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Luca Pandolfi, 1973-2021

The 47-year old Italian freeride snowboarder has died in an avalanche in the Gran San Bernardo Valley in Italy. Tributes are being paid.

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He took to snowboarding as an 18-year old and was an icon of the freeriding world.

He completed descents in the Andes and Himalayas, as well as ones across the Alps from his adopted home-town of Chamonix.

He was descending a 1,900m slope with a companion.

The avalanche happened around 2pm in the Flassin area, in the Gran San Bernardo Valley in the Aosta Valley at a height of around 1,800m.

The force of the avalanche tore off his transceiver but his body was found by an avalanche rescue dog.

There was another group of three skiers in the vicinity who were not hit by the avalanche.

His companion was able to call the rescue services and was not caught in the slide.

The incident is now being investigated by the mountain rescue soldiers of the Guardia di Finanza of Entrèves.

“It was never about the most serious or extreme lines for Luca. It was about the most beautiful,” said his friend and pro-snowboarder, Jeremy Jones.

“His eyes were always drawn to big, serious, but rippable lines. He loved the aesthetics of the perfect line.

“An obvious path of snow beautifully winding down some of the world’s most dramatic mountains.

“Luca brought so much joy, energy and laughter to the world.

“So many friends, so many lines, so much life lived for his 47 years on the planet.

“My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends in Italy.”

Main image c/o Jones Snowboards

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