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Researching New Zones – Higher Unplugged Episode 5

Teton Gravity Research

For nearly two decades, Jeremy has traveled to Alaska in the spring to explore new zones. Originally, he relied on helicopters to scout these areas and access them. During the past six years, however, Jones has refined his approach as he increasingly accesses these areas under the power of his own two feet.

In this episode of Higher Unplugged, Jones explains how he researches a new zone prior to riding it. Although he uses Google Earth to attain a basic understanding of a mountain range and its diverse terrain, he emphasizes that it is also essential to observe the landscape firsthand. In addition to revealing potential lines to ride, this approach ensures Jones can minimize the risk that surrounds them. After all, the terrain he aims to ride is strewn with cornices, bergschrunds, and seracs—features that are as dangerous as they are unpredictable.


Colin Balke is a content editor for who lives in Northern California. When not plucking away on a keyboard, he can be found splitboarding, camping, backpacking, or hanging out with family and friends.