Xavier De Le Rue’s DIY ep 13: Canada

Xavier De Le Rue’s DIY ep 13: Canada

Xavier De Le Rue about to drop in. Picture: Beanie De Le Rue

A snowboarder’s dream image of Canada usually entails two key elements – riding powder and backcountry sledding on snowmobiles. Somehow, though, the De Le Rue DIY project called for another mix. With unstable snow conditions, a frosty night out and a super scary couloir, this last episode lives up to DIY challenge standards

Xavier and Beanie De Le Rue opted for dog sleds, frosty nights in a snow camp, skinning up ridges on approach skis and riding sketchy couloirs instead. Mt. Begbie dominates the skyline in Revelstoke, British Columbia so De Le Rue was quick to choose the mountain for his next adventure.

In order to travel the 14km to a suitable campsite at the foot of the mountain via a deeply snowed-in mountain trail, he enlisted local musher Eric and his dog sled team to give a hand with the transport of gear. Dog sledding in Canada is a little more extreme than the tourist dog sled rides at home in Verbier, and thoughts of sipping hot chocolate whilst wrapped in furs soon disappeared as the team mushed there way to the top, stopping only for the humans to have a breather while the dogs yowled until they were allowed to run again.

Setting up camp in line with the summit of Mt. Begbie and with a clear view of next day’s mission, De Le Rue set off on a recon run to the top couloirs. Arriving late in the afternoon, the conditions were less than ideal, with icy entrances, overhanging cornices and instable snow conditions so extra caution was required to avoid triggering an avalanche. But where there’s a will, there’s a way and with a safe entrance to the couloir, the game was on.

Make no mistake, while this first couloir doesn’t look mega steep from the drone perspective, you’ll notice De Le Rue riding with an ice axe in each hand – not everyday equipment.

With sunshine, ample time and more stable snow, the team tackled the main couloir the next day, circumnavigating a fragile cornice and entering an incredibly narrow, long rock chute channeling loads of slough.

Fun? “Super scary!”, was De Le Rue’s relieved comment when the mission was completed.

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

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