Xavier de le Rue’s awesome Alaskan experience

World-class freerider Xavier de le Rue has just got back from Alaska, where he spent a good few weeks filming with Jeremy Jones for the Deeper project. He sent us some pretty rad behind-the-scenes shots of the trip, and this little update.

“That’s it… we’re back to the civilised world and on our way out of Alaska! There is a mixture of joy to go back home to see my daughter Mila but at the same time I almost shed a little tear leaving this spiny heaven. The Deeper trip has been an amazing experience!

It’s been not that easy at the beginning to get into the rhythm after the wind had affected the snow. We then got then stuck for 6 days in a big storm with over two and a half meters of fresh! That kept us pretty busy shovelling our tents two or three times a day, until the point where we all had to move our tents out of these gigantic snow holes. We were getting wet, and sort of staying wet after that…. Nevertheless I enjoyed that stormy period. It was cool to feel nature going crazy around us, while we where sitting there in our tents feeling really far away from the “real” world!

When the sun came, we spent half a day on small lines checking out the snow conditions until we decided to get back on the alpine start missions. We set off at 3am for this first huge spiny face. The sunrise was amazing, really bright pink. By 9am, it was mission accomplished. I had never ridden such steep, loaded, and fat spiny face. I really realized on that trip the benefit of these typical Haines spines in term of snow stability, and it’s been great to take advantage of that stability to get into gnarly lines.

We had to work our way around big cornices but once we had reached our entry point, it just became pure intense pleasure… chest deep powder spines…

After that first one, we had decided to move camp and head towards the Canadian border to try to get onto an untouched face called “corrugated”… the name actually says it all.

The Deeper crew had tried to reach it last year, but couldn’t get it done. This year we found a good base camp spot right on the border that could give us a relatively close access. At 2.30 am the next day we started to make our way towards Canada to get there at sun rise and catch that very short period of light on the north face. Once again, cornices crown the whole face and it’s really hard to find an entry, but we still managed to find a decent one. And after a bit of roped up shovelling we were ready to hit our last project. By 7.18am, Josh Dirksen, Jeremy Jones, Ryland Bell and myself have ridden down 600 metre corrugated spines!

All the faces we put lines down were previously unridden. It’s been an incredible privilege to discover Haines that way. I can’t wait to see the movie when it comes out in September, but now it’s time to enjoy the summer!”

We have to say, looking at these shots, we can’t wait to see the movie either…

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