Cody Townsend’s a professional big mountain free-skier from the States who’s known for burly lines and not taking anything but skiing seriously. He was recently in Aus putting the final touches on the world’s first backcountry specific skiing sock, in partnership with Le Bent.


Nothing wrecks your feet like backcountry skiing. Steep slopes, heavy boots, strange angles and oodles of moisture conspire to rub your feet from every angle. And not in the good way.

Cody Townsend bootpacks up a line in the Aussie Alps

As the proud owner of a dirty great backcountry blister myself a few months ago, I’m pretty well-acquainted with the day-ruining twinge at the back of your heel.

So when I was in shop a few weeks back I was pretty surprised to hear that there was no such thing as a backcountry skiing sock. Well, until now.

 

 

Le Send X Cody Townsend

It’s not surprising that a bloke who spends all of his time chasing deep powder at intimidating angles hadn’t been to Australia, but Aussie apparel brand Le Bent knew that a) he was in for a shock and b) would have to check out our slopes if they were going to collab with him and chuck his name on a sock.

But they did more than print his name on the fabric. Le Bent worked with Cody to produce the ultimate sock for climbing uphill and sending it on the way down. It’s made from Le Bent’s Signature Blend, a super comfortable composite blend of Merino wool and rayon from Bamboo. There’s silicone too, to keep the socks up and lock your heel in place, and padding in allll the right places.

Le Send X Cody Townsend, Le Bent, Kosciuszko backcountry, skiing, ski touring, australian alps

The lightweight sock is the first of its kind

So What’d Cody Think Of Aussie Skiing?

Well first up, he lucked out, bigtime. Cody arrived in early August as the storm of the season was hitting the slopes from Hotham to Perisher. Some places got 1.3 metres in four days! 

Le Send X Cody Townsend, Le Bent, Kosciuszko backcountry, skiing, ski touring, australian alps, photo by matt wiseman

Aussie pow’s a bit harder to find, but when ya find it 🙏 | Photo by Matt Wiseman

The crew headed out to the fabled western faces of Kosciuszko for some legit lines. We’re no strangers to the terrain out there, so we’re stoked that one of the world’s best freeriders got to ride it at its peak. This wasn’t some bluebird fantasy either, check out the vid above, which features river crossings and a dawn ascent of a ridgeline.

‘I thought the guys at Le Bent were joking when they said Australia had big mountains but they‘re definitely there if you make the effort,’ said Cody, ‘showing up for the storm of the year made for an exceptional trip.’

The Fifty

Cody’s in the middle of The Fifty Project. The goal is to ski all of the huge descents featured in the book Fifty Classic Ski Descents Of North America. He’s up to number 14 at the moment, but the summer months have meant a break in the project.

Luckily, Cody’s been able to chase winter down to Australia to keep his ski legs fresh – and do some final testing on his pro model sock while he’s at it.

Le Send X Cody Townsend, Le Bent, Kosciuszko backcountry, skiing, ski touring, australian alps

Ain’t no better feeling than ‘skins off!’

Le Send X Cody Townsend, Le Bent, Kosciuszko backcountry, skiing, ski touring, australian alps, photo by matt wiseman

Better snow than a bluebird | Photo by Matt Wiseman

The Le Send X Cody Townsend sock has been on Cody’s feet during The Fifty Project with good reason – he hasn’t had a blister since he joined the Le Bent team, so they’re now officially on the market!

 

We Are Explorers produced this piece in partnership with Le Bent.

 


Feature photo by Matt Wiseman


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