Last Saturday, Conquering The Useless, a film project by Team Thirteen and Cody Townsend, made its world premiere at Tahoe Art Haus in Tahoe City, California. In an email from a couple of days ago, Townsend told me “we kicked off the world premiere of Conquering the Useless at the Tahoe Art Haus on Saturday night. While it’s mainly an online digital download [film], it was rad to see a standing room only, fully packed theater for the movie.” And man, that crowd was treated to one of, if not the best solo project I’ve seen since athlete-produced films began popping up like whack-a-moles two years ago. The movie centers around Townsend, Chris Rubens and Dave Treadway setting out into the remote Boundary Range separating British Columbia and Alaska, to climb and ski incredible lines via snowmobile access.
Following his boom in stardom stemming from his “The Crack” segment in MSP’s Days of My Youth, Townsend fully steps out of the repetitive blueprint he’s followed over the past ten-plus years of filming heli-ski segments (among other skiing endeavors) across the world. When the trailer for the film first dropped, he told me, “I think there are so many cool challenges in skiing and different ways of approaching [the sport]. I’ve been taking the same approach for ten years and wanted to step out of that comfort zone and get to a different place than I’m used to.”
I’d say you succeeded, Mr. Townsend. Instead of a full-fledged film recap that will spoil it for all of you who haven’t been treated to the movie, I thought I’d make a quick hit list of takeaways from the film.
Another edition of #TooHotTuesday from a moment of being completely gripped while shooting for "Conquering The Useless". A moment following @chrisrubens leading the charge up as vertical of a snow wall as I've ever been on. At this point, there was no other option but to get to the top. There was no turning around, nothing to rappel off, just keep moving and we'll figure out how we're all skiing down from the safety of the ridge. Ended up being one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life. A transcendent moment.
Conquering The Useless is a must-see for any skier, outdoorsman, adventurer, etc. The film is scheduled to screen in Annecy, France, Zakopane, Poland, Boston, Denver, Fernie, Park City, Ogden and Revelstoke in the coming months. For a full schedule, click here. I suggest you attend, or, do yourself a favor and purchase it on iTunes beginning October 24.