The Backcountry Boom
In mountains across America, skiers and snowboarders are ditching ski lifts and heading into the untamed wilderness of the backcountry. Even before the pandemic, backcountry was the fastest-growing segment of the skiing and snowboarding industry. Now with COVID imperiling ski resorts, the sport is exploding.
Jeremy Jones — a fixture in snowboard and ski movies, a National Geographic "Adventurer of the Year," an eleven-time Snowboard Magazine "Big Mountain Rider of the Year," and the CEO of Jones Snowboards — has probably done more than anybody else to popularize backcountry snowboarding.
Back when Jones turned pro a couple of decades ago, the sexiest part of snowboarding was freestyle. You know, where riders spend their days in man-made snowparks, doing 1080 McRib triple backflips and drinking Mountain Dew or whatever. Jones was different. A freeride snowboarder, he made his name in the backcountry, doing death-defying descents on some of the world's steepest mountains. As a backcountry snowboarder myself who kinda looks up to Jones, I couldn't think of a better person to talk to about this moment and how we got here.