Ski instructor killed in Alps avalanche

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and talented skiing instructor from Colchester who was killed in avalanche in the French Alps. Robin Cane was off-piste with a group in the Le Menuiresregion when he was hit by a wall of falling snow which covered him.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and talented skiing instructor from Colchester who was killed in avalanche in the French Alps.

Robin Cane was off-piste with a group in the Le Menuiresregion when he was hit by a wall of falling snow which covered him.

The 48-year-old was buried for 40 minutes before he was dug out by mountain police who were unable to save him.

It emerged yesterday that Mr Cane had a passion for many hobbies and also spent his summers working as a professional musician, playing for orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Opera company.


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He lived with his partner Sally Jackson, 41, and had taught skiing for 15 years in Switzerland, Italy and the USA and was based in the resort of Meribel, France.

He had been with the ski company Magic in Motion, an international ski and snowboard school, for more than 10 years before leaving last year to start work as a private instructor and guide.

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Mr Cane, who was also trained as a pilot, taught in Meribel and Courchevel, instructing beginners right through to people wanting to go on challenging off-piste runs.

He spent his winters in France and his summers back in the UK and had also co-written a book on skiing which was due to be published in the autumn.

Skiers and snowboarders alike are planning to hold a torchlight descent down the mountainside in Meribel in tribute next week.

Last night, his friend Lulu Cottle said Mr Cane would be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

Mrs Cottle, joint owner of Magic in Motion, said: “Robin was one of those men that couldn't fail to have an impression on you which was strange as he was a very quietly spoken, unassuming man.

“He was someone who excelled quietly in everything he touched, from skiing, sailing, music, woodwork, building - the list is endless.

“He worked many years with us at Magic, and I don't remember a cross or unpleasant word from him. “He was an extraordinary man who will be sorely missed, but leaves us with countless happy memories.”

A book of condolence has been opened at Magic in Motion office and among the many tributes one reads: “A man of calmness and serenity, you were a truly lovely guy, very kind and gentle.

“Always a pleasure to work with, a truly gentle, gentleman.”

Mr Cane's website, skiingbetter.com, revealed his interest for the sport began with his love of the mountains.

He spent his summers climbing and walking in the mountains all over the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa.

And in the winter he did snow and ice climbing before learning to ski in Switzerland and going on to become qualify as a British Association of Snowsport Instructors international ski teacher.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “I can confirm Mr Cane, 48, died on January 19 in an avalanche.”

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