Higher Truths

In the age of modern comfort and convenience, why do we choose to suffer?

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The Himalaya is a pilgrimage any person with a love of the mountains is compelled to make and Cody Townsend is no different. Joined by Chris Rubens and Anthony Bonello on an expedition to be the first to ski Mt Colangma (6952m), an unclimbed peak in the Tibetan Himalaya. For Cody, it was a logical progression in a freeski career punctuated with numerous successes and triumphs. And while the highest mountains on Earth have the capacity to humble high ambitions, their people demonstrate a blueprint for accepting failure.

The Himalaya is a pilgrimage any person with a love of the mountains is compelled to make and Cody Townsend is no different. Joined by Chris Rubens and Anthony Bonello on an expedition to be the first to ski Mt Colangma (6952m), an unclimbed peak in the Tibetan Himalaya. For Cody, it was a logical progression in a freeski career punctuated with numerous successes and triumphs. And while the highest mountains on Earth have the capacity to humble high ambitions, their people demonstrate a blueprint for accepting failure.

What Goes Into An Expedition

Expedition 1

Crew L to R- Chris Rubens, Anthony Bonello, Luke Smithwick, Cody Townsend, Jay Trusler

Expedition 2

The expedition began in Lhasa, the spiritual capital of Buddhism. We spent 2 days at 3600m to begin to acclimatize to the altitude, exploring the Potala Palace and Johkang Temple.

Expedition 3

A large prayer wheel outside the Johkang Temple in Lhasa.

Expedition 4

Monasteries like Tashi Lhunpo, seen here in Shigatse, were once centers for learning and pilgrimage for Buddhists. As we travelled west from Lhasa we spent a night in Shigatse and took the morning to hike above the city to continue to acclimatize.

Expedition 5

From this view point in Tingri, we got our first glimpse of the highest mountains on Earth. Cho Oyu, the sixth highest stands at 8188m.

Expedition 6

To reach advanced basecamp, we loaded 17 horses with skis, tents, food and provisions for the expedition.

Expedition 7

The hike into advanced basecamp began at 4600m and took us to 5300m where we made our home in preparation for an attempt on our objective.

Expedition 8

Our objective... Mt Colangma, at 6952m, is an unclimbed peak guarded by an 8km lake approach which gives way to a technical glacier before reaching the skyline ridge. Distant, cold, unknown.

Tibet in Virtual Reality

Go behind the scenes in an immersive virtual reality 180 experience with Cody Townsend and Chris Rubens as they explore the once forbidden city of Lhasa, acclimatize to altitude and stumble upon Buddhist caves. In basecamp take a tour to discover what goes into an expedition to the highest mountains on earth and ski from 6500m.

Daydream" Cardboard

Lhasa

Lhasa

In VR180, visit the once forbidden city of Lhasa, the spiritual capital of Buddhism. Go inside the 1300 year old Johkang Temple and witness Buddhist pilgrims prostrating in the streets.

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Potala Palace

Potala Palace

Get a rare glimpse inside the Potala Palace, the traditional home of the Dalai Lama. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of the most important sites in Buddhism.

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Acclimatization

Himalayan Galcier

Learn about the process of acclimatizing to the higher altitudes of the Himalaya as Cody Townsend and Chris Rubens prepare to climb and ski Colangma, an unclimbed peak in Tibet.

Basecamp

Basecamp

In VR180, take a tour of advance basecamp at 5300m in the Tibetan Himalaya. Meet the sherpas, learn what the team eat, how they sleep and other tricks for surviving in basecamp.

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Buddhist Caves

Buddhist Caves

Discover Buddhist caves on the Changtang Plateau in rural Tibet in VR 180.

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Cody's Pack

Cody's Pack

Learn what gear Cody Townsend uses when skiing at high altitudes in the Himalaya.

Skiing the Himalaya

Ski the Himalaya

In VR180, climb from basecamp at 5300 to 6500m to go skiing in the Himalaya.

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Gear

MTN Lab boot

Redefining the future of touring fit & performance.

MTN Lab boot: View Product

Salomon QST 106

Excel in all playgrounds, powder ready all day with on-piste reliability.

Salomon QST 106: View Product

S/LAB QST GTX®

Premium protection for dedicated powder chasers.

S/LAB QST GTX®: View Product