Estelle with the first of her two back-to-back Freeride World Tour titles. Photo: David Carlier/FWT

21-year-old Freeride World Tour champion Estelle Balet has been tragically killed in an avalanche in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland.

Only a few weeks ago she had won her second consecutive FWT title. It was a strong winter for Estelle, with top two finishes in four of the five stops, and victory at the famous Verbier Xtreme at the beginning of April sealed it.

As well as possessing more snowboarding ability than the vast majority of the population, Estelle was also fully geared up with backcountry safety equipment, including helmet and ABS backpack. It's a timely reminder that spring conditions in the backcountry can be just as deadly as those found at the height of the season - often more so.

Tributes are pouring in to a phenomenal talent who always found the fun in snowboarding. Estelle will be sorely missed.