The UIAA is saddened to learn of the death of Chloé Graftiaux, who died on August 21 while descending from the summit along the South Face of Aiguille Noire de Peuterey in the Mont Blanc massif.
“We would like to express our condolences to her family and friends. She was a very kind person and a great climber,” said Pavel Shabalin, president of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission.
In January of this year, Chloé Graftiaux attained a new “peak” when she won the Lead event at an Ice Climbing World Cup competition in Val Daone, Italy. Chloé was fourth overall for the season.
“Chloe was an extremly inspiring person. She competed in ice and sport climbing and was extremly sucessful,” remembered Ice Climbing Commission member, Urs Stoecker. “Besides this she also was a strong summer and winter alpinist. It showed me that such a combination is possible although I thought it was not! But most importantly, besides her superhuman performances she was still an extremly nice person with a big heart and a never ending smile! She will always live on by her impressive and nice spirit!”
The 23-year-old Belgian also won the overall bronze in the 2010 Bouldering World Cup – and captured the Belgian Lead title on various occasions.
Out of competition, she challenged herself on the “real” ice found on Super Couloir on Mont Blanc and other famous icefalls, such as Polar Circus in Canada.
In winter she carried out a series of impressive steep ski descents, and accomplished long rock routes – up the smooth limestone Verdon Gorge in France and the rough granite in America’s Yosemite.
(with input from PlanetMountain.com)