Dream Lines: Home Runs

Words: Jeremy Jones

Photos: Jeff Curley

Originally featured in Snowboard Mag Vol. 10, Issue 3 | The Cerebral Issue

Home ranges are our great masters; the rulers of our world. It is here that breakthroughs happen alongside beatdowns. It is here we experience our highest of highs, learn our greatest lessons, overcome mental and physical barriers and conquer our fears. It is also home to our lowest of lows – a season-ending injury or hitting the mental and physical wall just a few hours from your car, out of food and water.

CURLEY_tahoe_line_CMYK_(SWOP-v2)-inpost

Some lessons are simple – pack more food, triple check your landings, respect the avalanche conditions. Some of the lessons are more subtle and take years to learn – leave your ego at the trailhead, be in the present moment, pick up on the teacher’s signs. A home range is also a place of worship, a place to heal the hardships of a lost friend or a respite to work out life’s toughest questions.

Also see: The Untracked Mind: Snowboarding, consciousness and the ultimate reality

If a range is the master, then the locals are its disciples. They pass down lore through generations of explorers. Through trial and error we learn how to navigate the labyrinth of terrain. In turn, we teach the next generation where the skin track goes, what slide paths to avoid and where the good takeoffs and landings are.

“If a range is the master, then the locals are its disciples. They pass down lore through generations of explorers. Through trial and error we learn how to navigate the labyrinth of terrain.”

It was lapping KT22 at Squaw Valley on a bottomless powder day that my relationship with the Sierra Nevada started. The 450 inches of annual snowfall and 300 days of sun kept me coming back season after season. Before I knew it, many years had passed and my roots effectively had been planted in the Sierra.

CURLEY_tahoe_line1_CMYK_(SWOP-v2)-inpostThe Sierra is my power source. It is where ideas get mulled over and trips are conceived. It has given me the strength, knowledge and perspective to take on the world’s most serious mountains. It is my training ground.

It was not until I sold my snowmobile six years ago and focused on the higher, more remote areas of the range that I truly began to understand the vastness and magnitude of the Sierra. To put it in perspective, at 450 miles long it is fifteen times the size of the Tetons! And thanks to the earlier pioneers like John Muir and Norman Clyde it is home to bountiful, untouched wilderness areas.

Fifteen years into my relationship and my love for the range only grows. I can ride a new line daily. With each new drainage, each new peak I stand on, ten new lines get added to my hit list.

There are thousands more lines like the one in this photo sitting dormant in the range. I did not need to travel to the other side of the world or have a huge travel budget to ride it. Thirty bucks in gas, a night sleeping by my car at the trailhead and an eight-hour hike was the entry fee to this dream line.

With a lifetime of commitment and devotion to the mountains, you too can ride Dream Lines on a daily basis. Get fit, get educated and get going.

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