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Friday, November 4, 2011
Updated: November 7, 7:17 PM ET
"This Is My Winter": Xavier de Le Rue


Xavier de Le Rue's name has been well known in snowboard circles for some time now, but his recent exploits in massive mountains are kind of beyond the pale. What he does -- and the speed at which he does it -- tempts us to refer to him as "a new species" rather just "a killer rider." If you loved his parts in Standard's films and the Jones/TGR film "Deeper," chances are you've been checking his TimeLine webisodes, too.

Well, prepare yourself for a full dose of this freeriding phenom: "This Is My Winter" is coming out mid-November and will offer a full-length, full-access look at what it means to be XDLR bagging lines most of us would be scared to even look at. We caught up with the 32 year-old Frenchman to find out what "This Is My Winter" is all about:

ESPN: What brought about the need to make TimeLine and "This Is My Winter"?
Xavier de Le Rue:
After a few years of spending the whole season to shoot Standard's video part -- meaning two-to-three minutes of pure action -- we felt that it was a shame not to show more of all the adventures we had in all these magical destinations.

So TimeLine came naturally, and, as the end of the season -- after April, so basically after we stopped displaying TimeLine episodes -- had been rather really good, we realized that we had enough footage to get a cool little film. And this is it!

Not that he doesn't ever get into a heli, but Xavier de Le Rue usually hikes to the top of lines like this.

How did last year's bad winter in Europe alter the initial goals of the project?
Good year, bad year, it is always a bit different for us. Of course it hasn't been epic snow-wise in Europe, but it doesn't matter too much as we seek different stuff to ride. This "bad" year actually gave us the opportunity to look for things that we would not necessarily have on a good year. It's just been a great opportunity to bring in new stuff. I like evolution. I don't want to get stuck riding the same type of lines over and over again.

How does "This Is My Winter" relate to your Standard part?
The Standard part is just a pile of action with no real link between them. This film shows more what's happening around these actions.

Do you think this project might appeal to people who aren't engaged by regular shred movies that feature three minute rider parts?
The good thing about this this film is that it shows images that haven't really been seen either by action snowboard film fans or people that don't know snowboarding at all. The ambiance is quite dramatic and quite different from classic freeride features.

Who are the main people behind the project?
The crew is Guido Perrini, DOP; Tero Repo, photographer; and Matthieu Giraud takes cares of all the production. It's a really cool team. We don't look that credible when we go around shooting but it works at the end. And we have a great time! I don't want to shoot anymore with anyone else but them.

You should see us working together. It's not very organized or glamorous or anything you could expect. We follow the flow. Guido and Tero both have their specific qualities, and I guess that the combination of all these different personalities comes out actually quite good.

See? Here he is hiking. And then: aieeeee!

Why is a tight, experienced crew so crucial for a project like this?
Because what we picture is freakin' stressful and dangerous. Because the timing is so crucial. You only need 20 runs in a season to make a full film, but they need to be perfect in so many different ways: light, snow, stability, temperature, filming angle, action...

What makes it a "don't miss" release in your very biased opinion?
Ice fall straight line into a couloir. Sketchy slide-off on ice. Huge sluffs in Alaska. Super dramatic runs in Chamonix and Switzerland.

So basically, stuff that's mellow. Got it. Do you think recreational snowboarders might have a hard time relating to what you do: climbing, rappelling, pointing it? Or do you think they'll just be inspired?
I do think they will. The movie really pushes that aspect, though. I hope they will still get inspired at least by some of it. That's what I would be pleased to hear.

What kind of feedback have you received so far?
Really good feedback... A lot of people think that I'm really crazy... Maybe I am?

How will people be able to see the full movie when it releases?
There will be a free download on Internet through xavierdelerue.com and through the network of my main sponsors and partners.