The New Zealand skier killed in an avalanche on Mont Blanc du Tacul, France yesterday was 60-year-old mountain guide Russell Braddock. He was a freelance guide in Chamonix, France working for Adventure Consultants, a Wanaka, NZ guiding company. Russell was freeskiing, not guiding on a day off when the avalanche occurred.
The avalanche is being reported as having been 2,000-vertical-feet long.
See Video of the Yesterday’s Avalanche on Mont Blanc du Tacul:
Raw: Video captures moment avalanche rips down Mt Blanc, killing NZ man
According to recent reports, the avalanche that killed Russell may have been triggered by French mountain police. Two French mountain policeman were injured and hospitalized in the same avalanche that killed Russell.
Russell Braddock, 60, worked as a freelance guide in Chamonix for Adventure Consultants, a Wanaka-based mountain guide company.
Russell was a well known mountaineer in New Zealand.
“We’re devastated to hear of the accident and the loss of Russell. He was a much respected member of the New Zealand guide community.” – Adventure Consultants CEO Guy Cotter, who worked with Russell for over 30 years
Guy Cotter thinks the avalanche could have been avoided saying:
“There’s every likelihood that if the climbers (French mountain police) hadn’t descended it wouldn’t have released. They walked right into a trigger point on the slope at its weakest point, releasing a big slab and Russell was in the path. He was probably unaware that those climbers were above him, and they were probably unaware he was below them.”