Degrees North: The greatest adventure yet?

Get a peek at the upcoming Xavier De Le Rue world premiere through the lens of his go-to snapper.
By Jason Horton

The relationship between a big-mountain rider and a photographer is all about trust: trust that is built slowly, as each comes to understand the other.

The photographer must know, intimately, what the rider is capable of on any given terrain. The rider must share the photographer’s vision and intuitively know how and where to place himself in the frame. Both put their craft in the other’s hands on a daily basis.

Xavier De Le Rue’s relationship with photographer Tero Repo is as close as it gets. It began in 2007, when the two met at the Big Mountain Pro contest. The Finnish snapper told the French snowboarder he had a few spots he wanted to show him, and they spent the rest of the day scoping and shooting lines. De Le Rue was blown away, both by the photos and by Repo’s professionalism: “That same evening, I had these amazing photos on my computer. Since then, I’ve hardly shot with anyone else.”

Together, they have explored the world’s biggest mountains in search of the perfect shot. In Degrees North, the two share some of their greatest adventures yet, as captured in this personal gallery selection from Repo.

Scroll down to read Repo tell the story behind each shot in his own words.

Want to see Xavier De Le Rue's Degrees North movie for free? Join us on October 22-23 for an exclusive 48-hour Red Bull TV Premiere at!

Pro tip: use your keyboard to jump between photos
Pre-flight check
Xavier prepares to take off with his Paramotor pilot Christophe Blanc-Gras during filming for the Degrees North movie
Pre-flight check Xavier prepares to take off with his paramotor pilot Christophe Blanc-Gras. Using paramotors in this way allowed us, for the first time, to access unreachable terrain and film the otherwise un-filmable. But using paramotors has its own challenges – many days we couldn’t fly because of the wind. © Tero Repo/Red Bull
Samuel Anthamatten, Alaska
Samuel Anthamatten in Alaska during the shoot for Xavier De Le Rue's Degrees North movie
Samuel Anthamatten, Alaska Per season, I shoot 60-70 days, and out of those, I’ll usually get three really good days. It’s not a given that you’ll get a good shot. It can sometimes take weeks, months. © Tero Repo/Red Bull
Morning light, Svalbard, Atomfjella
Morning light on Svalbard in the Atomfjella mountains during the filming of Xavier De Le Rue's Degrees North movie
Morning light, Svalbard, Atomfjella For me, the action is not the most important thing: it's the light, and that it is clean. If there are tracks visible, or no snow on the trees – I won’t shoot. © Tero Repo/Red Bull
On the way up
Trekking in Svalbard Norway with Xavier De Le Rue,  Samuel Anthamatten and Ralph Backstrom during the shoot for Degrees North
On the way up Samuel, Ralph and Xavier making their way to the good stuff in Svalbard, Norway. It is all about the team. It has been important to Xavier to work with athletes like Samuel Anthamatten and Ralph Backstrom. Those three together made a perfect trio to push each other. © Tero Repo/Red Bull
Xavier De Le Rue and Samuel Anthamatten, Svalbard
Top-down shot of Xavier De Le Rue and Samuel Anthamatten riding a couloir in Svalbard
Xavier De Le Rue and Samuel Anthamatten, Svalbard “I know I can trust Tero. If he tells me, ‘go there’, I know it works, that it’s going to be a perfect shot.” – Xavier De Le Rue © Tero Repo/Red Bull
Night view from camp
The Degrees North camp at night, with the northern lights in the background
Night view from camp Northern lights in Svalbard. I call this The Photographer’s Mansion. It might not be that luxurious, but the view is absolutely priceless. © Tero Repo/Red Bull
Svalbard sleds
The Degrees North crew riding sleds on Svalbard
Svalbard sleds Svalbard was the hardest place to shoot, because of the cold temperature. Sometimes, at -30 degrees Centigrade, it wasn't too tempting to pull your camera out. © Tero Repo/Red Bull
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