In the NW corner of Montana, a ten-thousand foot mountain rises out straight out of the thick forest. Mt. Stimson dominates the skyline like a giant shark tooth turned upside down. The SW Face of Stimson, first skied by Pete Costain and Andy Zimet in 1997, is a five-thousand foot, steep, exposed and sustained face that guards all falls with a three-hundred foot cliff at the bottom. It’s a challenging ski line to begin with, but guarding the mountain is a nine miles approach filled with thousands of deadfall trees, thick forests and nearly impenetrable willows. Add in a narrow canyon, a slick cobblestoned creek that must be crossed hundreds of times and no defined trail and you have the single hardest approach for any ski line so far in The FIFTY series. Joined by snowboarded Nick Russell, Cody Townsend and cameraman Bjarne Salen embark on a three day sufferfest of epic proportions.
This is Episode 28 for The FIFTY, and line 31 of 50 completed by Cody Townsend. The FIFTY is a project following Cody Townsend as he attempts to climb and ski all fifty of the lines and mountains chronicled in the book, “The 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America.” The series documents Townsend’s journey’s, travels, challenges and each line and mountain listed in the book. It’s a journey through the most majestic mountains and ski lines in North America along with a unique insight into how skiers make decisions in the backcountry, how they plan, navigate and safely move through the mountains along with the people that dedicate their lives to the mountains.