Mission Antarctic: Snowboarding to the End of the Earth

The paragliding team conducts a test run before launching to film Xavier’s snowboarding descent down one of the steepest lines in Antarctica. Photo courtesy of Mission Antarctic, The North Face

Post contributed by Exploration Science student Christine Shepard.

One year of preparation by three sailors and two professional snowboarders in order to spend 19 days of exploring the Antarctic coastline for lines to ride and film. In December of 2012, world champion snowboarder Xavier De le Rue’s dream of an Antarctic snowboarding expedition became a reality, thanks to the sponsorship of The North Face and Swatch. In Xavier’s words, “Antarctica is the most powerful, beautiful, unexplored riding spot on the whole planet.” His motivation rooted in his quest for adventure, exploring new snowboarding lines, and wanting to share that beauty with the world.

One aspect that sets this expedition apart from others is the high-quality, artistic video footage captured by TimeLine Films and Camp 4 Collective. The team consisted of Tero Repo, Guido Perrini and Renan Ozturk, veteran adventure filmmakers and photographers. In one of Ozturk’s journal entries, he describes filming Xavier’s epic descent down “The Captain”, one of the steepest lines of his career, while paragliding with pilot Christophe Blanc-Fras.


The massive icebergs quickly become tiny white puzzle pieces surrounded by mesmerizing emerald green rings interlocking along the coastlines. The camera strap is cutting painfully into my neck, my balls are being crushed by the awkward position I’m in and I feel a bit airsick from looking at the camera monitor and not the horizon….quite the gripping first paraglider experience.

– Renan Ozturk, an excerpt from his expedition journal entry on The North Face’s website (http://www.thenorthfacejournal.com/mission-antarctic-dispatch-4-behind-the-scenes-with-the-muppets-monkeys/)


While these conditions may not seem to be the most conducive to creative production, Ozturk’s footage is second to none. TimeLine Films has released three episodes from the expedition, and plan to release a full-length film in Fall 2013. Take a look at Episode 1 here, already viewed over 48,000 times: https://vimeo.com/56121255.

Other media strategies for the expedition included an interactive multimedia website, an infographic, daily photo posts on The North Face Instagram feed, and multimedia journal/blog entries. Xavier also provided extensive updates on his Facebook Fan page, which has over 21,000 followers. From the available media content online, the expedition appears to be a success. We can look forward to seeing the full-length film when it premiers later this fall.

To learn more about Mission Antarctic, visit The North Face’s website: http://www.thenorthfacejournal.com/category/snowsport/mission-antarctic/