Avalanche victim wanted to be returned to her native NZ

A Kiwi killed in an avalanche in the French Alps will have her ashes brought back to the country of her birth.

Carol Nash, 58, originally from the lower North Island, was one of six experienced skiers who were swept away by the large snowslide in the French Alps, near the town of Ceillac on Saturday.

The physiotherapist, who moved to France in the early 1990s, lived in L'Argentiere-la-Bessee in the Alps region with her 16-year-old daughter, Jessye Hamilton.

Funeral arrangements for Ms Nash have yet to be confirmed by her family, but a French friend said her ashes would be brought back to New Zealand.


A farewell ceremony would be held in her honour in the alpine village where she lived.

"Our friend Carol Nash is one of the victims of the avalanche that took the lives of six people last Saturday," a skiing friend posted on Facebook.

"According to her will her ashes will be based in New Zealand, her country of origin. A ceremony to say goodbye will be held next week probably Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the wishes of her family."

Ms Nash's death was yesterday described as "a huge loss for the New Zealand mountaineering fraternity".

One friend posted a touching tribute to Ms Nash, saying she had "many fond thoughts and happy memories of her and the good times we had".

"Carol was a lovely person (fun, warm, generous, compassionate, caring, loving and so much more)," Tracy Perry said on Facebook.

Ms Nash was a "truly remarkable woman", Ms Perry said. "We all loved her sense of spirit & energy. She lived life to the full and we are all going to miss her so very much."

Mountain photographer Colin Monteath, who knew Ms Nash in the 1970s and 1980s, also described her as "remarkable".


"[She was] a very talented rock climber and also a musician, a violin player.

"It's definitely a huge loss for the New Zealand mountaineering fraternity."

Queenstown mountaineer Erik Bradshaw, who visited Ms Nash when on holiday with his family in the French Alps 18 months ago, described her as a "very good all-round climber, a very good rock climber, a good Alpinist and a good back-country skier".

She was "kind of one of these legendary figures [in the mountaineering community]".

"My understanding is that she was definitely, at her peak, probably one of New Zealand's strongest rock climbers."

She was passionate about New Zealand, Mr Bradshaw said, and despite living in France for about 20 years her "heart was definitely in New Zealand".

Ms Nash and her daughter Jessye had a very close relationship, Mr Bradshaw said.

"I really feel for her daughter because as a mum-daughter pair they seemed a real close-knit pair."