The avalanche that killed world champion halfpipe skier Kyle Smaine occurred over the weekend in the mountains of central Japan. Smaine was buried alive in the avalanche.
The United States Freeski Team shared a tweet on social media on the passing of an American citizen who was 31 years old. Smaine, who once resided in Lake Tahoe, California, said in a recent post that he would be making the journey to the Nagano prefecture in order to ski in the backcountry there and experience the “unbelievable snow quality.”
Jenna Dramise, the couple’s wife, also shared a photo and caption on Instagram, saying, “Tonight I want to ride some pow or bikes with you in my dreams.”
How did Kyle die?
At the time when Smaine was there, there had been a significant amount of snowfall in the region, and the authorities had issued avalanche warnings.
Smaine “was flung 50 metres by the air burst and buried and murdered,” according to the description of the avalanche that was posted on social media by photographer Grant Gunderson, who was also on the expedition. Smaine was skiing with two other people at the time; one of them died tragically, and the other was buried under approximately 5 feet of snow but survived the ordeal unharmed. Gunderson did not provide the other skiers’ complete names.
In 2015, the year that ski halfpipe competition was introduced to the Olympic programme, Smaine took first place at the Ski Halfpipe World Championships. His most recent significant victory came in January 2018, when he took first place in the World Cup competition held at Mammoth Mountain in California.
On Smaine’s Instagram profile, tributes to him came in like a flood. Kyle Smaine was a World Champion freeskier, liked exploring the mountains, was a great competitor, but was an even better person and friend, according to a statement made by the United States Freeski Team on its own Instagram account.
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