Jeremy JONES: AK - Deeper: A Big One Goes Down !

Jeremy JONES
May 07, 2009

Jeremy JONES: AK - Deeper: A Big One Goes Down !

Riders in this news : 

" Ticked a big one of today. It was the North West Face of the biggest peak in the area and has been on my mind since first seeing it 12 days ago.  The face was clearly holding the best snow in the area and was one of the few spined up faces we have seen this trip.  The hang up was that it spilled into some big open cracks.  They were far down the outrun and after many looks at the face we had determined that it would take a major slide to make it to the cracks.

We have been hammering the snow-pack  hard the last couple of days and have seen no activity.  Our multiple pits also concluded we had a bomber snow pack.  With a big storm in the forecast I knew today may be my only chance to get this line before the stability changed. The other factor was heating.  I had to traverse a west face with multiple cornices looming over head.  My plan was to start the traverse/hike early in the day when everything was locked in and crusted over.

I left my final island of safety at 11:30AM  and the race was on.  At exactly at 2:00PM I was standing on top of my line just as the first rays of light hit the face.  By 3:30PM I was back to my safe spot.  The whole process took about 20 well thought out steps but with proper planning I was able to mitigate my hazards.

It was a huge physical test because I was racing the clock and there was no real safe spots to rest so I was forced sprint most of the hike.  I was exposed for over 4 hours and the physical and mental test was like nothing I have felt before.

The anti was way up today and I have never felt that small in my life.  It was great to have Tom backing me up today and reconfirming that I was not crossing the line of good judgement. "

Jeremy JONES

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