French emergency doctor and mountain guide, Emmanuel Cauchy, has died at age 58 in an avalanche.
His high-altitude work earned him the nickname Doctor Vertical.
He was with a group of backcountry skiers caught in an avalance the Aiguilles Rouges area around the resort of Chamonix.
A well-known figure in French mountaineering, Cauchy had written several books on mountain rescue and wrote newspaper articles under the name Doctor Vertical.
He was a frostbite expert who founded a rescue training institute called IFREMMONT.
With video-link he helped the team treating Elisabeth Revol, the French climber rescued from Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat in January.
Ludovic Giambiasi, the climber who planned Revol’s route, expressed “immense sadness” at the news.
“Another great man that the mountain has taken from us,” he told AFP from Nepal.
Cauchy climbed Mount Everest in 1991 to study altitude sickness.
In 2007, he made the first complete traverse of the Grand Ross (1,850m) and Petit Ross (1,721m) on the isolated Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean and called it Traversee de la Lune.
Forecaster Meteo-France had on Saturday warned of a high avalanche risk in the Alps for this time of year.
At least three other people were injured, but their injuries were not life-threatening.
The survivors were pulled out with the help of rescue dogs and a helicopter.
The injured were evacuated to the hospital in Sallanches, about 30 kilometres away.
Three Spaniards, including a mountain guide, were killed by an avalanche while skiing off-piste in the Obers Taelli area of the Swiss Alps on Saturday.
The victims, two men aged 37 and 48 and a 38-year-old woman, were among a group of five who had taken detection equipment with them in case of an avalanche.