All photos: Bjarne Salen
Cody Townsend is one of the most recognizable names in skiing at the moment. He’s been a regular in Matchstick Productions’ annual flicks since 2005’s The Hit List, has wowed mass audiences with his fast, fluid approach to big-mountain skiing and won over the hearts of ski enthusiasts the world over with his low-key demeanor and charisma. This season, he announced his most ambitious project to date, the goal to ski all fifty lines in the beloved book, 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America, by Chris Davenport, Art Burrows and Penn Newhard.
Definitely not slowly, but surely, Cody Townsend is ticking off one classic ski descent after another. Upon summiting and successfully descending Giant Steps Couloir in California, Townsend made his way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for his 12th mission of the season: The Grand Teton.
With little knowledge and experience on this mountain, the insanely gifted skier phones in an expert friend to help him tackle this beast of a line. Known for his outdoor adventure film-making prowess with works like Meru and more recently, Academy Award-winning Free Solo, Jimmy Chin has summited and skied The Grand Teton more than 20 times in his 20 years of living in Jackson.
Over 7,000 vertical feet and six repel sections, the Grand Teton is no walk in the park, but with the talents and expertise of Townsend, Chin and videographer Bjarne Salen, the crew successfully checks another line off the mighty list.