Travelling south through the Kuril archipelago, passing the ruins of cold-war military bases, rotting buildings and rusting weapons, the team struggled to keep the sense of isolation at bay. Taking a break at Ushishir Island, a tiny island with only 5km2 surface and small 401m peaks and constant underground volcanic activity, the team weren’t able to snowboard, but they calmed down and lifted their spirits with a bath in the boiling ground water, while observing the local wildlife.
Refreshed and recharged, Chirpoy Island was the crew’s last stop: Three overlapping volcanoes, Vulcan, Cherny and Snow, with the Snow volcano having been erupting continuously since 2012. In the far south of the archipelago the snow had virtually disappeared, but gullies formed by the lava flow held on to the last of the snow, enabling Xavier to ride to the very end.
Filmed by Xavier De Le Rue and Bertrand Delapierre
Produced by Beanie De Le Rue and Marion Schmitz
Edited by Tim Burgess
Written by Beanie De Le Rue