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Winner of the Freeride Worldtour 2008 - Xavier De Le Rue - survives avalanche accident with ABS


"Shortly after winning the Freeride World Championship 2008, Xavier De Le Rue survived a severe avalanche accident on March 28, 2008 almost uninjured. During filming, an avalanche suddenly broke loose and reached a length of about 2000 meters. Xavier was equipped with the ABS Freeride backpack and was therefore at the end of the avalanche at the surface of about 6 meters of snow.

Xavier: "The ABS® backpack has just saved my life, I should even say that it is a miracle that I am still here today."

Xavier reports about the avalanche accident as follows: Speed is not everything - although you've often heard me say that speed is your best friend in freeriding. Making the right decision at the right time is not always easy. In the first part of the avalanche it still seemed to work out well. The snowboard breaks and I ride shot downhill with the monster in my back. At first it seems that I can laugh about it at the end of the ride until these strange lines form all around me in the snow. I drive extremely fast, but not fast enough. This mountain wants me down - and downhill I go with it. It is time to pull on my ABS® . The avalanche is really big and breaks again, this time on an even bigger scale. I do not feel the fall for very long. I have a few memories when my friends find me about two kilometers down, then I can only remember the hospital again.

When they found me on the surface on about 6 meters of snow, they did not believe that I could have survived. Miracles happen, and I soon realized it was a miracle that I was still alive after that accident. After two days of photoshooting in this area, we could not see any bad signs at this descent and the avalanche or at least the extent of the avalanche was absolutely unexpected.a mountain guide, who was also in the area, brought his client in an avalanche in a similar descent, slope, exposition and altitude etc. (he was also rescued by ABS® ). He had already skied the same descent several times that day, obviously without anything coming loose. The temperature had risen drastically at that time and this northern descent was suddenly full of surprises...

Anyway - I know that I can consider myself more than lucky and part of that luck was that I had a ABS® backpack with me. The photos show this very impressively...

However, I know that I am more than happy and part of that happiness is that I had an ABS backpack with me. The photos show this very impressively...

I was able to leave the hospital without any major problems. "A little bit sore but no big deal."

Photo: Christoffer Sjöström /