New Zealander killed in French Alps avalanche

  • 22/06/2016

A Kiwi killed in an avalanche on the French Alps is being remembered as one of the country's most experienced and well regarded mountaineers.

Tributes are being paid to 60-year-old Russell Braddock who died while skiing on Mont Blanc.

Guy Cotter from Adventure Consultants New Zealand says he'll be sorely missed.

"Russell was a very respected member of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association. He's been working in the industry for many, many years, and he'll be greatly missed by his comrades" Mr Cotter says.

"It wasn't an incident that Russell had got himself in the wrong place by making a mistake, it was just sheer misfortune that the avalanche was initiated by other people, and then took Russell out."

Specialist mountain rescue military police were training in the area and may have sparked the avalanche on the mountain range in southeast France.

Local gendarmes told media the man was understood to be ascending the mountain, but was swept away in a 600 metre-long avalanche on Monday morning.

Mr Braddock was due back in New Zealand in August.

In July 2012, another avalanche happened in the same area, killing nine people.