A Fifty Project film

The Polar Star | Chasing Monster Couloirs on Baffin Island

By: Ethan Stone November 19, 2023

If you want to watch Cody Townsend check off Line #45 on his mission to ski all 50 of North America’s classic ski lines, you don’t have to wait long. After a six-day mission just to get to the base of their line on Canada’s remote Baffin Island, the “Polar Star” couloir is the first objective that Cody, French guide Vivian Bruchez and filmer Bjarne Salen check off.

Once the main objective is in the bag, the crew still has nine more days to explore the monster couloirs of this otherworldly Arctic landscape. And besides opening up new lines and learning the fine art of ski mountaineering from a master of his craft, Cody finds a new objective: learning what makes the incredibly experienced yet fun-loving guide and skier Vivian tick.

If you like monster couloirs, ski alpinism and a healthy dose of butt-puckering steeps, you’ve come to the right place.

From YouTube: The most remote classic of The FIFTY, The Polar Star is an iconic ski line. Set on the Arctic island of Baffin, the Polar Star Couloir is aesthetic, breath-taking couloir set among an island of ice, Polar Bears and towering granite walls. Joining up with Cody Townsend on his attempt to ski “The Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America” is one of the world’s best ski mountaineers and steep skiers, Vivian Bruchez. Though the goal of the journey is to ski The Polar Star, a plethora of steep, challenging and beautiful ski lines await in Baffin…and a lesson in just what makes Vivian one of the world’s best, comes to light.