Kyle Smaine’s The freestyler died Sunday after becoming entangled in an avalanche in Japan, shocking the aerial skiing world.
Kyle Smaine was a freestyle skier from America. At the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, he won gold in the halfpipe.
Smaine is an aerial skier, which involves performing acrobatics in the air while skiing down a ramp.
He is known for his smooth, accurate landings and daring flips and twists because to his exceptional athleticism and natural talent.
As a freestyle skier, he quickly climbed to fame and has since competed in a number of major competitions, including the Winter X Games and the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships.
Kyle Smaine Obituary: American Freestyle Skier Dies in Japan
Kyle Smaine, a professional skier from South Lake Tahoe, died Sunday after becoming entangled in an avalanche in Japan, according to the Mountain Gazette.
The 31-year-old was skiing while on a marketing tour for Ikon Pass and Nagano Tourism when the avalanche occurred Sunday afternoon, Japan local time, according to the Mountain Gazette.
The avalanche occurred at 2:30 p.m. in backcountry terrain outside the Tsugaike Mountain Resort in the village of Otari, according to the Japan Times.
It happened on the border of Niigata Prefecture, on the eastern side of Mt. Hakuba Norikura (2,469 meters). For several days, the region has been blanketed with snow.
According to Ü, Smaine, Mountain Gazette Senior Photographer Grant Gunderson, and Glacier, Washington-based pro skier Adam Ü were on the day’s penultimate run.
Before Gunderson returned to the lodge, they saw a bunch of Austrian skiers, according to the Mountain Gazette. When one Austrian arrived at the bottom and met Smaine and Ü, they switched their backpack geet to an uphill mode.
According to Ü, the slide was caused by a second Austrian, and the three at the bottom heard it fracture and fled. Ü was buried under around five feet of snow and had to be rescued. He was unharmed and was able to escape by boot-packing.
What became of Kyle Smaine? Avalanche and His Friend Investigated
He told Mountain Gazette over the phone early Sunday morning that the three skiers were on a free ski on Sunday afternoon, local Japan time. The identities of the Austrian skiers are still unknown.
“It was the last run of our trip’s last day. We didn’t bring any camera equipment. “We were going out to have a good time,” he explained.
Gunderson returned to the lodge after the first run. The second lap was completed by Ü and Smaine. On the summit, Ü and Smaine came into a group of Austrian skiers.
Smaine and Ü repeated the previous loop. The Austrian group, according to Ü, elected to ski from a somewhat different viewpoint point with a different exposure.
Smaine and Ü were at the bottom switching their backcountry gear to uphill mode.
At least two physicians were present in a nearby led group. They came on the scene and assisted with the rescue efforts.
According to Ü, the Austrian skier died while the group was performing CPR on him. Smaine, the other victim, was later reported to be unresponsive.