XAVIER DE LE RUE'S NO-WAY ADVENTURECONQUERING UNCHARTED TERRAIN
Xavier De Le Rue has been fulfilling his dreams of exploring the Norwegian countryside by embarking on a kite trip to the Lyngen Alps, which have been on his bucket list for quite some time. However, due to unstable conditions in the Alps, he decided to pursue a project that combined paragliding and free riding, in search of a coastal snow-pack with stable conditions that would allow him to explore a new territory with his rolling base.
Despite facing little wind in the wrong direction for his desired runs, he still managed to enjoy a great day of snow kiting on the North Islands. This trip served as a reconnaissance mission to determine which winds he will need for his desired runs.
Xavier has been using his Shaman kite and is continually amazed by its ease of use and the possibilities it offers him. He plans to use this method of transportation to travel to Antarctica later in the year.
GAINING WISDOM FROMTHE MOST EXPERIENCED ADVENTURER
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SNOWKITING FOR ADVENTURERS LIKE YOU?
I have found that there are certain areas where snow kiting works exceptionally well, making it an excellent tool for exploring off-the-beaten-path locations. As a practitioner, I am always in search of virgin slopes, and the feeling of exploring new areas like I did in Norway, combining snow kiting with freeriding, is simply magical.
Furthermore, I have always been intrigued by experimenting with new techniques, and snow kiting is a perfect fit for that. I am particularly drawn to seaside riding areas due to their stability, and snow kiting is a fantastic activity in these mountainous areas facing the ocean.
Overall, I have many exciting adventures in mind that I dream of realizing with my kite and snow.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO EXPLORE AND TRY DIFFERENT LINES WHILE SNOWKITING?
Given the specific aerology in mountainous regions, it’s essential to thoroughly study the area by analyzing weather maps, observations, and forecasts, as well as observing how these data translate on the ground.
In addition, relying solely on the kite for transportation is not recommended, and it’s always wise to have a backup plan.
DID YOU FACE ANY CHALLENGES DURING YOUR ADVENTURE?
One day, when the wind was blowing perfectly, I realized that I had forgotten my boots which were drying 300 km away near the truck. As a substitute, I wrapped a down jacket around each foot and secured them with the skins. Surprisingly, it worked well, although I was relieved to get my actual boots back the following day and complete the trip with them. Aside from that, I struggled to find the wind direction necessary to reach the areas I had in mind. Nevertheless, the trip served as a beneficial scouting and training mission before my upcoming trip to Antarctica this fall.
WHAT WAS THE DISTANCE YOU WERE ABLE TO COVER IN A DAY?
I had to cover a distance of approximately 20 km, which is not particularly challenging for a typical kite day. However, the area I was heading towards was situated a bit downwind, so I had to make several attempts to get there.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO BLEND DIFFERENT SPORTS TOGETHER TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
I am currently working on a paragliding project that aligns with this concept, and I am making progress on it. It is expected to be unveiled next year.
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR UPCOMING JOURNEY? WILL YOU BE CARRYING KITES WITH YOU?
For my next adventure, which is to Antarctica, I definitely plan to take my kites with me. They are a crucial component of my equipment.
I will be sailing with my brother and daughter from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula and exploring the fjords to find the most breathtaking slopes. This will be my third visit to Antarctica, and I’m excited to push the boundaries of what we’ve accomplished in the past with my family.