Episode 20 and 21 of The Fifty conclude Cody Townsend’s first year of The Fifty Project, an ambitious goal announced in January 2019 to climb and ski the 50 classic ski descents featured in the book of the same name over a three-year timeline.

In the first year of the project, Townsend attempted 21 of the 50 ski lines outlined in the book—from grueling traverses to gnarly couloirs to high-alpine glaciers—and while some of those attempts were foiled due to circumstances outside of his control, the first year of Townsend’s web series can only be deemed a big success for giving viewers a realistic depiction of what goes into safely navigating mountains and the backcountry.

The Fifty Episode 20: Mt. Rainier

Episode 20 is another example of what Townsend’s Fifty Project is really all about: it’s not just about checking off steep, gnarly lines, but about learning (and teaching those of us behind the camera) how to make smart decisions on the mountain. 

In this episode, Townsend is joined by friend and professional big wave surfer Ian Walsh, who has his eyes set on summiting and skiing Denali in the future and wants to practice his mountaineering skills on Mt. Ranier, known as one of North America’s premier mountaineering training grounds. While their attempt to ski Mt. Ranier’s Führer Finger is shut down by unpredictable weather, Walsh learns valuable skills (and enjoys more than a few awesome turns) that help him successfully summit Denali a few weeks later.

Watch “The Fifty” Episode 20: Mt. Rainier

The Fifty Episode 21: Mt. Shasta

Cody Townsend The Fifty Episode 21: Mt. Shasta

Party shred on Mt. Shasta featuring Cody Townsend and friends.

And because big mountain lines can also be really fun without being terrifying, Townsend concludes the first year of The Fifty with a party shred on Mt. Shasta. Close friends Scott Gaffney, Michelle Parker, Kyle O’Neal, Jeff Dostie, Brennan Lagasse, Ming Poon, and Megan Michelson join Townsend and videographer Bjarne Salen for the final line of the season on Avalanche Gulch, just one of the many amazing descents on Mt. Shasta’s flanks. This time, as if to join in Townsend’s celebration of wrapping year one of the Fifty Project, the weather plays nice and the beach shirts come out.

Watch “The Fifty” Episode 21: Mt. Shasta

Watch more: The Fifty Episode 19 - The Watson Traverse


The Fifty Episode 9, Pontoon Peak, Cody Townsend

The FIFTY Episode 9: Pontoon Peak

Another peak tests Cody Townsend's backcountry savviness.

The Fifty Episode 11 Giant Steps Couloir

The FIFTY Episode 11: Giant Steps Couloir

Cody Townsends goes after a line "with a high price of admission."

Cody Townsend skis Mt. Moran

The FIFTY Episode 27: Mt. Moran, Wyo.

Could this be the best line yet of Cody Townsend's Fifty Project?

Townsend leads the pack as they approach the summit.

The FIFTY Episode 22: Mt. Timpanogos, Utah

“The Fifty” returns for another season as Townsend and crew attempt The Cold Fusion Line in Utah.

Cody Townsend, The Fifty Episode 10 Spearhead Traverse

The FIFTY Episode 10: Spearhead Traverse

Cody Townsend sends it SkiMo style.

The Fifty Episode 8, The Sphinx

The FIFTY Episode 8: The Sphinx

Cody Townsend faces an uphill battle in Alaska.

Cody Townsend, "The Fifty", Episode 3 Terminal Cancer

The FIFTY Episode 3: Terminal Cancer

Cody Townsend and co. get creative in the name of first descents.

Cody Townsend skiing down Wilson Peak

The FIFTY Episode 18: Wilson Peak

Cody Townsend checks off his 18th line of the Fifty Project.