Avalanche hits skiers in Austria 0:48
American skier Kyle Smaine died in an avalanche in Japan at age 31, according to a post by his wife on Instagram.
Kyle Smaine competes in the 2018 FIS Freeski World Cup Men's Ski Halfpipe Final Round during the Toyota US Grand Prix on January 19, 2018 in Mammoth, California.
(Sean M Haffey/Getty Images)
“Dear husband and my entire world, we are officially married on November 18, 2022, something not many people knew about,” Jenna Dramise wrote.
"I am incredibly grateful to be able to marry you and have you in my life."
Skier disappears on the eighth highest mountain in the world
Smaine was one of two men found dead by authorities in Nagano, Japan, after being caught in an avalanche.
Police say they were among the 13 people struck by the avalanche.
The names of the deceased have not been formally announced by authorities.
“You loved skiing more than anyone I've ever met.
I picked you up hitchhiking in New Zealand in 2010 and who would have thought we would get married 13 years later,” his wife wrote.
“Best fucking years of my life.
I know you had the best races of your life in Japan and I could never blame you for doing what you love.
“I wish I could tell you that secret I always had, that I loved you.
It was never really a secret because I told you at least 10 times a day.
I can't wait to see you again.
Tonight I hope to pow or bike with you in my dreams.
Your wife loves you."
Smaine looks on from the podium after finishing first in the final round of the 2018 FIS Freeski World Cup Men's Ski Halfpipe during the Toyota Grand Prix of the USA on January 19, 2018 in Mammoth, California.
(Sean M Haffey/Getty Images)
Grant Granderson, a photographer for the outdoor magazine Mountain Gazette, who had been on the same trip as Smaine, wrote on Instagram that the 31-year-old American had been caught in the avalanche while skiing in Nagano Prefecture on Monday.
“Yesterday was my worst nightmare scenario,” Granderson wrote.
The photographer explained that on the last day of their trip, a group that included Smaine and fellow professional skier Adam Ü decided to do one last ski run while, Granderson wrote, he stayed at base camp.
Adam Ü posted a message with a photo, in honor of his friend Smaine.
"Rest in peace," he wrote.
"Your fuel and enthusiasm was just what this old man needed."
According to the Mountain Gazette, who spoke to Ü on Monday, they met a group of Austrian skiers at the top who chose to ski a slightly different route.
Shortly after, three skiers -- Smaine, Ü and a third skier -- were trapped in the avalanche, the Mountain Gazette said.
“Adam, Kyle and the other skier tried to run.
Adam was buried 1.5 meters deep for 25 minutes and was unharmed.
That is a miracle.
The skier buried next to him died of internal injuries.
Kyle was thrown 50 meters by the air blast and was buried and died.
“Another group in the area made up of two Canadian mountain guides and 4-5 emergency doctors/nurses etc.
as clients performed the rescue.
The doctors did everything they could for Kyle and the other skier.
Adam and I will remember this for the rest of our lives."
The Nagano Prefectural Police search operation begins at the Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort on January 30, 2023 in Otari, Japan, after two foreign skiers were found unconscious while three others were making their way down the mountain. safe on your own.
(The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)
On Sunday, police were unable to immediately start a search due to weather, but sent a 12-member rescue team on Monday morning.
At least five men, all foreign nationals from the United States and Austria, were trapped in the avalanche on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura, a Nagano police spokesman told Reuters.
According to Reuters, after heavy snowfall, weather authorities had issued an avalanche warning in recent days.
Smaine had posted a video of himself skiing from his body camera to his Instagram on Sunday.
He wrote that he traveled to Japan because of the “incredible quality of the snow, the non-stop storms, and the really fun terrain that seems to get better the more you explore it.”
Smaine won a gold medal in the halfpipe competition at the FIS Freestyle World Ski and Snowboard Championships in 2015.