DIY is a project without a blueprint, however as Xavier De Le Rue looked out over the mountains getting greener and greener in the early season, it was becoming apparent that Chapter 2 was heading in an unanticipated direction. But Mother Nature is her own woman and plays by her own rules sending a late but almighty storm to Europe. With the snow came wind, and with the two came an incredibly dangerous snowpack that saw huge slides ripping from the mountain faces.
Riding the home, and more importantly familiar terrain of Verbier meant Xavier could be safe and enjoy the deep powder in the trees and lower couloirs but it lacked a certain “je ne sais quoi” the Frenchman is renowned for.
So the hunt for an adventure was on. It didn’t take long to find via good friend and guide Tony Lamiche in Chamonix, who has plenty of lines with “je ne sais quoi” up his sleeve, like, Mallory. Roping into Mallory - the icy north face of the Aquille du Midi - with Tony, Alex Pittin - also a guide, and Freeride World Tour Champion Aurelien Ducroz, gave Xavier his first taste of that familiar dish, apprehension and anticipation, for the season.