After much anticipation, Cody Townsend has released “Peak Obsession,” A Fifty Project Short Film. Created in collaboration with Teton Gravity Research and Team 13 Productions, this short follows Townsend on his quest to take on some of the most challenging lines of The Fifty Project alongside legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones and cinematographer Bjarne Salén.
"'Peak Obsession’ is essentially your normal episode of The Fifty—but with a little extra juice in the squeeze,” Towsend explained in an interview with SKImag.com. “Essentially, some of these mountains and lines deserve more of a story, more attention and more thought going into the final piece. Going to Alaska with Jeremy Jones to climb and ride two gigantic, steep, iconic lines fits into that category of lines that deserve more of a story.”
Check out the interview: Catching up with Cody Townsend
The film starts with Townsend and Salén heading to Alaska with a crew of guides as they attempt Pontoon Peak in Episode 9 of The Fifty Project. This mountain boasts an elevation of over 7,000 feet and the ascent alone covers more than 3,650 vertical feet. They climb up the notoriously steep terrain of the mountain’s exposed faces, all the while contending with unstable conditions. That combination ultimately proved too much of a challenge for the crew, and they decided to turn around just a few hundred feet from the summit of the skiable face.
Watch Townsend's first attempt: FIFTY Episode 9: Pontoon Peak
The film picks up two months later when Townsend returns to Valdez, Alaska with pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones to ski Meteorite Mountain, another Fifty Project line. With machetes in hand, Townsend, Jones, and Salén trek through frozen Alaskan streams and bushwack their way to one of the biggest and spiciest adventures of the Fifty Project to date. The most difficult part of the journey proved to be not the climb or the ski, but the long haul out from the line, when Townsend and Jones fight exhaustion and difficult terrain after a 14-mile journey that lasted 17 hours and entailed 6,358 vertical feet of climbing.
A few days later, Townsend returns to Pontoon Peak with Jones to reconcile his last attempt at this famed peak. They quickly make their way through the picturesque Alaskan mountains to successfully summit and shred Pontoon Peak to cross off line 17 of the Fifty Project.
“These moments, when you’re on these ridgelines and you’re looking at stuff like this, and all that little tension and all the tiredness, all the process, the stress, and then you get up here and you’re like, this is why I do this, because its magical,” said Townsend on his second attempt of Pontoon Peak.
Watch: 'Peak Obsession'
Catch up: The FIFTY Episode 18: Wilson Peak