When Chris Landry first skied the east face of Colorado's Pyramid Peak via the line that now bears his name in 1978, he forever changed the ski mountaineering world. Granted, he has a number of other impressive first descents throughout Colorado and beyond, but this pioneering route might be the most revered.
The line was not skied again until Chris Davenport took on the Landry Line with partner Neal Beidleman in 2006. That descent was part of Davenport's "Ski the Fourteeners" project, in which he skied from the summit of all of Colorado's 54 14,000-foot peaks in a calendar year.
In the twelve years that have passed since Davenport and Beidleman's second descent, the line has seen a few descents nearly every spring when the conditions allow, and maintains an aura throughout the state of Colorado as a pinnacle line for any ski mountaineer.
With this reputation, it clearly belongs among the lines listed in "50 Classic Descents in North America," a book created by Davenport along with Art Burrows and Penn Newhard, all of whom live in the Roaring Fork Valley, downriver of Pyramid Peak.
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Back in March Cody Townsend, who is on a mission to ski all of the 50 Classic Descents with filmer Bjarne Salén, teamed up with Newhard and Aspen local Pete Gaston to take on the legendary Landry Line. After a season of historic snowfall and avalanches in Colorado, the crew goes for it earlier in the season compared to the recent past. Along the way, they find exposed climbing, a steep descent, and evidence of historic avalanches throughout.
The footage of the descent of the Landry Line is perhaps the best on the internet to date, and is sure to leave viewers almost as gripped as Townsend and Salén were in the moment.
The FIFTY Episode 13: The Landry Line
This episode of the FIFTY is dedicated to Aspen local Sam Coffey. Read our tribute to Coffey here.