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The FIFTY ‘Summit Fever’: Townsend Heads for the Hardest Line Yet

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Every line that ski mountaineer Cody Townsend pursues in ‘The FIFTY’ is classic, but good luck finding one with fewer descents than Mt. St. Elias.

Since ticking his first line for the project, Townsend has taken on more than half of North America’s wildest backcountry ski descents. The latest entry to “The FIFTY” series, “Summit Fever,” documents Townsend, Dan Corn, Nick Russell, and cameraman Bjarne Salen’s attempt to summit and ski down North America’s second-highest peak, Mt. St. Elias (18,008 feet), in the spring of 2021.

Townsend describes the run as one of three “cruxes of the FIFTY” — a route that overshadows the rest in magnitude, risk, and improbability. Known for tempestuous storms and fewer than a handful of ski descents, the line on Mt. St. Elias is a lifetime test piece for the most elite skiers.

Watch the scrappy skimo crew keep the stoke, smiles, and Swedish Fish a-flowin’ as they negotiate the Yukon behemoth.

Runtime: 36 minutes

The Patriarch -22 Cody Townsend

Epic Last Line: The FIFTY Project Wraps Up Its Season on 'The Patriarch'

'The Patriarch' is an epic, cliffy ski line that runs down Montana's great Glacier Peak. Watch Cody Townsend tackle it in his denouement to The FIFTY Project's 2021 season. Read more…

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