Swiss champ dies in avalanche during film shoot

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Champion Snowboarder Dies in an Avalanche in the Swiss Alps

ZURICH (Reuters) -- A 21-year-old Swiss snowboarding champion died in an avalanche on Tuesday after a slab of snow broke away during a film shoot in Switzerland and swept her down a narrow, rocky slope.

READ MORE: Police hunt for suspect after mom of 3 found dead

Estelle Balet, who won the Freeride World Tour in 2015 and 2016, died in the one km long avalanche above the Swiss village of Orsières despite efforts of emergency crews to save her, police in the canton of Valais said in a statement.

See more of Estelle Balet in the gallery below:

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Estelle Balet dies in avalanche
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Swiss champ dies in avalanche during film shoot

Estelle Balet in March 2015.

Photo courtesy: AP

The crack in the snow on the Portalet mountain where an avalanche killed Freeride World Champion snowboarder Estelle Balet is pictured in Oriseres, Switzerland, April 19, 2016. Police Cantonale Valaisanne/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
The Portalet mountain where an avalanche killed Freeride World Champion snowboarder Estelle Balet is pictured in Oriseres, Switzerland, April 19, 2016. Police Cantonale Valaisanne/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
A picture taken on April 2, 2016 shows World champion Switzerland's Estelle Balet celebrating with champagn after she won the women's snowboard event at the Bec des Rosses during the Verbier Xtreme Freeride World Tour final above the Swiss Alps resort of Verbier. An avalanche in the Swiss Alps on April 19, 2016 swept away two-time world extreme snowboard champion Estelle Balet to her death, police said. The 21-year-old Swiss woman, who had won her second title on the Freeride World Tour only two weeks ago, was making a film when she was killed, Swiss police said in a statement. Balet was speeding down a slope on her snowboard when the avalanche started and carried her away, police added. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on February 5, 2016 shows France's Estelle Balet competing to win the wild face of 'l'Aiguille Pourrie' during a stage of the Swatch Freeride World Tour in Chamonix. An avalanche in the Swiss Alps on April 19, 2016 swept away two-time world extreme snowboard champion Estelle Balet to her death, police said. The 21-year-old Swiss woman, who had won her second title on the Freeride World Tour only two weeks ago, was making a film when she was killed, Swiss police said in a statement. Balet was speeding down a slope on her snowboard when the avalanche started and carried her away, police added. / AFP / JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
World champion Switzerland's Estelle Balet waves with the overall belt after she won the women's snowboard event at the Bec des Rosses during the Verbier Xtreme Freeride World Tour final on April 2, 2016 above the Swiss Alps resort of Verbier. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Highlights from my run saturday ! Flatlight as you can see, bad snow as you can hear. Ahaha. Thanks again for all the nice messages !! :) slowly going back to earth after a crazy weekend. . 💣🚀👸 #partyfordayz @swatchproteam @thenorthface @audich @julboeyewear @verbier4vallees @verbier #julboathlete #xtreme #pov #gopro
50cm of unexpected fun! Cosmique couloir was 💣 ! #bomba #powpow #neverendingwinter #moreplease 👸 @swatchproteam @thenorthface @audich @verbier4vallees @verbier @julboeyewear #julboathlete
Pretty awesome to get to snowboard with this view.. Can't wait for more filming next week ! #ExploringTheKnown 📷: @timelinemissions @audich #4vallées #bliblablo #netplus
Because season's not over. #imlovinit #ExploringTheKnown @audich #4vallées #bliblablo #netplus
So THIS just happened! Looks like i just won the Verbier XTREME and by the way the World Champion Title here in @verbier ! Thanks to these amazing ladies @annefloremarxer @marionhaerty @kjerstibuaas @evelojna @evawalkner for a more than great season, filled with strong emotions, lots of laughing, new challenges & friendships. Can't wait to even more of this next season! 🚀👸👅 @swatchproteam @thenorthface @audich @julboeyewear @verbier4vallees @skiserviceverbier #julboathlete
Exploring the Arolla glacier with @emilien_badoux today. Shit snow but beautiful landscape ! Ahah. 🐓 #losers #exploringlosing #exploringtheknown @audich #4vallées #netplus #bliblablo
And it's already time to leave - after just a week here in Alaska.. Too short! Thankful for all the good times I got to spend with friends, the great experience, the amazing alaskan landscape & some pretty nice faceshots. See you next year ! 🍔😊 Next stop: home for few days before the @verbier XTREME next saturday ! 💣 @swatchproteam @thenorthface @audich @julboeyewear @verbier4vallees @skiserviceverbier #julboathlete #goodbye #faceshot #powder #seeya
Family splitboard session at home - it's crazy how warm it's been since I left.. But good news is that snow is still good. Looks like spring is here ! 🐦🌼🍒 @swatchproteam @thenorthfaceeu @audich @verbier4vallees @verbier @skiserviceverbier @julboeyewear #spring #splitboarding #waytoowarm #outdoorwomen
#takeyourmumonapowderday #mumisthebest #shesfasterthanme 🐢💟
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Last year, Balet became the youngest champion of the Freeride World Tour, in which skiers and snowboarders compete by riding down steep, often-rocky ungroomed slopes. Events are sometimes halted due to avalanches, including last February at a competition in Austria.

Police said Balet was the second person to ride down the slope on Tuesday during filming.

She had been freed from the avalanche by the time emergency crews arrived. "Despite immdiate efforts to revive her, she died at the scene," police said. "An investigation has been started to determine the causes of the accident."

Balet, who is sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker Swatch , had been wearing a device meant to help locate people in avalanches, as well as a helmet and an airbag designed to increase the chances of surviving a snow slide.

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