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