Skiing world champion dies aged 26 with friend in French Alps hiking tragedy

A French skiing champion and her climbing partner suffered a fatal loss of footing in the Alps on Friday.

Adele Milloz, 26, won both team and individual gold at the Winter Military World Games in Russia five years ago. She also won a host of European titles before retiring in 2019 to become a professional mountain guide.

As part of her training programme, she was attempting to scale Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, with a 30-year-old woman when the pair were killed shortly after 6pm. Their bodies were found by fellow hikers just minutes later.

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The women were reportedly roped together when they fell climbing towards the Aiguille summit, according to The Times. And Olivier Greber, chairman of the Company of Guides of Chamonix, has since paid tribute.

"Adele was a luminous young woman," said Greber, before describing how the news had affected the organisation: "The whole company feels infinite sadness today."

The French Mountain and Climbing Federation added: "We will always miss her smile," while Thierry Galindo, the French national ski-mountaineering team coach, said Milloz had been "talented and motivated."

Others expressed their sadness on Twitter: "Sincere condolences to the family of Adele Milloz, world ski mountaineering champion," wrote French Presidential candidate Jean Lassalle, while @ZINAPROVENCE said: "Taking such risks and dying so young is sad. Peace to their souls."

Milloz was brought up close to the Alps, and as well as her numerous title wins, in 2019 was sixth in the prestigious Pierra Menta race. The notorious event comprises of scaling 15 alpine summits over a four-day period.

The changing climate has added to the dangers of the French Alps in recent years, with the country recording record high temperatures in July. Indeed, climbers were advised to postpone their trips as the drought was causing frequent and life-threatening rockfalls.

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