Close
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you're agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more
12 December 2012

UPDATE*** British snowboarder dies five days after Chamonix accident

Emily Watts has passed away following several days on a life-support machine

Mimi Watts

UPDATE*** British snowboarder Emily Watts has died five days after a tragic snowboarding accident at the Grand Montets ski area in the Chamonix Valley. She had been on life-support since Saturday, when she crashed into a snowdrift on the side of a piste, suffering cardiac arrest.

The family met with rescuers this week to get a clearer picture of what happened, and discovered it was a British man who had raised the alarm. Watts caught an edge while snowboarding on the Pierre a Ric run, and was catapulted from the groomed run into a 70cm snowdrift, landing in a spot that was very difficult to see from the piste.

Emily Watts is on a life-support machine after falling into a snowdrift at the Grand Montets ski area in the Chamonix Valley on Saturday 8 December. Starved of oxygen, the young women had suffered cardiac arrest by the time emergency crews arrived, prompting fears of brain damage. It is now understood that she is unlikely to recover.

The 26 year-old snowboarder from Lavenham, Suffolk, was riding at the Grand Montets area on the opening day of the season, having travelled to Chamonix to work in the resort for the winter. The accident reportedly occurred just after 4pm and just metres from a red run. She was an experienced snowboarder.

The exact circumstances that led to the fall, causing Emily (known as 'Mimi') to become stuck in a snowdrift for 45 minutes, are not entirely clear. She was treated by emergency crew at the scene and taken to hospital in Annecy before being transferred to a specialist unit, however the duration of time that the mountain-loving design student was without oxygen has dimmed expectations of her making a recovery.

Our thoughts are with Emily's parents and brother, who have flown to France to be by her bedside.

Comments

  • Date: 14 December 2012
  • Tragic. Condolences to her family.

Aidan Beggan
Aidan Beggan
  • Date: 03 January 2013
  • I have skied the Pierre a Ric run many times and my thoughts are with the family.

Peter Cowen
Peter Cowen

related videos

Discover Ski Club Freshtracks
Discover Ski Club Freshtracks
An in-depth look at why Ski Club Freshtracks holidays enjoy an 85% rebook rate. There’s insight from our instructors and lots of comments from our customers. Enjoy!
Falling safely
Falling safely
A short clip from the In Deeper instructional movie explaining the safest way to fall when skiing.
Setting Up Bindings
Setting Up Bindings
Becci Malthouse and Peter Hart experiment with different snowboard binding set ups and what effect each of them has.
Snowboard Types
Snowboard Types
A guide to the various types of snowboards that are available and the differences between them.

related ski news

Whizz to the Alps by train from 149GBP return
Whizz to the Alps by train from 149GBP return
Eurostar's much loved ski train is back, running from 19 December to 11 April 2015 and taking you straight to the heart of the French Alps. All your favourite resorts, including Courchevel, La Plagne,...
Great gear at great prices from Ski Republic
Great gear at great prices from Ski Republic
Up to 50% off standard prices when you book online!
What's all this DIN?
What's all this DIN?
What is a DIN setting? What does DIN stand for? Can I adjust it myself? Keeping your boots on your skis is a technical undertaking - read on to find out what's going on beneath your feet
Get intimate with avalanches
Get intimate with avalanches
The North Face Avalanche Tour is back again, taking mountain craft, snow wisdom, real-life experience and prizes on tour around the UK. We'd love to see you there