It was one lucky day in February during the madness for the “Search for powder” last winter, I finally got good results from surfing the Internet typing “weather forecast, Dolomites”.
The dry weather pattern over the western part of the Alps cut off my home resort; Verbier and all the surroundings from any possible powder skiing and filming opportunity. I was starting to get desperate, when I finally saw the snowflake symbol on a 3-day forecast in Cortina d’Ampezzo, my Italian ex-home!
I Immediately called Xavier, the MAN! He’s based in Verbier too, in the winter, like Giudo Perrini and Tero Repo, the “muppets” of the Timeline project, amazing cameraman and photographer.
I’ve known them all pretty well for some years and I had the pleasure to work with them before. We film and shoot around Verbier usually, but this time the powder was dumping somewhere else.
Cortina is the paradise of the “couloir skiing” and I know the place pretty well. I lived there since I was in my early twenties and in the recent years I skied some amazing lines.
Bringing Xavier in my first home resort was an honour and a privilege, but what counted even more at that time was the POWDER and the filming opportunity on the way.
The plan was obviously made at the last minute. Packed the car with snowboard, skis and cameras, and off we went for the long drive towards Cortina.
The logistics are easy when you are Italian and can speak the language. Also Guido could finally bring out all his half Italian blood and communicate with the locals in a perfect Roman accent. Xav’s and Tero’s Italian expressions weren’t as grammatically correct but… effective, I would say!
The first day we got to the area where there are several couloirs; some more known than others but all rideable and aesthetically beautiful.
The first run was a “zero walking for a 1200 meters of fresh powder snow, into a deep couloir”, not too steep and not to narrow, the perfect start to get acclimatized with the Italian terrain.
At the bottom of the run I saw Xavier’s eyes lighting up with creativity, processing multiple plans and information to share with the team.
What followed were more couloirs and more amazing actions shots.
What surprised me the most working and riding with Xav in the Dolomites wasn’t, believe it or not, his riding, but his capability of looking at the mountains with a different perspective: he has the eye of an artist, focused on the photogenic side of the lines he wants to ride, and since he can ride pretty much everything covered in snow, what matters isn’t “what can I ride”, but “how will it look cool”.
For this, Guido and Tero are in perfect sync and can read each others minds like no one else could. They have the professional photographic eye and can tell through their lenses the results of Xav’s creativity on the snow. The output of the teamwork of those three talents is absolute excellence and the results are the ultimate prove of that.
It was fun and a good lesson to be part of that team. I was honoured, satisfied and tired at the end, especially trying my very best to keep up with that crazy snowboarder down the mountain!
The footage that we got out of the Dolomites trip was the result of 2 days of riding, filming and shooting, no more and no less. Just the right amount of time to put together the material we needed and get our legs very sore!
Athletes: Xavier de Le Rue, Giulia Monego
Photographer:The North Face® Tero Repo
Location: Dolomites, Italy