Salomon athlete Cody Townsend just bagged his third line of the 50 classic descents in North America he plans to tackle in the next three years. Terminal Cancer in Nevada is one the most iconic couloirs in North America, but it’s been skied—many times, by many people. That doesn’t disqualify it as one of the 50 most ski-worthy lines, but the idea that it’s been done before does kind of bum out Townsend.
Watch: “The Fifty”: Episode 2
“There’s been one thing on my mind a lot lately, and that’s a quote by Reinhold Messner,” Townsend explains in the opening of Episode 3. “He said ‘there are no more great ascents in the mountains,’ which kind of bums me out. I mean, I know he’s talking about the way up, but it kind of pertains to the way down as well. He’s saying that there are no more great things in the mountains—it’s all been done. And I don’t believe him. I think there’s a lot of great stuff to do, including a lot of great firsts.”
Read more: Skiing in Nevada
So in Episode 3 of Townsend’s three-year project “The Fifty", Townsend, his wife Elyse Saugstad, photographer Weston Shirey, and pro skier Connery Lundin set out to disprove Messner and capture a number of Terminal Cancer firsts.