Tributes have been paid to a talented skier who was killed when an avalanche struck in the Swiss Alps.
Businessman Chris Longbottom, who ran his own ski accommodation business, showed an entrepreneurial flair throughout his teenage years according to school pal Elliot Ronald.
“He was a very larger than life character. Very smart and entrepreneurial. He spoke four or five languages.
“Even when we were at school he used to go and collect golf balls that had got lost and then he would sell them to make money.
“He was always coming up with entrepreneurial little businesses.”
The 39-year-old, went to Hemel Hempstead School and it is understood that his parents – a Swiss mother and British father – still live locally in Box Lane.
He had been skiing off piste at the ski resort Col de Forclaz with a group of friends when an avalanche hit on Sunday, February 9.
His friends were able to dig themselves out of the snow but Chris’ body was found several days later by mountain rescue teams.
“He was an amazing skier, that was his real passion. I skied with him quite a few times,” said Elliot.
“He was a really fun guy.
“He would have great parties but he was also a smart and pretty focused chap. It is really sad.”
Chris became a professional golfer at the age of 18 and set up his first ski business at 22.
He was a keen cyclist and spent a year-and-a-half during his early 20s travelling the world on his bike riding through California, New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Thailand.
He was also a mountain runner and involved with trail run organisers Run the Alps.
In a profile under a ‘meet the team’ section of the running group’s website Chris said: “Everything I do, I do to the max.
“ I love skiing, love my running, love my mountains, love my freedom.”
Another Hemel Hempstead School pal Tim Osborn-Jones said: “He was a great athlete, daring, energetic and always led from the front.I could never keep up with him.
“Reading his Facebook page he touched so many people during his life and clearly had many fans.”