Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from Jeremy Jones' No Words For The Way Down, the book, now available in the TGR Shop.
JANUARY 28, 2013
AN ODE TO MY HOME RANGE
Home ranges are the great teachers. Some lessons are in your face—rocks hurt, stay away from cornices, respect avalanche conditions—but some are more subtle and take years to learn. They are life lessons that only come with time spent in one place. Learning to leave your ego at the trailhead, knowing that humility is the best tool, and being present in the moment are all essential in order to pick up the subtle signs. Some lessons leave a mark—a season-ending injury or a friend who didn’t make it home.
The home range is where breakthroughs happen alongside beat-downs. It is also a place of worship. A place I go to heal over a lost friend, to work out life’s biggest questions.
The Sierra is where I ride 80 percent of the time. It is where I have reached some of my highest highs, riding that perfect line, standing on a mountaintop, watching the sunrise. It was love at first sight. The 450 inches of annual snow, the sunny days, the lift-serviced access to technical terrain. But true love and devotion takes more than a few bottomless days lapping Squaw Valley’s KT-22 chair.
True love comes with time. While the range is the master, the locals are also teachers. They pass down lessons learned from generation to generation: where the skin track should go, what slide paths to avoid, where to find a good takeoff and landing. There will always be more to learn and there will always be more lines to ride, even in my own backyard. The Sierra has given me strength, knowledge and the perspective it takes to travel the world and ride big mountains. It is where I mull over the possibilities and conceive my plans.
Now, I stand atop a dream line. It did not require much money, nor a flight across the world to get here. All it took was $30 in gas, a night sleeping at the trailhead, an early morning wakeup and an eight hour hike. And there are a lifetime more of these right here, in this 450-mile-long mountain range, waiting for motivated riders to grace their slopes. With a life committed to the mountains, anyone can ride dream lines.
This is an excerpt from Jeremy Jones' No Words For The Way Down, a book that goes deep into Jeremy's mind-set throughout the six years of filming the Deeper, Further, Higher trilogy. Read excerpts from Jeremy's personal journal entries, see stunning, never before seen photographs, and access exclusive footage. Books are on sale now in the TGR Shop.
Thanks to our partners—Swatch, O'Neill and Clif Bar—for making this project possible!
Paradise cabin in the ghost town of Gothic, CO. Morgan Tilton photo. We skied into a Dalmatian coat of scattered wood-frame buildings cushioned by a white blanket of deep snow. To my left, a small cabin with dulled evergreen frames and upside-down antlers nailed above the front door was righteously called, , denoted by its sign and dated back to 1935. The half-buried doorway and snowdrift, which inched up by the minute, made me chuckle for the shack’s name: This valley was already chalking
During Sego Ski Co.'s relatively short history, Ron Murray has become sort of a local legend. His 20-plus years of ski repair experience, combined with his time working in manufacturing and his wholesome philosophy on skiing (and snowboarding) has made Ron an integral part of the Sego team and brand. Ron is pretty much everything you look for in a ski tech. His gentle demeanor breathes wisdom and humility, and it shows in his craft. After all, aren't our skis just an extension of our feet?
Greg Von Doersten (or GVD) has been photographing with TGR since the beginning. He met founders Todd and Steve Jones back in the early 90's when they were still skiing for Marmot and filming by themselves with local Jackson Hole crushers. "They were getting it done," Von Doersten told me. "They wanted to see more line skiing and airs in films so they started to develop their own signature thing. I was like 'dang these guys are legit and they are kind of my style.'" Von Doersten