Eleven perish this week in avalanches.
A Christchurch ski insrtuctor killed in an avalanche in France saved his friends life minutes before he was swept away.
Timothy Purvis, aged 29, was one of eleven people killed in avalanches in the French Alps this week.
Major avalanches have buried chalets under tonnes of snow.
Purvis' mother, said "he would have been cool, calm and collected. He always seemed to know instinctively what was the best thing to do."
Purvis was snowboarding with a British fiend near Courchevel on Tuesday when an avalanche hit. The friend was buried, only his hand showing from the snow. Purvis dug him out but both of them were then caught when a second avalanche struck.
The friend dug himself out, and discovered Purvis was missing.
His father, Charles, who lives in Wellington, has flown to France to bring his son's body home.