The Fifty Project Episode 19: Watson Traverse - Ski Mag

“Tired and suffering, I guess that’s my life now,” says Cody Townsend after navigating one of his sketchiest descents to date in the latest installment of “The Fifty.” This week, Townsend is joined by his videographer Bjarne Salén to attempt the Watson Traverse on Mount Baker in Washington. The mountain boasts an elevation of 10,781’ and the team must cover around 7,000 vertical feet before checking this line off the list of "50 Classic Ski Descents in North America."

Read More: Catching up With Cody Townsend

Cody Townsend having an aprés beer after one of the most challenging lines in "The Fifty".

Townsend relaxes with an aprés beer after a grueling ascent

In 1939, Dwight Watson was the first person to complete the 15-mile traverse and chronicled his journey on 16mm film. Thousands of skiers have since traversed this glaciated peak. With a warming future, however, Townsend predicts this traverse might not be doable in a few years seeing as it was barely doable this time.

The weather is not in their favor as they battle intense wind from an impending storm while dodging deadly crevasses due to the rapidly melting glaciers. The duo had to maneuver the broken up glacier attached by a rope because the deteriorating conditions made it extremely dangerous to ski.

“That was the scariest 30-degree run I have ever done in my life,” commented Townsend.

Watch “The Fifty” Episode 19: Watson Traverse

Check out:  'Peak Obsession," A Fifty Project Short Film

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


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