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The California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones

The California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones
The professional snowboarder’s biggest conundrum is deciding which Sierra Nevada adventure to tackle next

As a pioneer of big mountain snowboarding, professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones has climbed treacherous backcountry peaks all over the world just for the thrill of the free ride down. Beyond his extreme mountain adventures, Jones is also the founder of Jones Snowboards and leader of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit focused on combating the effects of climate change. In 2012, National Geographic magazine nominated Jones for Adventurer of the Year based on his achievements in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism and adventure sports.

As a Truckee resident, Jones is always trying to solve his ‘wonderful problem’ of deciding which peak to climb, mountain to ride, or lake to paddle in in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Where do you live? Truckee, California.

Why there? It’s the combination of incredible winters with amazing mountains and awesome summers filled with lake time. It’s the best of both worlds! The coast is just a few hours away so I can surf too. Having mountains for snowboarding and waves for surfing in a condensed area makes California one of the most unique places in the world—and that’s why I ended up here!

Who or what is your greatest California love? The Sierra Nevada mountain range. The more time I spend in those mountains, the more special it becomes to me. I’ve been snowboarding for 20 years in the Sierras and I can ride a different mountain every day. I call it the ‘wonderful problem’—every time I climb a peak I’ve wanted to climb, I look out and see 20 more that I want to climb. It seems like there is an infinite amount of backcountry to explore in the Sierras!

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That it’s really crowded and that there is this ‘Cali cool’ attitude. It’s really easy to get into some beautiful remote wilderness areas and experience nature or explore some backwoods towns with a cool old vibe.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? That the weather is amazing. There is no mud season or off-season, we go for months without clouds, and come winter it is either snowing or sunny.

What is your favourite Golden State splurge? Going to the farmers’ market. Every time I go I end up with five times more food than I need just because of how amazing everything is. California has the best farmers’ markets. I leave with bags of fruits, nuts, veggies, salmon…you name it.

Time for a road trip—where are you going? My ideal road trip is spending plenty of time in the eastern Sierras, camping in Yosemite, and then camping on the coast somewhere. The key is getting that incredible California diversity all in on one trip!

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? My favourite California food is definitely wild-caught salmon. I love fish and I’ve had it all over the world, but Cali-caught salmon is still my favourite!

Best California song? Jerry Garcia sums up the vibe of California—at least the California that I’m into. His music embodies the freedom and beauty that surrounds you. It makes the perfect soundtrack on my road trips. A close second is Neil Young. Especially ‘The Old Laughing Lady’.

How would your California dream day unfold? Recently my friends and family and I have been getting into linking up a bunch of different sports. I’ve done like eight different sports in one day! But the ultimate would be to wake up before the sun rises, snowboard some remote peak and then end my day paddle boarding on a lake or even surfing on the coast. It all comes down to the best of both worlds all in one day. This is what makes California so unique, and why I’ve ended up calling this place home…and I have no plans to leave!

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Clif Bar Presents: Dream Day
Watch as four incredible athletes, Jeremy Jones, Hilaree O’Neill, Matt Hunter, and Greg Long, join forces to create the ultimate adventure in “Dream Day.”
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Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the High Sierra

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11
June
Average (°C)
June - Aug
22°
High
5°
Low
Sept - Nov
18°
High
-4°
Low
June - Aug
22°
High
5°
Low
Mar - May
12°
High
-5°
Low

Snow-covered peaks in winter, gushing waterfalls in spring, wildflower meadows and glistening lakes in summer, vibrant colours in fall—this is a land of dramatic and wild beauty. World-class mountain resorts circling turquoise-blue Lake Tahoe, and at Mammoth Lakes cater to all, with scenic ski trails in winter and trails and vistas in summer.

Yosemite Valley…is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and gold and wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”  - photographer Ansel Adams

Yosemite National Park - a World Heritage Site, is found roughly 3½ hours east of San Francisco. Whether you hike a mountain, ski the steeps, or lounge in a hot tub beneath a canopy of stars, you’ll find your perfect getaway. 

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At 14,505 ft. above sea level, Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States.
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Family-friendly resorts, snowy escapes

High Sierra peaks, deep drifts on a Mammoth volcano, family friendly resorts, snowy escapes on the edge of Yosemite and more - California has enough alpine destinations to keep any skier or...

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Relax after a day on the slopes

Kicking back after you kick off your boots is a snow-country tradition, and there’s plenty of post-slopes fun at California’s top alpine resorts. Have a beer or warm up with an Irish coffee, dance...

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Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.
Ansel Adams
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Trip 6-7 days 10 stops

Sierra Adventure

Granite peaks, alpine valleys, towering trees-the High Sierra is nature's playground all year-round
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Blue as a topaz and circled by majestic peaks, this High Sierra gem straddling the California Nevada border is a must, a place where the air is 'very pure and fine...it is the same the angels breathe,' according to author Mark Twain. Lake front towns dot the shoreline, each with their own appeal...

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On your way to this park, save time to visit the charming Gold Country town of Murphys (a great place for wine tasting and innovative dining along the town’s main street). Then continue north and east to discover peaceful groves of giant sequoias at this under-the-radar park. Established...

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Alex Farnum

Spotlight: Lake Tahoe

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Majestic Peaks, Bucket-List Essential

Blue as a topaz and circled by majestic peaks, this High Sierra gem straddling the California-Nevada border is a bucket list essential. Where else...

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Rebecca Garrett

Spotlight: Mammoth Lakes

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Snowy winters, wildflower summers

Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the west, folks in this laid-back mountain town know they’ve got a good thing going. It’s a land of...

As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.
Mark Twain (recalling his first sighting of Lake Tahoe)
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Kodiak Greenwood

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Visit bizarre formations, cinder cones and a super-salty lake

There are few places in California—and maybe on the planet—that can make you think you might just be on Mars. This is one of them. At this high-...

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Kodiak Greenwood

Bodie

Tour the eerie remnants of a former boomtown

There's something eerily appropriate about bumping down the dusty desert road that winds the final few miles into Bodie State Historic Park. Round...

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Alex Farnum

Guided Adventures

Learn to climb, join a pack trip, and more

While there are plenty of ways to play on your own in the High Sierra, there’s a whole host of ways to learn a new activity, like how to catch and...

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Bishop

Explore an outdoorsy adventure town with an artistic side

Bishop brims with outdoor activities. Situated at the north end of the Owens Valley, with close access to some...

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Lucas Himovitz

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Look up at (and learn about) amazing giant sequoias

Established in 1931 to preserve a stunning stand of giant sequoias, this park offers one of the easiest places to see these towering trees. Head...

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From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

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Amy Meredith/Flickr
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The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) tree in the world.
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Gold Rush history, epic high-country landscapes, hidden wine country, and charming country towns

Granite monoliths, waterfalls, alpine meadows—it’s no secret that Yosemite delivery some seriously big wow moments. But what is a secret is the bounty of awesome things you can see and do on your...

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Mammoth Chambers of Commerce

Manzanar National Historic Site

Learn about a sobering time in U.S. history

During World War II, thousands of Japanese-Americans were moved from their homes throughout the West and brought to internment camps like Manzanar...

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Jeff Mosers/ Flickr

Grover Hot Springs State Park

Soak in naturally heated mineral pools

Nestled in a notch of the High Sierra about an hour’s drive south-east of Lake Tahoe, mineral springs bubble up from the earth, a testament to the...

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Room/Getty Images

Lone Pine

Discover the natural beauty and another side of California in a historic Owens Valley small town

Head to Lone Pine to see a different side of California, one that is less connected...