Pro Skier And Girlfriend Die In 2,300-Foot Fall From Italian Alps

Professional skier Jean Daniel Pession and girlfriend Elisa Arlian have died in what Italy’s winter sports federation is calling a “terrible tragedy,” falling 2,300 feet while mountain climbing in the country’s Pennine Alps over the weekend.

The pair were tied together while mountaineering across the ridge that divides the east and north faces of Monte Zerbion on Saturday, a trek with which they both had experience, according to Italian national broadcasting network Rai News 24.

Because they were alone, it is not clear how the fall occurred.

Pession and Arlian’s bodies were recovered by rescuers after they were reported missing by family members.

The search team was able to locate the hikers by using a helicopter with equipment to detect cellphone signals.

According to RAI, the couple was “just a step away” from the mountain’s summit.

Pession, 28, competed in the World Cup circuit for speed skiing, placing 15th in world standings in 2021 and 33rd in 2022.

Arlian, 26, was an elementary school teacher and skiing instructor.

The office of the Regional Council of Italy’s Aosta Valley, where Monte Zerbion is located, expressed “profound sadness” over Pession and Arlian’s deaths in a statement on Sunday.

“Two young lives shattered by an accident in the mountains,” it read. “That mountain which was their passion.”