Antoine Montant, the French speed-rider known for hair-raising and unlikely descents, like the Eiger, was killed in a wing-suit BASE-jumping accident on Friday in the Collet d'Anterne area, north of Chamonix in the Samoens Valley, according to Red Bull, one of Montant’s sponsors. On Friday, Montant, 30, was jumping alone. His body was discovered by authorities Sunday, according to a report on Cross Country, an international free flying magazine, citing the French newspaper Le Dauphine. Red Bull said authorities are investigating the accident.
“Antoine was one of the best speed-riding pilots in the sport and had won numerous titles,” the Cross Country report says. “He was a key exponent of the sport of speed riding, and regularly attracted huge attention and acclaim for his videos and films. Well known in the Portes du Soleil ski area as a ski and paragliding instructor he was known to the wider world as a Red Bull sponsored pilot who regularly pushed boundaries, including a spectacular cable-car slide in Chamonix earlier this year. With his films he made the seemingly impossible look easy and opened up the sport to a much wider audience than would otherwise see it.”
In 2010, for a segment in the Sammy Carlson and friends film, Can’t Stop, Montant won a Powder Video Award for Best POV. Montant also appeared in Matchstick Productions’ 2008 film, Claim.
"I started out on skis but I made my name in acro paragliding, because there's more room in that than in skiing, and yet I spend 80 percent of my winter skiing,” Antoine once said, according to a story today on Redbull.com. “I'd like to do more to get the word out on this way of mixing: freeriding, steep slope skiing and speed riding.”
Writing on Facebook, the French big mountain skier Julien Lopez said, “La vie est courte… R.i.p Antoine. Tu vas nous manquer.” (Life is short … R.i.p Antoine. We will miss you.)
The Cross Country report added, “A regular in the pages of Cross Country magazine, Antoine will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends, of which there were many.”
-- Tim Mutrie