Paraglider falls 30m in tragic French Alps descent.

An experienced New Zealand paraglider has died in a horror crash attempting a high-altitude launch in the French Alps.

Aaron Cooke, 38, plunged to his death earlier this month off the Argentiere Glacier, on the Mont Blanc massif.

Local French news service Chamonix News reported the accident happened when the 38-year-old tried to take off.

It is understood his foot struck a pinnacle of ice as he tried to pass between two hanging glaciers and he fell to his death 30m below.


A paragliding partner who witnessed the tragedy immediately alerted Chamonix search and rescue. Cooke was pronounced dead by emergency service workers when they reached the site.

The Chamonix News reported Cooke was an experienced paraglider who was well equipped at the time of the accident.

Earlier this month Cooke posted a breathtaking photo on Facebook of the mountainous vista as he flew into Chamonix after a four-hour flight around Mont Blanc massif.

Following the tragedy his grieving partner, Dani Evans, who ran a bed and breakfast with Cooke for international guests, paid tribute to the Kiwi on Facebook.

"My everything - from the moment I met you until my very last breath on this Earth I will keep you just like I promised. I love you now and forever my bub. Always."

Family members, including Cooke's mother and sister, flew to France last week to farewell him.

Two givealittle pages have been set up to cover travel costs - $5,577 has been raised so far for his mother, Marg Gudgeon, and $2,170 for his sister, Emma.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed consular assistance had been offered to members of the family.


Before she left the country, Emma Cooke said she was unclear about the circumstances of her brother's death and was not able to say anything as it was under police investigation. An MFat spokesperson said the embassy in Paris was aware of Cooke's death but could not provide details.