[Jones’s beach holidays are different from most people’s. Photo: Swatch]
Jeremy Jones and his snowboarding exist on a plane unattainable, unimaginable, to most snowboarders on the planet. Over the last couple of decades he’s made his name by charging some of the most brutal big mountain lines you can imagine – a journey that culminated in the movie Higher and the descent of a freakish shard of Himalayan peak – but if you strip away the 50 degree faces and gnarly exposure the way that riders like Jeremy look at mountains and evaluate lines at their level of snowboarding can equally be translated to anyone on the more mortal end of the spectrum.
At the launch of his new book, No Words for the Way Down (a high-quality, large format coffee table affair combining epic photography with extracts from the numerous journals Jeremy has written on his trips) and Swatch timepiece, Sam Oetiker sat down with him to talk about his approach to riding the backcountry…
“I’m thinking ‘what’s going to happen if it slides?’ You’ve got to ask yourself that all the time and if it means that the slope slides and I’ll die, it means that the slope, probably 98% of the time, is a slope that I’m not going to touch.”
You’ve clearly got a lot of experience with backcountry. What are the first things that you evaluate when scoping a new zone, do you pick like ‘I want to ride that mountain’ or is it particular aspects? What draws you to certain areas?
Yeah so, the beauty of the mountains is that no two are made the same. I’ll see a mountain that just gets inside of me and I can’t get it out of my head. They stay with me. The really special ones I will put everything I have into that to try and have the opportunity to snowboard down that thing, which at times can be three weeks in a tent. That’s very common. Most of the stuff takes two to five attempts and it’s a pull that I get, I don’t know if that will end but that pull is as strong as it’s ever been right now.