The Fifty: Devil’s Bedstead

In each of this year’s episodes of The Fifty, we’re providing you with a behind the scenes look, tools you can use to replicate the lines, and a couple hilarious stories you won’t find in the episodes.

The Line

Devil's Bedstead, Idaho

Situated just east of Ketchum, Idaho, Devil’s Bedstead is an iconic slope visible from town. At 11,865 feet, it’s the fifth-highest peak in the Pioneer range and 21st-highest peak in Idaho. For this mission, skiers Cody Townsend and Bjarne Salen attempted the North Face of Devil’s Bedstead, which skis best in late spring, according to locals. It’s steep, challenging, and just begging to be skied. 

Access and the Ascent

Head up Trail Creek Road outside Ketchum to begin the journey. Depending on where the snowline is, you’ll have to drive 2-4 miles before slapping the skins on. The first portion of the tour is through a thick forest of lodgepole pines until you hit the alpine. The ascent has no shortage of avalanche hazards and confidence in snow stability is paramount. The climb is steep, physically demanding, and nearly 3,000 feet. It’s going to be slow, and you should climb high on the ridgelines to avoid avalanche terrain. The crux is a class three to four scramble.

Cody Townsend on Devil's Bedstead

The Down

As mentioned before, the North Face is steep, long, and exposed. The ice falls and cliffs can become unskiable, which requires careful scouting and navigation. With the late-spring conditions, variability is the name of the game—wind-affected snow, ice, and facets abound. 

To follow along on Cody’s The Fifty Project, check out our page that includes background on him, 3D looks at the lines he’s skiing, and other episodes from the season.

Ski Your OWn Fifty
Find all of Cody Townsend’s previously skied lines in the App.

Mitch Breton

Mitch Breton was raised on the shores of Maine's coastline chasing fresh snow, trout, grouse, and the best darn mosquito repellent money can buy. Covering topics from fly fishing, car camping, and beyond, he thrives on a story well-told.