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On April 29, our partners at Protect Our Winters (POW) are marching to Make America Deep Again.

photograph by Greg von Doersten

photograph by Greg von Doersten


Evolve or Get Out

by Jeremy Jones

Although I’m a firm believer in human-powered snowboarding, I do not hate helicopters. I’ve starred in almost 50 snowboarding films, and helicopters made most of them possible. With a heli, I can wrap a film segment in three good days. The last year I employed helicopters for filming I snowboarded in four movies.

My sponsors were happy, my wife was happy—and I was too. But by that point in my professional snowboarding career, I found myself racing other film crews to lines I’d already ridden. Big mountain heli-assisted snowboarding in quasi-remote locations had almost become routine to me. I only got those scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs highs when I rode lines at the edge of the world with huge sluffs chasing me. I had stalled.

When I wasn’t filming, I was hiking. I’d spend two days skinning on my splitboard and camping in the California Sierra backcountry just to access one run down a simple couloir. I was more excited about the backcountry experience than I was dropping into the same Alaskan spine wall—over and over again. For the snowboarding legends I looked up to like Tom Burt, Noah Salasnek, and Tex Davenport, it was groundbreaking to hop in a heli and ride 50-degree faces in waist-deep powder. These days, New York stockbrokers lap that same run. I had to evolve or get out of the way.

The blank spots on the maps lie past the heli boundaries, sled areas, and a long way from the frontcountry. To get there requires many nights in a tent. Instead of a leisurely start from a warm hotel buffet line, each morning I wrestle on frozen boots and eat a handful of nuts. And after much scouting, when I find a spine wall worth descending, I have to hike a few thousand more feet to my intended line. And from there, I hope, I move the sport forward.

On April 29, our partners at Protect Our Winters (POW) are marching to Make America Deep Again. We’re with them. To help get you on board, we’re dedicating the prime real estate on our site to a smattering of the POW content that Mountain Media has produced over the years. Check it out, get inspired, then follow this link http://protectourwinters.org/join-a-march/ to find a mountain town march near you. #March4POW

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