Cody Townsend’s craziest backcountry features

Blake Jorgenson/Red Bull

Enjoyed Cody Townsend’s insane line?! He’s got plenty more extreme goodies for you to seek out, including yet another chronic chute

1. Rogers Pass pillows, British Columbia

For huge backcountry pillows, I’d always choose Revelstoke. Especially if you’re touring in, and can be somewhere like Rogers Pass (an hour by road from the BC ski town). Yes, Japan has the best pow and gets more snow, but in a good January, Revy is the best place in the world to be. Here, there are plenty of the rowdiest lines you’ve ever seen. Things that I’d only do one or two times a year as they’re so on the limit.

2. Terminal Cancer couloir, Nevada

This was the inspiration for the AK chute (see page 10), which I skied for an old video project called Flashing Hallways (with Jeremy Jones in 2009). It’s reasonably well known, and quite like the Alaska couloir, but not as steep or tight. I’d call it the kids’ version! It’s in the backcountry Sierras. I love skiing this sort of thing because I grew up surfing. Barrels were the best, and couloirs are a bit like that: full throttle, full awareness!

3. Girdwood spines, Alaska

This part of the world has the best spines and steeps. It’s the ultimate challenge, there’s no doubt about that. And I love Chugach Powder Guides (based at Alyeska). They have so many good lines around Girdwood (with 750,000 acres
of heli-ski terrain and runs up to 6500ft vertical). I’ve been going to Alaska for
seven or eight years now – maybe last season was my 10th trip – and it’s always an incredible experience.

4. Whistler trees, British Columbia

My favourite location for trees. The backcountry terrain here is perfect, with a ton of good maritime snow. I go every winter and am usually skiing for at least 30 or 40 days a season. I just really like it up there. If you’ve a snowmobile, the options are endless. At places like Pemberton (which is a 300km2 ice cap an hour or so north of the Canadian resort) there are literally hundreds of miles of totally unused terrain, and so many options if you’ve got a sled.

5. Col du Forclaz steeps, Verbier

Yes, there’s the Bec des Rosses, the mythical face that the Freeride World Tour concludes with every season, and all that crazy stuff. But my absolute favourite is this col between Chamonix and Verbier. You can drive the pass, and the backcountry really is unbelievable. There’s a massive face called Le Buet that’s littered with cliffs. You could ski your whole life here and never do the same run twice, all the time getting amazing steep lines over 1000m vertical. FL

Cody Townsend skis for Salomon, Swatch, the Arcade belt company and more.