Xavier has been pushing the limits of big mountain snowboarding like no one else the past few years. It’s beyond riding exposed lines and making them look friendly. Xavier has become a serious mountaineer as well. He’s like a bizarre mix of extreme mountaineer, big time pro snowboarder, big mountain snowboarder, severely mellow dude, and mild psychotic. Watching this movie and seeing some of the place’s Xavier puts himself will certainly freak you out more than once.
The majority of the shots in this video are from the Alps & Alaska.
I was fortunate enough to interview Xavier via email in October:
“My ultimate goal is to keep snowboarding as long as possible. Ultimate line is every single pow line that can offer a stable snow pack and a terrain that offres The chance to charge down. Its a hard question and every year I have the feeling that my vision evolves, that i see new stuff in the mountains. I don’t have a specific ultimate line as part of why this is exciting is the diversity of the terrain that needs me to adapt my riding to what the mountain offers as playground.“
“If by “dominates” you mean outnumber then I can only agree with you. I think there are a lot of people snowboarding out of bounds more and more each year and younger people each year. Hopefully this is only a matter of time that snowboarder catch up in terms of big mountain population, I’ve always regretted that the snowboarding community was so far away from the mountaineering culture and I’ve wondered about that as both sports are evolving in the same environment. A bit of mountaineering can open you so many terrains… But people seem to get it now in snowboarding, and I’m stoked about that. Skiers have been closer to that culture for a while but I believe that things will equalize at some point, especially with the help of technology.”
“Unstable snow pack is what scares the shit out of me the most and it can be on any kind of terrain. Funny to see some people thought I was crazy to ride the ice chute, considering this is one of the few sessions of the season I felt wasn’t scary. To answer to your question, the last day/last run of the season, (opening segment of the teaser,) was the most scary afterwards. It was few days after one of the best days of the season, we were all fired up, and I was really close get tricked for good. Images talk by themselves I guess …”
“I like mountaineering and I like the fact that it helps me a lot to move around in the mountains but I am a snowboarder and I’m interested in mountaineering accomplishments. I so admire what strong alpinists do, I am so far away from doing anything they do, and I’m not trying. So I’ll stick to what I do and what I like.. ride fast hit some air get some nice lines… But if that requires some bad ass mountaineering, sure I’ll be up for it.”
“I’m not seeking the highest mountain, to be interesting to me for snowboarding, a mountain needs to offer lines. I’m not sure Mount Everest offers anything that fit my riding.”
There it is. Xavier was like a politician getting around those questions. But, I did get one firm answer on the last question and I’ll take it.