On our recent trip to Chamonix we sat down and had a chat with bona fide king of the hill Xavier de le Rue. It was a huge relief to see him actually sat down as we’d spent the day tearing round Les Grands Montets like blue arsed flies trying to keep up with him. Perhaps best known for his dominance in The Freeride World Tour or his numerous cinematic big mountain exploits, it’s actually his ‘How To XV’ web series that’s been garnering him public attention as of late.
“Xavier de le Rue is a certified freeride zealot- he’s a game changer”
If you’re gonna take snowboarding advice from anyone, make it the guy who rides down the steepest faces in the world with a huge smile on his face, right? Don’t get us wrong, there are other snowboarders who can play the game, but Xavier takes the game, smashes it up with his ice axe, rappels down a crevasse with it and then Snowkites away into the sunset. And the poor game? It’s never the same again. Xavier de le Rue is a certified freeride zealot- he’s a game changer.
While we were comfortably sat down with a beer in hand, we thought there’s no time like the present to ask Xavier a few questions.
WL: How’s your season started, where have you been riding?
XDLR: I live in Verbier so I’ve been riding there. I was in the Pyrenees over Christmas, we were biking, rock climbing. There wasn’t any snow but there’s amazing touring where I come from. It’s at the end of a valley and you can just get out touring and it’s super nice stuff normally but not this year haha.
“I’m gonna stay in Verbier and I’ll compete in the Verbier Extreme which is something I haven’t done for quite a few years now”
WL: It’s quite hit and miss these days with the snow conditions. I mean last winter early season in Chamonix was all-time but looking round now it’s kinda bare.
XDLR: Yeah, hopefully it will become all-time again. French seasons are so long anyway, we normally finish end of May.
WL: So, what have you got planned for this season?
XDLR: I’m gonna stay in Verbier and I’ll compete in the Verbier Extreme which is something I haven’t done for quite a few years now. I’m happy because it’s giving me a good kick in the butt to push myself. In the last few years I didn’t have super big objectives and I felt kind of like, not that I ‘lost it’, but now I’m ready to get back at it.