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Second New Zealander killed in Japan avalanche named as ski guide Joshua Sellens

Mar 13, 2024

The second New Zealander who died in an avalanche in Japan was guide Joshua Sellens, local media reported.

He was skiing in a group with 21-year-old Isabella Bolton in Japan's Hokkaido region.

Japanese news outlet Kyodo News said police had identified 33-year-old Sellens as the second casualty.

The pair were in a party of six, exploring the backcountry of Mount Yotei when the avalanche struck on Monday at an elevation of 650-700 metres.

A third New Zealander - 21-year-old Lars Meier Blattner - was injured.

Bolton's family said she was born in England but grew up in Diamond Harbour and Heathcote Valley. She attended Christchurch's Rangi Ruru Girls' High School.

Bolton had been working as a ski guide in Niseko since November, having previously worked on ski fields in Canada, Tekapo and Wanaka.

The family said she had an "adventurous spirit and love for skiing and the outdoors".

"Our family would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of her fellow colleague and friend whose life was also tragically lost," they said on Tuesday.

Mt Yotei is in the Hokkaido region, which is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders.

Main image (Facebook): Joshua Sellens, the second New Zealander reported to have died in an avalanche in Japan's Hokkaido region.

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