Chamonix legend and modern-day steep skiing pioneer Tof Henry is reportedly dead after an accident on Puntiagudo Volcano in Chile. He was 38 years old.
According to Chilean media outlet Radio Bío Bío, Henry died on Wednesday, October 11 on the upper flanks of the 2493-meter volcano in Chile’s Los Lagos region. Chilean mountain guide Juan Señoret reportedly also perished in the incident, while photographer Mathurin Vauthier was reportedly injured but able to descend the mountain on his own.
UPDATE at 5:15PM CEST, 12 October 2023: Downdays has received independent confirmation from two different sources about the deaths of Tof Henry and Juan Señoret. Photographer Mathurin Vauthier was with Henry and Señoret on Puntiagudo when the two skiers fell from the summit down the line they were planning to ski. Contrary to earlier reports, Vauthier was uninjured and was the first to reach the two after after the fall, and attempted to provide first aid. Another skier with knowledge of the incident told us that Henry and Señoret were skiing together on a steep, exposed line on the north face of Puntiagudo when they fell to their deaths in a no-fall zone.
The distinctive spire of Puntiagudo Volcano (left) as seen from Antillanca ski resort in southern Chile. Photo: Felipe Barriga Richards/Wikimedia Commons
As we wait for more details to come in, we remember the legacy of the man known as “the fastest skier in Chamonix.” A native son of skiing’s most famous valley, Henry was known for blindingly fast descents of Chamonix’s classic lines. Alongside others, Henry was a pioneer of a new style of steep skiing that brought unthinkable speed to routes that were usually navigated only by cautious hop turns. His inimitable style was captured in the 2018 documentary “Born in Chamonix.”
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As we wrote in 2018: “For Tof and his crew, the argument goes as follows: you ski for the passion and the flow, not simply for the achievement of having claimed a classic line. The goal is to not just descend, but to actually rip the hell out of some of the Valley’s most daunting lines, continuously and with as little rope assistance as possible.”
As Jacob Wester put it: “You don’t ski with Tof. You try, and fail, to keep up with him.”
Tof's mission was to bring freeride flow to lines usually skied only in hop-turn fashion. Photo: Daniel Rönnbäck
Tof Henry is survived by a son, Jules. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Henry and Juan Señoret at this time.