A Kiwi father of two who died in a ski touring accident in the French Alps is being remembered as a family man who "never took himself too seriously".

David James Cocks, 38, was found dead at the foot of a rocky bar in the French Alps on March 31.

Cocks lived in Christchurch with his wife Cecile Dransart and children Charlie, 6, and Ollie, 5, before travelling to France for a year and a half together.

On March 29, Cocks left alone for a ski tour near Savoie, but didn't return.


The following day the local mountain rescue team, Secours Montagne - CRS Savoie, posted to Facebook asking for sightings of Cocks.

On March 31, another post said Cocks' body had been found at the foot of a rocky bar by his friends who participated in the search.

Secours Montagne thanked people for their help in the search, but said "unfortunately, this story ended tragically".

"Our thoughts go out to his family, his loved ones, his friends some of whom have been able to express their support, friendship and messages of hope on this page," they wrote.

Family friends Peter Worley and Amira Mikhail created a Givealittle page for Cocks' family.

The page has currently raised just under $8000, with funds going to "anything that will help Cecile, the boys and her extended family in the weeks, months and years to come".

Worley and Mikhail released a statement to the Herald on behalf of the family.

"First and foremost, Dave was a family man. He adored his two boys, Charlie and Ollie, and his gorgeous wife, Cecile," they said.


"He loved nothing more than to take his family on adventures and share with them the New Zealand that he cherished – the mountains, the ocean and the wilderness – and in which he felt most at home.

"It was no surprise when they shared with their friends and family that their next adventure would take them to the French Alps, where they would spend a year and a half together, enjoying family time in Cecile's home country."

They said Cocks was "the face that would make you laugh".

"Whether it be as he charged down the face of a wave on his surfboard or manning the barbeque in his crocks and stubbies, a cold beer in his hand and kids hanging off his legs," the statement said.

"Dave never took himself too seriously and yet he was the go-to guy for everything from complex life advice to tips on DIY.

"With the broadest of smiles and the widest of arms, he would welcome anyone into the beautiful home that he built with his bare hands for his family."

The statement said Cocks will live on in his sons, Charlie and Ollie, and in the heart of his wife Cecile.

He is missed by his family: his sisters Lisa and Louise, brother John, his father Richard, and Kay and Mark Moroney, as well as his friends all over the world.

Sappers of New Zealand, a Facebook page for military engineers, also paid tribute to Cocks.

"Another brother gone to soon. Spr David Cocks 2Fd Sqn RNZE passed away yesterday while hiking in the French Alps. David left the army around 2004. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Our thoughts are with them at this sad time. Stand Down Sapper RIP," it wrote.

Cocks' funeral will be held in Peisey-Nancroix, France.

• Go to Family of Dave Cocks on Givealittle to support the family.