[VIDEO] CLASSIC FLOW – #10 – McGowan – Icy Conditions Make Good Ski Mountaineers

SnowBrains | BackcountryBackcountry

McGowan or McGown? Why don’t you let me know. Supposedly it was renamed from McGown to McGowan in 2017 to honor an early settler in the Stanley Valley named George McGowan. With that said, seems like a rather appropriate moment to acknowledge that I am beyond thankful to be on Shoshone-Bannock, Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla lands in this episode.

So, maybe this peak is in need of a new name.

This episode is part of the commencement of The Classic Flow – for new viewers, this is my journey to ski 31 of the 50 classics in one season, that is in 2022. The Idaho segment of this journey was an adventure of turning inwards, connecting with the mountains, and connecting with myself. To move in the mountains with minimal disturbances and account the adventure. It was an honor to begin this in the Sawtooths as they are extremely stunning.

It’s true, I wish I would’ve got these first two lines in powder conditions, but sometimes some crusty skiing is appropriate for the project at large. I suppose you’ll have to wait for the next episode where the skiing in Idaho changed to proper powder…and a proper sufferfest.

The Classic Flow is a multi-part series that will dive intimately into the journey of Michael Wirth (a 24 year old ski mountaineer) climbing and skiing 31 of the Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America in just a single season. I hope you subscribe to stay tuned into the many more to come soon.

I embarked on this journey due to the fear of imminent last descents among these lines. With the climate changing rapidly, our snow is disappearing in many places. As a kid from the Aspen Valley, I grew up with Chris Davenport’s, Art Burrow’s and Penn Newhard’s book, The Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America, looming as a distant dream. Cody Townsend’s FIFTY project has also been a sense of motivation and inspiration to take on the challenge of skiing a variety of these lines – what an adventure? Thus, I set out in January of 2022 to ski as many lines as possible in one season to discover what was possible from the logistic, technical and endurance capacities of myself.

Carly Valerious illustrated the animated intro sequence and worked with the talented editor Rainy Adkins to bring it to final animated form. I can’t thank these two enough for their work on this.

Follow @michaelcwirth on Instagram for real time updates on the project and more of what’s to come from this upstart punk 😉 https://www.instagram.com/michaelcwirth/

Check out FATMAP and my profile to see a Classic Flow guidebook. Here is the McGowan route: https://fatmap.com/routeid/3090413/mc…

And use this link to get a 30 day free trial: https://fatmap.typeform.com/MCWirth


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