Latin America & Caribbean

Extreme skiers Auclair and Fransson die in Chile avalanche

Rescue workers had been searching for the missing climbers in Chile on 30 September 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption The avalanche struck in a remote area of the San Lorenzo mountain in southern Chile

Police in Chile have found the bodies of two extreme skiers who had been missing since an avalanche struck a mountain in southern Chile on Tuesday.

Canadian Jean-Philippe Auclair, 37, and Swede Carl Andreas Fransson had been hiking the 3,700m-high (12,200ft) San Lorenzo mountain in Patagonia when they were swept away by the avalanche.

Two other Swedish nationals in their party survived.

They are reportedly in a good condition and sustained no injuries.

The group of four had arrived in Chile's Aysen region on Thursday.

Fransson wrote on his website how much he was looking forward to climbing and skiing in the region.

Both he and Auclair were experienced in extreme skiiing, which involves skiing down extremely long, steep slopes on often dangerous terrain.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption JP Auclair started out in freestyle skiing but also designed skis and starred in films

"Our Patagonia adventure just started! I'm so looking forward hanging out with @auclairjp @bjarnesalen @danielronnback for two weeks in the wild!," he wrote.

"You will probably not hear much from us in a while, but it's worth keeping your eyes open for #apogeeskiing project which is a collaboration between JP and myself with first webisode dropping later this autumn!," he continued.

Jean-Philippe Auclair has been described as a legend in the extreme skiing community.

Early in his career he competed in freestyle skiing, performing aerial jumps and stunts.

He starred in the ski film All.I.Can showing off his urban skiing skills in the city of Nelson in British Columbia, Canada.

In it, he can be seen sliding down rails and streets, and jumping over parked cars.

He was chosen as one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year 2014.

The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association said on Twitter that "his presence in the sport will be missed".

Also on Twitter, Canadian Olympic gold medallist Jenn Heil wrote: "With heavy hearts we say goodbye to (at)AuclairJP You were a bright light who changed the face of skiing. RIP".

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