Antoine Montant, a champion speed flier and thrill-seeking skier and BASE jumper, has died during a solo BASE jumping expedition in the French Alps, presumably after his parachute failed to open.
The Frenchman's body was discovered by police Sunday in the Haute-Savoie region, a day after his girlfriend had reported him missing. His chute reportedly had not been deployed. Local authorities are investigating.
Montant, 30, was a multiple speed-flying competition winner and stuntman. (Speed-flying blends skiing and paragliding.)
He always sought more exciting and creative ways down the slopes. As an example, the accompanying video shows helmet-cam footage of Montant sliding on the rail of the old cable car at Chamonix last December.
On Tuesday, Red Bull released a statement about its star athlete, part of which reads: "His talent was matched only by his imagination for ways to get back down to the valley floor. Even though he achieved some amazing feats, Antoine's exploits in alpine skiing were not widely known. But unlike many extreme skiing purists, Antoine was first and foremost an inventor. He liked finding unlikely routes and blending types."
Montant learned many of his skills from his older brother, Valéry, who was killed during a skiing accident in 2006.