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Jeremy JONES: AK - DEEPER: Mt McConkey !

Riders in this news : 

“ I have never been one to name first descents but now that I am hiking and riding these unnamed and unclimbed peaks I have started to name the special ones.  Since Shane’s death I have been looking for one for him.  We moved camp to a new zone that is a series of 6 peaks that range from mellow to mega gnar with easy access.  This zone is the perfect spot I have seen for plane access riding and it is only twenty minutes from town. The biggest and baddest peak I decided to name after Shane.

The world new Shane McConkey as a world-class skier and BASE jumper but our friendship had nothing to do with that.  It was based around family and friends. What he did in the mountains was impressive but his greatest achievement was his love and support he provided for his family and friends.

There is a lot I would like to thank Shane for:

Thank you for going out of the way to be friends with my kids.

Thank you for all the times I was away and you stood in as a part time dad to my kids. 

Thank you for developing rocker, which led to my biggest design advancement, I have ever felt on a snowboard.

Thank you for showing us that the impossible was possible and doing it with humility. 

Thank you for never taking life to seriously and always going out of your way to make us laugh.

Shane learned how to fly and there was no taking it away from him.  It was part of who he was and it made him tick.  He was in the right head-space, well trained and would turn down a jump with ease.  As Doug Coombs, Craig Kelley or Trevor Peterson have taught us in the past, no one is above the law when it comes to pushing it in the mountains.

The loss is hard on us all but what saddens me the most is the lose our kids will have not having you around.  Shane will be remembered by his family and friends and judging by the ski racks at the local resorts, freeride comps, and heli pads around the world, he will be remembered by the skis and snowboards on our feet… “

Jeremy JONES

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Jeremy JONES: AK - DEEPER, Down days !

Riders in this news : 

" Our crew endured some serious weather in our month on the ice.  Down days were not that hard.  We had blower powder right out our door .  A combination of chess, cards, books, snow-caves, journals, and storm riding kept us busy.  In many ways it was easier to be in the mountains and not town during the storms.

Below is a journal entry describing one of many afternoon storm sessions.

4/14 Standing on top of a 400 ft steep sled hill with Travis Rice to my left and Tom Burt to my right I am giddy with excitement and fear.  The look on there faces tell me they are equally gripped. This is because of what is below our feat; a Turkish “Las Board,” a No-Board and a splitboard in ski mode. Moments before I pushed my snowboard turned  ski’s over the blind rollover into the white abyss. The consequences of a lost board made the seconds stand still as I waited for my ski to reappear from the blind roll.

Now it is the moment of truth.  Am I tripping to think I can ride Alaska on a glorified toboggan?  I press on my front foot and let myself pick up speed over the blind roll and I begin to fly.  I feel solid as a rock and lay into a couple of big turns that cause me to get engulfed by the deep, blower snow.  I ride up to my ski’s and fall over with gut busting laughter.  This is repeated run after run by all of us as we trade out tools.

By switching our tools we turned this small glacier roll into a memorable session.  There is over 50 years of snowboard experience between the three of us and we are as stoked as ever.  It shows the power of the turn.  We have been feeling it on new tools and it is taking us back to our youth when we freaked out on our local sled hills. "

Jeremy JONES

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Alberto SCHIAVON in Italian Alps !

Riders in this news : 

" Last weeks of April has been pretty amazing, still more new snow and great conditions, a little sketchy due to the avalanches.... but definitely possible to ride stuff that hasn’t been done before, due to the huge amount of snow this year !

I had the possibility to discover new terrain and lines. No helicopter, no skidoos, only hiking and some climb too, but the pay off was big, so fun !

Check below some pics of spots I rode… "

Ciao !


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Jeremy JONES

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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Jeremy JONES: AK - Deeper, “Mission Accomplished" !

Riders in this news : 

“ We are finally out of the mountains after 27 days camped on the ice.  It was the most incredible experience of my.  The challenges were large but the rewards were larger.  In 20 years of snowboarding I have never felt highs like I felt on this trip.

The trip was an experiment with a lot of question marks going into it and I am proud to say that it was a total success.  We road world class lines in unexplored mountains with out the use of a helicopter. Living in the mountains at the base of our objectives gave me an intimacy with my surroundings that I have never felt before.  We knew every layer of the snow-pack before we even went out because we lived threw the storms.  It seemed like everyday I was learning something new in the mountains and doing things I have never done before.

We consistently had to back down on lines waiting for the right conditions because hiking the lines from the bottom up left no room for error.  For the big lines we would be exposed for 3 to 5 hours as we hiked up the faces we would ride.  With a heli you can limit your exposure to minutes.

Now I am in “shock” mode as I settle back into society.  I will role out some journal entries and pics as time permits.  Below is some highlights and a few pics from the first two days of filming:

-12 ft of snow fell while we were camped on the ice. (a 10 day storm, and a 5 day storm).
-We ate 100 pounds of Clif Products (45 kilos).
-Filmer Garry Pendergrass wins the “Toughest Bastard Award” for lasting the whole month in camp.
-Travis Rice was the MVP.  Putting in 25 days with non stop energy and stoke.
-Tom Burt is truly the God Father of Big Mountain Riding and a huge reason for our success.
-Jonaven Moore is my favorite person in the world to ride with.
-I had 31 runs.
-Hiked 30,000 vertical feet.
-Rode 17 out of 18 days.  (I missed the 10 day storm for Shane’s Funeral….Thanks Shane!)
-Climbed 3 major unnamed peaks and rode world epic lines off them.
- Named the biggest and baddest one Mount McConkey. ”

Jeremy JONES

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