That’s it… We’re back to the civilised world and on our way out of Alaska!There is a mix of joy to go back home to see my daughter Mila but at the same time i almost dropped a little tear leaving this spiny heaven. That deeper trip has been an amazing experience! It’s been not that easy at the beginning to get into the rhythm after the wind had affected the snow, we got then stuck for 6 days in a big storm with over two and a half meters of fresh. That kept us pretty busy shovelling our tents two three times a day until the point where we all had to move our tents out of these gigantic snow holes, getting wet,..and sort of staying wet after that…. Nevertheless I enjoyed that stormy period. It was cool to feel the nature around us going crazy, while we where sitting there in our tents feeling really far away from the “real” world!
When the sun came, we spent half a day on small lines checking out the snow conditions until we decided to get back on the alpine start missions. 3 am take off, for this first huge spiny face. The sunrise was amazing, really bright pink…9 am mission accomplished. I had never ridden such steep loaded and fat spiny face. I really realized on that trip the benefit of these Haines typical spines in term of snow stability, and It’s been great to take advantage of that stability to get into gnarly lines. We had to work our way around big cornices but once we had reached our entry point, it just became pure intense pleasure… chest deep powder spines… After that first one, we had decided to move camp and head towards the Canadian boarder to try to get that untouched face called “corrugated”… the name actually tells everything. The deeper crew had tried to reach it last year but couldn’t get it done. This year we found a good base camp spot right on the boarder that could give us a relatively close access. 2.30 am the next day we start to make our way towards Canada to get there at sun rise to catch that very short period of light on that north face. Once again the cornices crown the whole face and it’s really hard to find an entry but we still manage to find a decent one and after a bit of roped up shovelling we are ready to hit our last project. At 7.18am, Josh Dirksen, Jeremy Jones, Ryland Bell and myself have ridden these 600 meters corrugated spines.
All these faces we’ve been on had never been ridden… It’s been a privilege to discover Haines that way… Can’t wait to see the movie coming out in September…
Time for summer now…
Xavier de Le Rue in AK part II: insane riding in Valdez with Standard Films and on his way to camping project in Haines with Deeper
“4 days of good weather in a row. Insane snow! A good foot of fresh snow made me feel like I finally got to ride the real AK deal. Huge sloughs, some surface cracks here and there that kept our eyes opened but no big deal. We got on some kick ass terrain; some 1800 feet spine faces … I’m stocked! It’s been really cool to share that with Sammy Luebke, he really rocked with his smile and charging style. We definitely had some good fun…
Time to head to Haines and join Jeremy’s crew for some AK camping. I can’t wait to live that experience, and hopefully get on some more nice terrain…!”
“Just got to AK 4 days ago. Two standard films crews are on site, on one side Kevin Jones and Mark Carter getting shot by Chris Ondercin and Curley for stills. On our side Sammy Luebke joined the euros composed by Guido Perrini on the filming duty, Tero Repo taking pics and myself. We’ve been so far pretty lucky with already two good days and more to come. Sammy is ripping and got straight away into our program… Most of all, snow is great, stable… we have some good lines in the head, not much more to say than that we are pretty stocked to be up here! The end of the week seems sunny so just have a look at the pictures… no need to say that it might be pretty sick….fingers crossed!”
::Xavier de Le Rue::