World ski champion Adèle Milloz falls to her death in Mont Blanc in front of horrified fellow hikers
Milloz and her friend, believed to have been roped together as they climbed, plunged to their deaths at 10,000 feet above sea level
CHAMONIX, FRANCE: A world skiing champion fell to her death in an accident in the French Alps. Adèle Milloz, 26, who was training to be a travel guide, died just before 6.15 pm on Friday, August 12, mountain guides confirmed.
The world champion was accompanied by her unnamed female friend, 30, who also lost her life in the accident. The two of them were 10,000 feet above sea level and were traveling from Aiguille de Peigne (3,192m) to nearby peak Aiguille du Midi (3,842m) when the horrific accident happened.
The reason behind the accident is still unclear but the women are believed to be roped together when they fell climbing towards the Aiguille summit, The Times report claims. The dead bodies of the two were found by fellow hikers, who raised the alarm after witnessing them falling to their deaths. The death of the two hikers has been ruled an accident by the police as they are investigating the exact circumstance of the fall.
Responding to the death of the world champion, a High Mountain Gendarmerie Platoon spokesperson said: “The high mountains have become more dangerous with the drought, but access was not subject to any particular prohibition.” Before the trip, the hikers were advised to postpone their trip onto the Alps as record dry conditions made dangerous rockfalls more likely. France just underwent its hottest July on record, with temperatures reaching 42C (107.6F) in parts of the country. While several hiking groups suspended their trips and two mountain shelters got closed, Milloz decided to continue her trip as she believed the route she picked was safe.
Milloz, who was brought up in The Alps by her mountain guide dad and ski instructor mum, clinched the gold medal in individual and team sprint ski mountaineering at the Winter Military World Games in Sochi five years ago. She had won junior championships, joined the French team at 15, and won the European sprint championship in 2018. But the world champion decided to bid goodbye to her skiing career and retire in 2019. Milloz was near the end of her training to become a professional mountain guide.
Her former coach Thierry Galindo remembered her as "talented and motivated," while the Company of Guides of Chamonix chairman Olivier Greber told AFP: "Adèle was a luminous young woman. The whole company feels infinite sadness today," according the MailOnline. The French Mountain and Climbing Federation also stated: 'We will always miss her smile.'