The Inertia for Good Editor

The Inertia

Cody Townsend is creeping up on a pretty wild accomplishment, climbing and skiing every line from The 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. He’s crossed 46 of those lines off his list and documented the whole endeavor over the past five years, making for one pretty solid bit of storytelling. According to Townsend’s latest release where he took on the Bloody Couloir in California, the documentary aspect of The Fifty is over.

He started the whole thing off with a “life’s a journey, not a destination” approach, saying his intent was to try each of the classic 50 descents and see what came of it all. He told Sr. Editor Joe Carberry that perspective hadn’t changed in 2023, at which point he still had seven descents left on his list.

“I’m 40 years old and I still feel like I’m learning and exploring the mountains in a whole new way,” he said on The Inertia podcast. “Who knows how long it will take for me to finish them or if I will finish them at all,” adding that finishing each descent or not can be a game time decision. He’d see where his heart is, where his mind is, take into account his family, and a whole list of factors that could impact his decision(s) along the way.

The outlook on Townsend’s swing at Bloody Couloir seems to have brought many things full circle. He’d first visited the spot in California two decades ago and has obviously gained a lot more knowledge and wisdom since. That made this journey even more reflective for Townsend, who’s always contributed plenty of thought and insight into each documentary piece — one of the most compelling aspects of his storytelling throughout The Fifty series. It also makes for an appropriate spot to wrap up the Youtube series. “Not the last line, but the last episode,” as he puts it.

The war stories from Townsend’s trip to Bloody Mountain over 20 years ago are amusing. The crew set out with metal skis — long ones — race boots, heavy bindings, you name it. They hiked in race boots and admit they had no idea what they were doing at the time.

“If I was just doing this by myself, trying to conquer these lines, it wouldn’t have the same spirit and memory and joy,” he says. “When I started this project I said I want to learn the mountains in a whole new way. After 46 lines I can easily say I’ve learned a lot thanks to the people, the mountains, the places, and the communities involved with this. I will say though, the learning doesn’t stop here.”


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