By Sam Collentine, Meteorologist Posted 4 years ago January 8, 2020

WATCH: The FIFTY - Watson Traverse

Mt Baker is the third highest mountain in Washington state. The Watson Traverse is a tribute to the history of skiing in the Pacific Northwest and the 14 miles, 10k+ foot traverse was first accomplished by Dwight Watson in 1939. Watson completed the traverse in a single day and filmed the feat on a 16mm camera which film still exists today.

In May of 2019, Cody Townsend and Bjarne Salen recreate this feat but face a rapidly melting glacier pocked marked with deadly crevasses, an impending storm and the modern-day softness that makes them question the entire point of ski traverses.

'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: Pontoon Peak

Line #10: Spearhead Traverse

Line #11: Giant Steps Couloir

Line #12: Grand Teton

Line #13: Landry Line

Line #14: Middle Teton

Line #15-16: North Maroon & Holy Cross Couloir

Line #17: Mt. Tukuhnikivatz

Line #18: Wilson Peak

Line #19: Meteorite Mountain

Back to All News

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.

Free OpenSnow App