We doubt too many of you spend your days wondering “damn, how can I ride down that black icy part on that steep AF mountain” – but if you do, this will truly make your day. Xavier De Le Rue, the mad man who literally rides down anything and everything, has compiled a handy list for those of us who are slightly less experienced at riding ice. Before you read any further, you might need to give the video above a look, to understand what kind of inhumane conditions we are referring to.
“Xavier De Le Rue, the mad man who literally rides down anything and everything”
1. First of all, go straight! (Don’t even try to turn. Just don’t)
2. Use the eagle position (yes, it’s exactly what you’d imagine it to look like) to commit to your ride.
3. Ice may extend beyond the visible area – Start straight lining before the visible ice.
4. When in doubt, climb up the ice, or rappel down onto the ice to scope it.
5. White ice (which is the ‘friendliest’ out of all the different types of ice) is sometimes edge-able, black ice is not (which apparently is like trying to ride marble – fun ey?).
6. Have ice axes and ice screws close to hand.
7. Outrun is key – make sure it’s clean with no exposure.
8. Start slow and scale up.
According to Xavier, the riding part is easy (we might need to agree to disagree here) but before completely neglecting the idea of willingly giving ice riding a try, we wanted to hear our in-house writer Rob’s thought on it – as he spends the time he’s not writing working as a certified snowboard instructor and coach in Tignes, France, for Ultimate Snowsports. However, his tips are more suited for encountering ice in slightly less demanding circumstances than Xavier tends to.