Deeper- The Alps Project
By Jeremy Jones | May 27th, 2009
Europe has been a annual stop for me since fist coming here over fifteen years ago. From the first time I laid eyes on these mountains, until now, I have been blown away at the size. Stack Jackson Hole on top of Whistler or multiply Snowbird by three or four and you get the idea.
Contests, team photo shoots or sales meetings have been the focus of my pasts trips to Europe, and although I have had some amazing days riding in Europe, I have yet to really feel what it is like to ride the big lines here. The place has always freaked me out and all of my riding has been within ear shot of the lift.
A big reason that I have not gotten on the huge faces is that I am always here in winter. The time to get after the high north faces is May and June when the snow levels rise and the snow starts to stick to the usually icy north faces. In the past, I would be shelled from Alaska at this time of year and thawing out on a warm beach working on my bottom turn. The last few years I have realized that the late spring is the time to hit the big steep lines, so I have been starting my season later and taking it into June.
Another thing I learned early on coming to Europe is to hook up with the locals. At first I would come over with a big group of Americans and we would stumble around Europe stuck on the tourist track and missing the true feeling of the place. I am very lucky to have many close friends over here. One of them is Xavier De La Rue. He is the hardest charging big mountain rider I have seen in many years and we have a like minded approach to the mountains.
One thing I do not have figured out is jet-lag. It hurts and there is no real trick to dealing with it. We just arrived and are getting are feet on the ground before getting after it.
**The bare essentials of the Europe Kit. It seems excessive, but you actually use it all on most runs. At almost 30 pounds it makes the AK kit feel light.**
**Driving into Chamonix. It is hard to tell, but I am looking straight up at the Aiguille De Midi. The mountains rise up so high and fast that you can hurt your neck looking up at them.**
**Jeremy Jones reflections through a sign.**
**The road to Xavier's. After a few years in Chamonix, he moved to a small village on the outside of town. It felt like the set of "The Sound of Music."**
**Europeans get hundreds of years out of their houses and wheel barrels.**
**Europeans do not think split boards work. I brought Chris Edmands to show them they do.It is his first time to the old country.**
**Edmands getting gnarly on Xavier's backyard boulder, while Xavier and Tero scope some lines.**
**We are hoping to hit this line tomorrow or the next day. It is 6600 vert and a 10 hour hike.**
In this post: Jeremy Jones Xavier De Le Rue Location: France Europe Film: Deeper Keywords: Big Mountain Backcountry Premium Content Teton Gravity Research Featured Snowboard Athlete Blog