The FIFTY Episode 3: Terminal Cancer

Cody Townsend and co. get creative in the name of first descents.
Cody Townsend, "The Fifty", Episode 3: Terminal Cancer

If you're wondering 'Is that a monoski?' you wouldn't be wrong. 

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. 

Watch "The Fifty": Episode 3

Tune in every two weeks to catch a new episode of Townsend’s big adventure of skiing the 50 most classic lines in North America. You can also follow along with Townsend's project via Instagram


The Fifty: Episode 5-Mt. Currie, Cody Townsend

The FIFTY Episode 5: Mt. Currie

What goes down must first go up—way up.

Cody Townsend, The Fifty, Episode 4 - The Hypodermic Needle

The FIFTY Episode 4: The Hypodermic Needle

Cody Townsend takes the road less traveled.

Cody Townsend, "The Fifty" Project

Cody Townsend Launches “The Fifty”

The new web series will document the pro skier tackling fifty classic descents of North America.

Cody Townsend, The Fifty: Episode 2, Mount Superior

The FIFTY Episode 2: Mt. Superior

Cody Townsend checks off line number 2 on his epic adventure of tackling the 50 classic descents of North America.

Cody Townsend, The Fifty Episode 7, Joffre peak


Cody Townsend discovers that sometimes, the skiing’s just not worth it.

The Fifty Episode 9, Pontoon Peak, Cody Townsend

The FIFTY Episode 9: Pontoon Peak

Another peak tests Cody Townsend's backcountry savviness.

Cody Townsend and Elyse Saugstad scope out The Sickle

The FIFTY Episode 26: The Sickle, Idaho

Cody Townsend introduces one of the best freeskiers of all time (his wife) to mountaineering in the Sawtooth Mountains.

The Fifty Episode 8, The Sphinx

The FIFTY Episode 8: The Sphinx

Cody Townsend faces an uphill battle in Alaska.