Since 2019, professional skier Cody Townsend has been attempting a rather unique ski project. He’s not seeking out never before skied terrain, and he’s not looking to land an unlandable trick. Instead, he’s attempting to ski all 50 lines discussed in the book The 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. His project, titled THE FIFTY, has taken him to nearly every skiable region of North America, and every attempt has been documented through his YouTube channel. You can check out exactly which lines he’s already skied and which lines he’s yet to descend on his website.
Season four of THE FIFTY kicked off on October 5th, with Townsend’s attempt of the Comstock Couloir. This line is most certainly a beast. First skied by Gregg Hill, one of the authors of The 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America, and five others in 2008, it has since been skied by… one other person, Michael Wirth. It is, without a doubt, an incredibly difficult line to ski, but the main reason why its remained so untouched is related to its difficulty to reach, being at least a full day’s walk from any parking lot or road.
I don’t want to say much relating to what actually happens throughout the video, but you should definitely give the whole thing a watch. It’s a good look at the proper behavior one should exhibit while in the backcountry, and it’s a good reminder that it’s totally acceptable to turn around when you’re deep in the wilderness. As much as those lines call to you, and as disappointing as it can be, it’s much better to be a little disappointed then to be seriously injured or worse.
Image Credit: Cody Townsend via YouTube