The FIFTY Episode 24: Mt Shuksan, Wash.

Townsend tackles a line with a pucker factor of 100.

Townsend scopes out his line. 

The latest installment of “The Fifty” follows Cody Townsend to Washington as he attempts 9,130-foot Mt. Shuksan for the second time. This marks the 24th line in Townsends goal to climb and ski all the lines outlined in the book, “50 Classic Ski Descents in North America.”

“It’s about as close to an Alaskan face as you can get this close to a ski area,” says Townsend while overlooking the line from the back of his car in the Mt. Baker parking lot. 

Townsend’s first attempt at the mountain was met with 90 mph winds and a windblown couloir, forcing his crew to pull the plug on the operation. This time, Townsend is joined by fellow Salomon athletes Stan Rey and Alexi Godbout. Despite bluebird skies and great visibility, they face hammered snow conditions once again, forcing them to reevaluate if the descent is safe. With all signs pointing to yes, the crew makes their way down the steep and highly exposed face of the Northwest Couloir where they manage to find stable conditions and untouched powder.

Stan Rey finds some good snow on Mt. Shuksan
Stan Rey finds the goods on Mt. Shuksan. Photo credit: Bjarne Salén

Watch The FIFTY Episode 24: Mt. Shuksan, Wash. 

Tune in every two weeks to follow Townsend as he attempts to ski 50 Classic Lines in North America. You can also follow along with the project via Instagram.