Midnight. Mid winter. 65 miles from civilization. Jeremy Jones unzips his tent to 20 below temperatures, checks for bears, pops a squat, lays down the manliest poop you’d expect from the world’s gnarliest freeride pioneer, stares above intently at the world’s heaviest mountain and the raddest line he might ever conquer. You’ve seen his films. You’ve literally almost shit your pants to his films. He’s an 8-time world champion, snowboard company owner, trilogy shred film freak (Deeper, Further, Higher), on a vision quest to shred the world’s best lines with the best riders accessed on fucking foot (err, splitboards). This is drink your piss to live, hike for 20 miles a day on foot, sleep in a snow cave for 3 months of the year in negative temperatures, might run out of food, might get attacked by a polar bear, keep your gun holstered and cocked (you are not a hybrid eagle dolphin), ready to shred the world’s biggest mighty scariest lines of powder, I hope you took a shit at the bottom beforehand, scream your lungs out, am I dreaming, once in a lifetime run type of shit. Are you ready, friends? Jeremy Jones has had over 50 video parts, is super gnarly, is a member of the rad dad club and is probably older than you. Shred ‘til you’re dead (but go see Further, first).
Being from a family of two plankers, when did, you know – feel different?
They always embraced my snowboarding. I had two older brothers, so I definitely got abused growing up, but never as a snowboarder. They backed it from day one.
How often do you look at a world atlas, trying to figure out where to go next? Is it limitless – the terrain potential?
It is limitless. I was looking at an atlas last night. I love looking at maps, globes, atlases – especially the last four years. With Deeper I realized I could go anywhere. Where in the past, it would be like, “Is there a resort nearby? Is there a helicopter nearby? Is there a snowmobile nearby?” Now, if there is really good terrain out there – if the line is open enough we will figure out how to get there. Now, the world is truly open to me.
Enjoy the view. Photo courtesy Jeremy Jones
Where do you go next?
I don’t know where to go next. Making this film (Further) the editing process has been so consuming that we just finished that thing up. Now I can start thinking about future stuff. I have some rough ideas, but nothing too far along.
23-year-old French men, Marcos Siffredi, was last seen September 8th, 2002, by his sherpa about to shred the rad on the Hornbein Couloir on Mt Everest. He was the first person to descend Everest on a snowboard the year before via the Norton Couloir. Thoughts on Marcos and whether you feel the pull towards Everest and that direction as well?
I am impressed by that question, by the way. Yobeat, dropping some hammers (laughing). Pretty damn good pronunciation, as well. Marcos Siffredi is a hero. Words can’t describe my respect for what he did with his snowboarding. The style that he did it – just on a whole different level. He went out in style and really did the biggest line in the world. For me -I don’t have a draw to that, I have a ton of respect for guys that are doing that stuff, it’s just that if I had gotten into real mountaineering maybe when I was 18 or something, maybe I would be on that plane, but my deal has been looking for these dream lines, meaning these rippable lines with perfect snow that can be charged, that can be ripped, so I’ve kind of stayed away from the really big, classic extreme mountaineering aspect of snowboarding and will continue to stay away from that stuff.
You seem to like to push your snowboard into extremely sketchy situations. How do you conquer the fear? How many times has an ice axe saved your life?
I thankfully have never been falling to my death and had to use an ice axe to stop myself. And I hope to never do that, but when we’re climbing up the stuff those ice axes make something that would be really dangerous without them, really safe, actually. It’s incredible what crampons and two axes, how much that changes the game hiking up and how it makes stuff that I would previously of thought of as sketchy really easy. As far as pushing myself, I guess I get drawn into certain lines and they just totally captivate me and hook me in, and I obsess over them and I enjoy figuring out how to safely go out and ride these lines, but again they are a pretty stark contrast to like, say what these guys are doing in Chamonix with the major exposure and the size of the lines they are riding and stuff. Its still bombing green lines opposed to being on these extreme, fall you die lines for long periods of time.
Somewhere in Norway. Photo: Dan Milner/TGR
Jones Snowboards really fits an interesting niche and age demographic as snowboarding grows. Do you think snowboarding’s preoccupation with youth has stunted its growth, somewhat? You don’t see as many old snowboarders the way you do surfers or skateboarders, per say, or industry support, likewise. How do we change this?
Yeah, I do think the the snowboard world is obsessed with the teenage kid. If you’re a late 20s/early 30s snowboarder you’re written off. No one is talking to that person. I had a funny conversation with David Benedek about it. There is nothing good culturally for me – it’s all for kids and I think that’s been a mistake, but I also think that snowboarding is still really young when you think about it, and it’s understandable that all the attention has been towards the kids and as it does mature people are starting to put a little energy towards the older snowboarder. The other thing that’s been funny in snowboarding – it seems like we’ve had the attitude of if you’re not learning a new trick in the park, then get out of the sport. Where surfing and dare I say the word skiing on Yobeat – they embrace the whole deal of, “Hey! Come cruise around the whole mountain, have a nice lunch, go drink some apres, party! Just enjoy the mountain.” You don’t have to be learning a new trick. I see a lot of people get older, get sick of getting hurt and get into surfing or something else. To some degree, you find the backcountry, or you find the beach.
Yeah, ideally both.
Terje Haakonsen, Forrest Shearer, Josh Dirksen and Lucas Debari. – how did you go about picking your “team” for Further? Had any of these dudes not used split boards before?
Terje had never been on a splitboard. With him it was really impressive watching how quickly he evolved to this totally different approach to snowboarding and it really showed how incredible of an athlete he is. His snowboarding in the film is probably some of the best, you know maybe the best snowboarding in the film, and it’s in a manner he had never really done before – he never had crampons on his feet, he had never used an ice axe, he had never been on a splitboard, and he just adapted to it and before long he was charging. Everyone else had definitely been on the splitboard kick for awhile. I would say the way that I pick a crew is that they ideally really want to this do, I may ask someone, but if they don’t jump all over it right away, I stay away from it. I don’t talk anyone into these trips because they are hard and you’ve got to really live with all friends – if you don’t you will drive yourself nuts.
Terje becomes the student. photo: Dan Milner/TGR
Looking into your crystal ball, where do you think the backcountry freestyle movement is ultimately headed?
I think we will for sure continue to see more and more freestyle in the backcountry, there is no question. We see it every year. It’s getting to the point – I don’t want to say stock, it’s not stock, it’s really impressive. It’s one thing to be building jumps in the backcountry, which is also uber impressive because the size of them blows me away every time I am in the mountains standing next to one of those proper backcountry freestyle jumps. It’s just nasty and on a different level and you can’t really comprehend the size or what they are doing off of them. Guys like Jake Blauvelt and Nicolas Muller and Travis Rice and guys that are charging down lines and throwing tricks in the middle of them –
I think that’s one of the hardest things you do in snowboarding and there’s plenty of room for improvement on that front.
Curtis Woodman told me to ask you, “What does surfing the earth mean to you?
Yeah, Woodman! I just said bye to him on his journey north on his bike. He’s on a month long bike trip. He’s going up north – going to Shasta, Eureka area, then all the way down to L.A. I don’t know if you know, but “Surfing the earth” that’s been in my blood since day one. I started skateboarding at an early age, feel in love with the sideways stance, loved to skateboard, surf, snowboard, even mountain bike quite a bit, always looking for off the lips and hips. It’s just a way of life.
Terje. Not Jeremy. photo: Dan Milner/TGR
What’s Jeremy Jones’ spirit animal?
A cross between an eagle and a dolphin (laughing). I admire them. I would love to be able to fly and I would love to be able to play in the ocean like a dolphin. I have always been in awe of both of them.
Dolphins are good surfers.
Plus, as an eagle you could spot all the new places you wanted to shred. As a hybrid eagle/dolphin you would shred those places up.
Have you ever been in situation where you were summitting, or about to drop something massive and you needed to take a shit? How long can you pinch one off at high altitude in scary situations?
Oh, this is a pretty tough question. I feel I can definitely wait till the bottom, but that’s not good for your stomach. I would have to say, you aren’t camping until you’ve taken a shit outside, so it’s something I like to get out of the way well before I am on top of the peak.
They should make snowboarding depends (adult diapers) and you could be the first sponsor.
Pretty sure this will never get old. Photo: Jeff Hawe/TGR
You went to Svalbard, Norway an archipelago in the Arctic Circle most known for a gruesome polar bear attack earlier this summer. Was that one of the most grueling aspects of making this film? How does Jeremy Jones ward off bear attacks?
That was a trip with Terje. We were 600 miles away from the North Pole and there was 24-hour sunlight. It was the first time in 17 years I did not go to Alaska. I went to this place I knew very little about and it took ungodly amounts of time to get to. We arrived there and the snow was horrifically bad. It seemed like all for not. Then, we ended up getting some snow, on the last day of the trip I ended up dropping into a line that was very Alaska-sque. It was one of the highlights of my life. That’s kind of why you travel – the highs and lows. The polar bear deal was a real factor. We had a gun with us at all times, we slept in a fenced off area, if a polar bear hit the fence an explosion would go off and hopefully scare the polar bear enough in time to get to the gun. That was a different experience. Yobeat would really enjoy the prank we pulled regarding polar bears on one of our cameramen. It’s a full on punk’d on steroids with polar bears and the cameraman is still emotionally affected by it. It got a lot less funny after the real polar bear attack. It was very close to where we were. The people in charge of the area were like, you can’t go up there without a polar bear guide. The guide that was with us the whole time was basically there to fend off polar bears. He’d be hanging around – I would see him get antsy, and he would be like, “You’ve got to understand, man. You won’t see these polar bears. They will just come out of nowhere and you’re done. They could be hunting us for three days right now and waiting for the perfect opportunity.”
What have you been doing with your off season? It looked like you were down in Chile, at La Parva, drinking lots of Piscos and sipping Chilean red wine.
Yes, I had an incredible trip to Chile. It was a camera-free trip, which was nice to be on after the film. We were doing the hard work of testing new snowboards, one of my favorite things to do. I’ve been doing a little bit of surfing, a lot of family time, and way too much time in an editing suite.
What’s it like to be stuck in a snow cave for 2 weeks? Would you have eaten Travis Rice to live?
I’d for sure, resort to cannibalism if I had to. The problem with Travis Rice is I think he would be the last person to go down. He definitely was not the weakest link. I would eat Travis Rice if had to. No offense to Travis.
Dropping. photo courtesy Jeremy Jones
In closing, what gives you the stoke, where do you go from here and any words of encouragement for the dearly beloved Yobeat readers?
Where do I go from here? Into the mountains. I will spend a bunch of time in the mountains trying to clear my head and clearing out the cobwebs of a movie premiere tour. And in closing for yobeat readers, I would say get out there and have fun. If you’re getting bored snowboarding, switch what you’re riding and switch where you’re riding.
https://yobeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/20100410-P1010231.jpg546700Brad Oateshttp://yobeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/yobeatdotcomsite.jpgBrad Oates2012-09-12 07:29:382012-09-12 13:43:28Jeremy Jones Conquers Hump Day