Emily Watts, 26, also known as Mimi, was practicing her jumps off the side of a piste when she dropped into a 5ft deep hole that was covered by snow. She landed face down in the snow and was unconscious.

It was 45 minutes until a passer-by spotted Watts, by which time she was partially starved of oxygen and had suffered a heart attack. She was airlifted to a hospital in Amnecy, where she remains in critical condition.

Her mother, Nicola McAllister told the Daily Mail: “Her friends were ahead of her and didn’t know anything had happened until they got to the bottom of the slope.”

McAllister said that it was only a matter of time before her life support machine was turned off.

The 62-year-old said: “She effectively died on the slope – she won’t recover. She has no chance. We are devastated. It is in the hands of the doctors now when they turn her life-support machine off,” the Daily Mail reports.

Despite the accident happening on Saturday, Watt’s family weren’t told until Sunday because she was not carrying any documentation and police could not identify her.

Watts studied costume design and hoped to return to university in September to do an MA in graphic design.

She moved to Chamonix to look for a job two weeks ago and found work managing holiday flats. She text her mother the day before the accident telling her that she was “very happy”.

Emily’s aunt Shona Pollock said: “She went out there because she is a passionate snowboarder. I think Saturday was the first day of the season. Mimi is heavenly; she’s the nicest girl you could ever meet. She had worked really hard all summer to go.

“She was a brilliant snowboarder, it is just one of those tragic, awful accidents.”

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