By Sam Collentine, Meteorologist Posted 4 years ago March 18, 2020

WATCH: The FIFTY - Mt. Shuksan

Standing watch above the Mt Baker Ski Area in Washington state is Mt. Shuksan, a towering mountain that steals your eye and sends shivers down your spine. Its glaciated terrain is always moving, letting loose torrential avalanches at a moment's notice. Its northern faces are steep, wild and fraught with peril. It takes perfect timing along with a union of perfect conditions to ski it.

After ten years of waiting for that union, the time has come. Having spotted a solid weather and stability window, the FIFTY crew camps out at the legendary Mt Baker Ski Area parking lot and is joined by fellow Salomon athletes Stan Rey and Alexi Godbout for an attempt to ski the steep and heavily exposed Northwest Couloir. While conditions seemed perfect from afar, the mission gets thrown into jeopardy by a sudden shift in winds and a whole lot of question marks.

'The FIFTY' is a project to climb and ski all 50 lines chronicled in the book, "The Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America". Over the next three years, Cody Townsend will be chronicling the adventures, challenges, and travels as he takes on a collection of the most aesthetic, spectacular, and hardest lines in North America.

Line #1: Messner Couloir

Line #2: Mt. Superior

Line #3: Terminal Cancer

Line #4: Hypodermic Needle

Line #5: Mt. Currie

Line #6: Aemmer Couloir

Line #7: Joffre Peak

Line #8: The Sphinx

Line #9: Spearhead Traverse

Line #10: Giant Steps Couloir

Line #11: Grand Teton

Line #12: Landry Line

Line #13: Middle Teton

Line #14-15: North Maroon & Holy Cross Couloir

Line #16: Mt. Tukuhnikivatz

Line #17: Wilson Peak

Line #18-19: Meteorite Mountain & Pontoon Peak

Line #20: Watson Traverse

Line #21: Mt. Shasta

Line #22: Mt. Timpanogos

Line #23: Mt. Washington

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About The Author

Sam Collentine


Sam Collentine is the Chief Operating Officer of OpenSnow and lives in Basalt, Colorado. Before joining OpenSnow, he studied Atmospheric Science at the University of Colorado, spent time at Channel 7 News in Denver, and at the National Weather Service in Boulder.

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