World Cup Winner Chloé Graftiaux Killed in Alps

by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Aug/2010
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+l'Aiguille Noire de Peutrey at sunrise., 172 kbl'Aiguille Noire de Peutrey at sunrise.
© Jon Griffith / Alpine Exposures

+Chloe Graftiaux - Belgian team member., 88 kbChloe Graftiaux - Belgian team member.
© Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor, Jul 2010
Young Belgian climber Chloé Graftiaux has been killed in an accident on l'Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, which is in Italy, but close to Mont Blanc, France.

Graftiaux, a top level athlete in several disciplines, had won both an Ice Climbing World Cup and the Bouldering World Cup in 2010 and, at only twenty three years of age, she was one of the rising stars of world climbing. The young climber lived in Grenoble, France and had planned to become an International Mountain Guide.

The following is a translated letter from her family, first published in French on Kairn.com:

"Sadly, we have just learned of the death of Chloé Graftiaux.

We have very few details of what happened, but it appears that she fell whilst climbing on 'Aiguille de Peuterey, near Chamonix on Saturday the 21st August.

Whilst climbing an arete unroped, she pulled on a loose block that detached from the cliff. We are trying to discover more about this terrible accident.

Our thoughts go out to her family, her close friends and all the friends and climbers who climbed alongside her smile in competitions."

UKC's Alpine correspondent Jon Griffith described l'Aiguille Noire de Peuterey thus:

"The Aiguille Noire is without a doubt one of the most daunting looking peaks out in the Chamonix massif. An impressive shark's fin of black granite that forms the start of Europe's longest route - the Peuterey Integral. Whilst the climbing is never too hard it's long and the only way off it is down a very loose and chossy east ridge or rapping into the Peuterey Integral - a series of notoriously scary abseils off sometimes very loose pitons and rock. The Noire also has the uncanny ability of being able to suck in electrical storms in a matter of minutes and with nowhere to take shelter this is still a peak that eludes or repulses many an experienced alpinist."

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