The Importance of Friendship When Adventures Go Wrong

The right friends can be a lifesaver.

Jeremy Jones is a snowboarding legend. You don't become a snowboarding legend without at least one close call in the mountains. On Wednesday January 11th, 2017 he almost lost his life in the backcountry of Utah's Uinta Mountains. He was cat-boarding with friends in some of the best conditions they'd ever seen.

"It was unreal snow," he says. "We were just losing our minds when we got to the bottom, and then we’re just like, hey, another run … so I hit the cliff, landed, did a quick little tumble, and then right back to my feet … I just start cutting across this bowl, and I just hear this crack … like thunder and lightning, just right over the top of your head, like your hair stands up sound.

"I knew instantly what it was, before the sound was even over. I’m seeing the ripples instantly, and it’s just pristine, the most gorgeous snow you’ve ever seen turn to the most terrifying snow you’ve ever seen, like that."

An avalanche swept Jeremy down the mountain and slammed him into a tree, snapping his board, breaking both of his legs and knocking him out. When he woke, he was confused and panicked, but quickly relieved at the sight of his friends and the realization that he was alive. 

The crew dealt with a series of complications in the effort to get Jeremy down the mountain, and he was eventually Life Flighted to the nearest hospital. After undergoing emergency surgery, Jeremy had a chance to reflect on this powerful experience. He says that he would do it all over again to witness the way his friends reacted to save his life in an impossible situation. 

"I honestly wouldn’t mind reliving it, knowing I’m coming out okay," he says. "But to see those guys work, just to watch it again in real time … watch it without a foggy eye, watch my friends just ruling."

It's moments like these that prove friendship, trust, and the obstacles you overcome together are even more valuable than the adventure itself. These are the moments Jeremy is chasing. 

To read more about Jeremy's story, and to see more inspirational #GOATworthy stories, visit our partners at backcountry.com.
Published: September 18, 2017

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