According to a post from his wife on Instagram, US skier Kyle Smaine passed away at 31 in an avalanche in Japan.
Jenna Dramise wrote:
“Dear Husband and my whole world, officially married November 18, 2022, which not many people knew about”
“I’m so incredibly thankful that I got to marry you and have you in my life.”
Smaine was one of two males caught in an avalanche and later discovered dead by police in Nagano, Japan. According to the police, they were among the 13 victims of the avalanche. The authorities have not yet released the identities of the deceased.
His wife wrote:
“You loved skiing more than anyone I’ve ever met. I picked you up hitchhiking in New Zealand 2010 and who would have thought we would be married 13 years later.”
“The best damn years of my life. I know you had the best runs in your life out there in Japan and could never blame you for doing what you loved.
“I do wish I could tell you that one secret I always had, that I loved you. It never really was a secret because I said it at least 10 times a day to you. I can’t wait to see you again. Tonight I hope to ride some pow or bikes with you in my dreams. Love your Wife.”
The 31-year-old American was killed while skiing in the Nagano prefecture on Monday, according to Grant Granderson, a photographer for the outdoor publication Mountain Gazette who had been on the same trip as Smaine.
“Yesterday was my absolute worst nightmare scenario,” Granderson wrote.
Granderson said that the photographer stayed at base camp on the final day of their vacation. At the same time, a party that included Smaine and fellow professional skier Adam Ü opted to ski one last run. Adam Ü paid tribute to his friend Smaine by posting a statement and a picture.
“RIP,” he wrote. “Your stoke and enthusiasm was just what this old guy needed.”
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A party of Austrian skiers who took a slightly different path were waiting for them at the summit, according to Ü in an interview with Mountain Gazette on Monday. Soon later, an avalanche claimed the lives of three skiers: Smaine, Ü, and a third skier, according to Mountain Gazette.
“Adam, Kyle and the other skier tried to run. Adam was buried 1.5 meters deep for 25 minutes and is unscathed. That is a miracle. The skier buried next to him died from internal injuries. Kyle was thrown 50 meters by the air blast and buried and killed.
“Another group in the area consisting of two Canadian mountain guides and 4 or 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 be rehashing this for the rest of our lives.”
Due to the weather, authorities could not start a search on Sunday immediately, but on Monday am, they sent out a 12-person rescue squad. A spokesperson for the Nagano police told Reuters that the avalanche on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura had trapped at least five individuals, all of whom were foreigners from the US and Austria.
Reuters reports that weather authorities recently issued avalanche warnings after a significant snowfall. On Sunday, Smaine shared a video of himself skiing. His body camera captured that. He wrote that he traveled to Japan because of the:
“unbelievable snow quality, non-stop storms, and really fun terrain that seems to get better then more exploring you do.”
At the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships, Smaine won gold in the halfpipe.