Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from Jeremy Jones' No Words For The Way Down, the book, now available in the TGR Shop.
Xavier De Le Rue and Jeremy skin toward the North Face of the Tour Ronde near Chamonix. The face is a popular, 60-degree ice-climbing route. They intended to both climb and ride it. Dan Milner Photo.
MAY 14, 2009
Normally I am a walking zombie at this time of the year, but I am on a plane to Europe to hook up with Xavier De Le Rue. My bags are stuffed with steel: ice axes, crampons, ice screws and carabineers. The thought of standing on the biggest mountains of my life is the reason.
It is still really, really hard to say goodbye to my family. Tiff and I have had some hard conversations lately. “Life is fragile—be safe, come home,” she says. Too many people have died and as hard as it is to think about, I am not above the law. But once I am in the mountains, everything feels right—I feel in control and I am always ready to back down if something doesn’t feel right.
This trip will be about following, taking notes and learning. The mountains are in good shape and the time of year is right. The Alps have always freaked me out, but I am ready to face my fears. The mountains have never had such a grip on me. I am feeling their pull and I am ready to learn the European way.
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!
A woman in a flaming red tutu and retro sunglasses offers me a plate of pigs in a blanket. Another guy, decked out in a wig and a onesie, hands me a cold Kokanee. The boombox on the tailgate blasts rock & roll. A huge cardboard sign pinned across a truck’s entire back window reads, 4:30 Crew, in giant black letters. Dogs dart past, the smell of burgers fills the air, and a pyro tower burns fresh cedar. About 75 locals are dancing and chopping wood. Just 10 minutes earlier, I stood solo at
tetongravity.com/odetomuir“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” - John Muir Day three: The barrier is broken and I am officially off belay walking through mountains I have never seen before. My house is 147 miles away and everything I need for 9 days is on my back. Stripped down to the bare essentials; food, shelter, crampons, snowboard. This particular valley is the tightest I have seen. Even if you tried to look in to it, you couldn’t –have tried
The world’s largest open-air cable-car just opened in Tignes, France. The lift features a viewing terrace on its roof large enough to accomodate 20 passengers. RELATED: Fire Ravages Chamonix's Grands Montets Cable Car Telegraph ski editor Lucy Aspden took it for a spin, writing, "Crystal-clear views of Mont Blanc to my right, the Vanoise National Park to my left and the Grand Motte glacier below – these are views often saved only for paragliders, pilots and soaring birds of prey." It