Professional skier Cody Townsend’s 90-second YouTube clip “Days of My Youth” captures him performing a death-defying ski run — a terrifying stunt in which he plunges down the narrow path of a virtually vertical chute in the wilderness of south-central Alaska’s Tordrillo mountain range, about 75 miles northwest of Anchorage.
MSP rightly describes the 5ft- to 6ft-wide crevice in the Alaskan wilderness as the “most insane ski line ever.”
Townsend can be heard saying, as he prepares to make the ski run, a vertiginous drop that lasted only about 30 seconds, “Oh, I’m getting nervous now.”
Watch Townsend take a deep breath, peer down the run expectantly before lunging down its treacherous course. He skillfully weaves his way at break-neck speed between crevices guarded by sharp-edged rocks that seem to rush menacingly at him like nightmarish monsters with bared fangs as he tears down the slope faster and faster under the pull of gravity.
He finally emerges from the tunnel-like drop through a slit-like exit window pierced by a narrow ray of light.
Anyone would admit that it takes more than virtuoso skill in skiing to summon up courage to attempt such insanely crazy stunt. Viewers will agree that Townsend’s is probably the scariest ski run ever. Townsend himself admitted that the ski run was “the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”
Speaking to the Daily News after the performance, Townsend explained that the run happened so fast that he really did not have time to pay attention to the details of the intense moments of the descent.
“The chute is probably five to six feet wide at its narrowest. It was hard to tell though because, honestly, I was going so fast I wasn’t paying attention to anything that wasn’t directly in front of me. You’re focused on where you need to go, not on the details of what’s around you.”
Explaining the secret behind his success in his acceptance speech, Townsend said “Regardless of skill, it’s the skier that is having the most fun that is truly the best skier.”
“It’s one of those things where the snow ball just picked up speed real fast. I never skied to win an award. I’ve always just kind of followed what I want to do. So many things that went into it this year, it was because that’s what I thought was going to be the most fun.”
The peak of the mountain range and the chute down which he skied has no official name, according to Townsend, who lives in Squaw Valley, California. The skier reportedly explained, “There are so many mountains in Alaska, only the most iconic peaks tend to have official names.”
But Cody Townsend added that he has some names of his own for the chute but wouldn’t mention them because “they’re pretty vulgar and not fit to print.”
The video has gone viral with over 2.5 million views since it was uploaded to YouTube by MSP films on Dec. 8, 2014.