At age 47, the Chamonix-based Italian freerider was killed by an avalanche while splitboarding in the Gran San Bernardo valley.
Bad news for the freeride world. Luca Pandolfi dies, one of its icons, author of many descents that no one had ever explored before. According to local media, the Jones Snowboards rider was killed by an avalanche in the Gran San Bernardo Valley, in Valle d’Aosta, Italy.
According to the same sources, Pandolfi -experienced mountaineer and snowboarder- was making a descent in Flassin, at an altitude of 1900 meters, when he was surprised by an avalanche. The incident is being investigated, but the first indications from the emergency services point to Pandolfi cutting a wind plate and it hit him.
While it is true that the Valle d’Aosta rescue teams set out and arrived within a few minutes, it is also true that they could not do anything for him. The friend and partner who was with him, who fortunately escaped unharmed, was in shock. Another group of skiers in the vicinity also managed to escape the avalanche.
This is how his good friend and founder of Jones Snowboards, Jeremy Jones, said goodbye to him :
“We are deeply sorry to have to say goodbye to a beautiful person, athlete and member of the Jones family who tragically passed away today in Italy. Luca was one of Jones’ original riders and was spreading love and enthusiasm to the snowboarder community around the world. He lived one of the most exciting lives we have ever seen.
He never tried to follow the most extreme or dangerous lines, but the most beautiful ones. His eyes were drawn to those big and imposing but smooth and perfect lines. Obvious and wonderful snow trails that wind through some of the most spectacular mountains in the world.
It was not only the mountains that brought him joy. He loved a good cup of coffee or a glass of wine enjoyed on the patio of his house with friends. His general enthusiasm for life was incalculable and he infused energy into those around him. He was a true dreamer dedicated to fulfilling his dreams with humility and respect for the mountains.
Luca brought a lot of joy, energy and laughter to this world. Many friends, many lines and a lot of life during the 47 years in which he has left his mark on the planet. My thoughts and prayers are for his family and friends in Italy. “.