Tragedy struck this past weekend when Stéphane Brosse, the three time World Champion ski mountaineer was lost in a fatal fall while traversing the Aiguille d’Argentine. Brosse had set out early Saturday morning to traverse the Mont Blanc massif with mountaineering partner Kilian Jornet. Stéphane Brosse is the winner or several medals across World, European and French competitions. Highlights include his 2004 and 2006 wins at the Patrouille Des Glaciers, and speed record for Mont Blanc ski mountaineering (5 hours, 15 minutes, 47 seconds).
The weekend’s expedition at Mont Blanc would have been the first stage of the Summits of My Life project, which is a four year undertaking that would have pitted the expert mountaineer against six of the world’s most epic peaks in a quest to conquer the speed record for each climb. After the 2012 Mont Blanc crossing, the team planned to take on Mont Blanc Ridge in 2012; Elbrus, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc in 2013; Aconcagua and McKinley in 2014; and tackle Everest for the grand finale in 2015.
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The group set out for their expedition during the first hours of June 16th. Brosse and Jornet were accompanied by Sebastian Montaz and Bastien Fleury, who joined the team to document the project.
Montaz and Fleury can be seen in the following video, planning out their expedition prior to the accident:
The group managed to travese the dômes de Miage, Bionnassay and Mont Blanc. The incident occurred at approximately 11am on Sunday while traversing the Aiguille d’Argentine. While moving along a ridge in order to reach the Barbey couloir, a snow cornice collapsed under the weight of Brosse, causing the mountaineer to plummet 600 meters. Despite the rapid response of rescue crews that arrived within the hour, the fall proved fatal to Brosse who was found dead.
The loss of Brosse is a terrible detriment to the world of professional ski mountaineering and a sobering reminder to the dangers inherent to the sport. The Ski Channel wishes the friends and family of Stéphane all the best during this difficult time.