Reviewing the News w/ Cody Townsend (Dec 2020) (Ep.156)

In the December, 2020 edition of Reviewing the News with Cody Townsend on the Blister Podcast, Cody and Jonathan Ellsworth discuss the Queens Gambit, who is getting into avalanche accidents, Ski Media, Magnus Carlsen, and more
Michelle Parker & Cody Townsend during the filming of "The Mountain Why." (photo by Bjarne Salen)


Cody Towsend and I talk about chess & The Queen’s Gambit; savants & skier savants; ski media; political appointees; avalanche accidents; Cody’s new film, The Mountain Why; and more.

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5 comments on “Reviewing the News w/ Cody Townsend (Dec 2020) (Ep.156)”

  1. On Cody’s comment on local affordability, I do think that something should be done. However, I propose a different solution: locals sell their beta to tourists. The only way to really democratize this solution would be by building a two-sided, mobile accessible marketplace that aggregates the beta from local residents, uses AI and NLP to process the data into easily digestible beta reports for the wealthy tourists looking for an optimal or off-the-beaten path experience. Over time through a series of temporary subscription transactions the wealthy tourists would become patrons of the locals. Basically, an OnlyFans for local beta. The total addressable market size for this platform….

    Hope you enjoyed the joke. Great podcast.

    I would be curious to hear more on the local affordability issue. If I recall correctly Scott Gaffney has been really vocal on the issue in the North Lake Tahoe Area

  2. Another great netflix series you should check out “La Casa de Papel”. Netflix felt the need to give it a separate English title “money heist”. (terrible name; but good show). Extremely binge-worthy.

  3. The correct answer for freeskier savant is Candide. He’s dominated every aspect of freeskiing and you can see how above everyone he is by how he skis and what he can do on a mountain. He sees skiing differently than everyone, is more creative and has the skills to do things most cannot.

  4. 1. Good to hear Cody mentioning Nikolai Schirmer. So, Jonathan, when are you going to talk to him?
    2. Really enjoyed “The Mountain Why” but think you gave Cody a pass on his acknowledgement that at the end he wasn’t capable of thinking – never mind making a good decision. Especially after the earlier conversation on avalanche accidents, it would have been interesting to have asked him when he feels that you should just turn back and whether it was really ok to just rely on Bjarne?

    • Hey Ian,
      So to answer your question, specifically #2, that was a point of contention for myself and the editing team to leave in or take out. I personally wanted it in, because it was the truth. There are few things that led me to justify continuing despite me saying what I said. The first, the potential hazards of that day were minimal. No slide potential, no crevasse fall potential, weather forecast was solid for the next 16 hours and it was a very very easy route. So critical decision making wasn’t much of necessity on this line. The second aspect was, I was alert enough of my own cognitions to let the others know that my brain was a bit slow that day. With Bjarne there, who was fresh as hell, I wanted to let him know that I’m not my usual self so don’t trust me to speak up if hazards present themselves. We work on such a partnership level, that I just wanted to cautiously alert him to be extra alert that day. The third factor, it was an out-of-it feeling that wasn’t like high-altitude climbing. I had my wits about me enough that I knew internally, if shit hit the fan and it was the others relying on me to help, I would summon the energy to get after what I had to do. Perhaps it wasn’t the best thing to say and leave in the film but it was said and it reflected how I felt at that moment. Do I worry about influencing people into poor decisions because of what I said, honestly, yes. But we also have to have trust in others. If we start going down that rabbit hole of poorly influencing others, then the Fifty as a whole wouldn’t even exist, nor would Free Solo, climbing Everest, etc….

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