The Swiss freeride champion Estelle Balet, lost her life after getting caught in an avalanche during filming at Orsières in Valais, Switzerland. She was 21.
Estelle Balet won first place in the recent Freeride World Championship held at Verbier on 2 April 2016.
On Tuesday, she was being filmed in the Swiss Alps when she was swept away in an avalanche. An emergency call was made just after 8am and the Air-Glaciers helicopter rescue service arrived shortly after. By the the time rescuers arrived, Estelle had been dug out. Unfortunately, after attempting resusitation, she was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
The avalanche, which is shown in the photographs provided by Valais police, was around 1km long.
Estelle Balet grew up in Valais and had participated in the Freeride World Tour (FWT) from a young age.
“I feel great sadness and a feeling of pain and solidarity for those close to her” said Nicolas Hale-Woods, the founder of FWT to the news service AFP. “This reminds us that even when taking care to reduce the risks, freeride in the mountains is unpredictable” he added.
The following video shows one of her descents in the Freeride World Tour at Verbier in early April 2016.