Professional skier and snowblade-enthusiast Cody Townsend has been making mountaineering headlines, but not for reasons he originally intended. In his quest to climb and ski all 50 lines chronicled in the book 'The Fifty Classic Descents of North America,' he has found himself in hot water after making a potentially false claim for a first snowblade descent.
The line in question? Terminal Cancer Couloir in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada.
Semi-professional skier Ryan Faye and friend Tilen Lane claim they made the first snowblade descent of Terminal Cancer Couloir back in the spring of 2017. Despite the entire blog post by Faye, Townsend is skeptical that the duo dropped in from the top. “Any good snowblade mountaineer knows that was a partial descent,” he said. Faye and friend also failed to register the descent with the American Alpine Journal, which means “it does not count.”
Faye, a self-proclaimed professional snowblader, was not amused. “The big mountain snowblade community is built upon a strong code of ethics and values,” he said.” I just can’t believe a ‘pro’ snowblader like Cody Townsend would go out of his way to falsify a first descent claim...”
The controversy is dividing the snowblade community with no resolution in sight. The drama continues to unfold over a series of social media posts all aimed at discrediting the other. Can Faye and friend claim the first snowblade descent of Terminal Couloir, or did the slight technical hitch give the first descent to Townsend?