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‚ÄčAmerican Freeskier Kyle Smaine Killed in Avalanche in Japan

Yesterday was a tough day for the skiing community after Tahoe-based pro skier Kyle Smaine was buried and killed in a large avalanche in the Hakuba, Japan backcountry. Smaine was in Japan alongside photographer Grant Gunderson and fellow pro skier Adam √ú for a marketing trip and had wrapped shooting for the day when him and his partners went to ski a few personal laps, running into several other parties in the zone including a group of Austrian skiers and a group of Canadian mountain guides guiding a group of emergency doctors. After √ú and Smaine skied two laps on the run, they were transitioning to hike out at the bottom with one of the Austrians, when the second triggered a massive avalanche above them on an adjacent slope, burying all three. According to Gunderson, the avalanche crown measured two meters tall.

√ú was buried nearly 1.5 meters deep for nearly half an hour, but miraculously survived without injury. Sadly, Smaine and the Austrian skier were recovered but were unable to be revived. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Smaine was a friend and inspiration to many in the freeskiing community. He won a halfpipe gold medal in the 2015 Freestyle World Championships and was known for his hardworking personality and dedication to the sport.

About The Author

stash member Max Ritter

I manage digital content here at TGR, run our gear testing program, and am stoked to be living the dream in the Tetons.

That is so sad to hear. We send our deepest condolence here from Pearland Concrete Contractors

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According to Gunderson, the avalanche crown measured two meters tall. wedding photo booth rental Charlotte

They were both pronounced dead at the scene. wedding photo booth rental Charlotte