A professional skier and his girlfriend fell more than 2,000 feet to their deaths while mountain climbing in the Italian Alps, sports officials in the country said.

The deaths of the two, Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlian, were reported by FISI, Italy’s winter sports federation, which called the episode an “accident” and a “terrible tragedy.”

Mr. Pession and Ms. Arlian, who were both Italian, were climbing a ridge on Saturday that divides the east and north faces of Monte Zerbion, a mountain in the Pennine Alps that both knew well. As is common in climbs of this kind, they were tied together. They were alone, so it is not known precisely how or why they fell.

When family members reported them missing, rescuers began a search. A helicopter with equipment that detects cellphone signals located their bodies. The Italian television channel TG3 reported that the pair were almost at the summit when they fell.

Ms. Arlian was an elementary school and skiing teacher. Mr. Pession, 28, had competed on the World Cup circuit for speed skiing, in which athletes ski downhill trying to reach the fastest speed possible, often 125 miles an hour or more. He placed 15th in the world standings in 2021 and 33rd in 2022.



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