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Shredding the Skyladder: Cody Townsend Checks Off Another Classic Ski Descent

Located in the Canadian Rockies, British Columbia, the Skyladder on Mt. Andromeda is an intimidating ski descent — and one that Cody Townsend shows no quarter on.

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British Columbia’s “Skyladder” is one of the gnarliest lines in the 50 Classic Ski Descents in North America. And when Cody Townsend showed up ready to ski it, the conditions weren’t great.

You can tell from the start of the video that Townsend is unsure about the snowpack. He ventures up into the mountains on a scouting ski, with a local expert, Doug Ward, to see if it would be safe to attempt the Skyladder . But he isn’t sold. He waits a day and, sure enough, an avalanche in the area sweeps a skier into a crevasse, resulting in a helicopter rescue.

Townsend’s intuition was correct — and he decides patience is the best play.

That pays off for Townsend. A week later the conditions have become much better, and Townsend, along with guide and friend, Kevin Hjertaas, sets out to ski the Skyladder. They embark at 4 a.m., climb over 4,000 vertical feet, and summit, ecstatic about the climb and the quality of the snow. They make the descent and rip the Skyladder to pieces.

Townsend checks off another descent from the Classic 50 . And damn, does it look like a great ski.

Runtime: 16 minutes

Nick McNutt and Cody Townsend ski Combatant Couloir

Cody Townsend and Nick McNutt Try Skiing in 'One of the Worst Places on the Planet'

Cody Townsend and Nick McNutt go to Combatant Couloir in B.C. to ski one of the 50 classic descents. And the conditions aren't great. Read more…

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