Swiss Rider, Estelle Balet, Killed in an Avalanche
It is with heavy hearts that we report Estelle Balet, 21, reigning Freeride World Tour Champion was caught in an avalanche and killed early Tuesday morning while filming in the backcountry of Le Portale, located above the Swiss resort of Orsières in Mont Blanc massif.
Balet was the second rider to drop into a ravine when an avalanche broke above her and swept her more than 3,000 feet down the terrain. Balet was wearing a beacon, helmet, and an airbag, though it’s unclear if she was able to deploy the airbag or not.
Police reports from the area claim emergency crews immediately flew to the scene and were able to extract Balet from the snow, however they were unable to revive her.
Balet claimed her second Freeride World Tour Championship Title earlier this month on April 2, and was quickly gaining recognition for her raw talent, bubbling personality and fervor for snowboarding and life in general.
“Estelle Balet was a naturally gifted shining star and demonstrated remarkable talent as she quickly became a household name on the Freeride World Tour,” the event said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Estelle Balet as we send our deepest sympathy and condolences during this very difficult time.”
This disheartening news led many pros and fellow riders to take to their social media channels to mourn the untimely loss. Kimmy Fasani posted on her Facebook page, "My heart, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to Estelle Balet’s family and friends. The snow community has lost another shining light."
Estelle Balet’s highlights from the Freeride World Tour posted to her Instagram.
Our thoughts go out to Estelle's family and friends during this difficult time. We will update this story as we can.