Current Freeride World Tour Champion Dies in Avalanche Today

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Estelle Balet after winning the Freeride World Tour this year.
Estelle Balet celebrating her win in the Freeride World Tour this year.  photo:  fabrice coffrini/agence france-presse – getty images

The Swiss police are reporting today that Swiss snowboarder Estelle Balet, the current Freeride World Tour snowboard champion, has died in an avalanche.

The 21-year-old Estelle was killed by an avalanche while filming on Le Portalet mountain near Orsieres in the Valais canton near the Swiss/Italian border this morning.

Air Glaciers (an air ambulance) rescuers arrived on the scene just after 8am today, extracted Estelle from the avalanche debris, attempted to revive her, but she died at the scene.   

Estelle was following another snowboarder when the avalanche occurred.  The other snowboarder was not injured.

Estelle was wearing an avalanche beacon and carrying a probe, shovel, and avalanche airbag.  

“Estelle Balet was a naturally gifted shining star and demonstrated remarkable talent as she quickly became a household name on the Freeride World Tour, bringing home her second title as World Champion just a few weeks ago in Verbier” – Freeride World Tour, today

Estelle Balet. photo: Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone, file via AP
Estelle Balet. photo: Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone, file via AP

Estelle just won the Freeride World Tour last month.  

The Valais police have launched an investigation into the avalanche fatality.

Our condolences to Estelle’s family and friends.  

↑ Estelle just shared the above photo 2 days ago 

“The Freeride community has experienced a tremendous loss today as we learned that one of the most hopeful young talents and current snowboard World Champion, Estelle Balet, has tragically passed away in an avalanche. The mortal avalanche occurred earlier this morning in the canton of Valais.

Estelle Balet was a naturally gifted shining star and demonstrated remarkable talent as she quickly became a household name on the Freeride World Tour, bringing home her second title as World Champion just a few weeks ago in Verbier.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Estelle Balet as we send our deepest sympathy and condolences during this very difficult time.” – Freeride World Tour, today

Video of Estelle’s winning run in Verbier, Switzerland last month:


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3 thoughts on “Current Freeride World Tour Champion Dies in Avalanche Today

  1. The first high profile deaths in the ski industry were Barbi Henniberger and Buddy Warner, buried in a massive spring avalanche while filming. they were Alpine ski racers at the time, around 1961 or so. I don’t think film makers have a skiers interests in mind, at least not until money is fully considered. I know, not always true.

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