

Which other sports do you do?

Mountaineering, mountain biking, cross-country skiing. My wife also dives.

What do you do when the winter is over? Do you welcome summer, count down the days to the next winter or take off to another part of the world where there is snow during the European summer?

Much of these travels to another part of the world are unfortunately only possible with a finger on the map. Besides, snow in my mountains stays until August, so it rarely happens that I put the skis away for a full off-season. But yes, it’s very nice when the first snow falls in October.

Which are your favorite summer activities?

Working in the garden, growing potatoes, hunting mushrooms and building sand castles with the kids at the seaside.

What are your favorite summer and winter places?

Our village of Jezersko. Perhaps I would need to find a new permanent address for a few of the inhabitants - then it would be more than ideal.

What was your last holiday?

Yesterday afternoon - we have four children but my wife took time just for me and did not tell me to do anything or ask me anything.

Where would you go if you had a weekend, a week and a month and money were no object?

I would take my family to Alaska.

How would you describe your personal style?

Family and adventure oriented.


Wedding band and crucifix.

What do you do for charity?

Over the past year, I made eight visits to retirement homes and kindergartens and shared my experiences with the world. I also work with the mountain rescue service, which takes up to 30 days of my year - in Slovenia we do it as unpaid volunteers. I feel like a great humanitarian when I watch our politicians and refrain from publicly calling for a revolution.

What about reducing your carbon footprint?

Fighting a windmill ... I walk a lot.

What is your favourite sports club?

I was never fascinated by ball sports. The favourite club for me and my kids is the Triglav Kranj cross country skiing club.

Your last book, film, concert, theatre show, exhibition?

Book: Jean Monbourguette, How to forgive?;

Film: cartoons with Martin, my youngest.

Concert: Storm in the mountains.

Theatre: pre-election farce during the parliamentary elections.

Exhibition: A view from Triglav.

Any pets?

Belgian shepherd. This summer I start rearing two heifers.

What is the be‍st dish you can cook?

Potato soup.

What gives you the be‍st high?

My wife Petra is the be‍st; she gives me the ultimate high.

What is your life motto?

Go all out!

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