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WATCH: Dakota Jones Explores Patagonia

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Patagonia is known the world over for its unparalleled beauty and wild, mountainous landscape. For Dakota Jones, however, the landscape is defined just as much by the people as it is by the glaciated summits.

Jones, now 26, took his first trip to Patagonia in 2014. “I wanted come down and spend two months just traveling through the mountains and climbing the volcanos,” he says. “…I didn’t really make any attempts at all to engage with the culture.”

Last November, Jones returned with a new mindset: travel for the experience, and for the opportunity to meet new people and be immersed in new cultures, not for a list of peaks or a new fast time.

This film from Salomon TV chronicles Jones journey from Bariloche, Argentina to Cerro Castillo, Chile. With stunning ridge-lines, glacier-ringed valleys and remote villages as his backdrop, Jones discusses the struggle to grow into his identity as a professional trail runner, which comes with a level of privilege and opportunity that at times feels overwhelming.

“I feel a sense of responsibility to make the most of my opportunities, which are as vast and varied as Patagonia,” he says. “I have all the opportunity in the world…and it just seems like the height of arrogance to not use that. I think that the best way to be grateful for something is to make use of it, in order to say ‘thank you’ to whatever force has put me in this position.”