How Did Kasha Rigby Die? Pioneering American Skier Killed in Avalanche in Kosova Aged 54 after Snow Sweeps Her Along With British Fiance

In the 1990s, Rigby earned the title of 'the best telemark skier in the known universe,' a title given to her by Outside magazine.

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American skier Katherine 'Kasha' Rigby has died following an avalanche at a ski resort in southern Kosovo. The death of a 54-year-old skier was initially reported on Tuesday by Euronew.albania. A spokesperson from the regional police told Radio Free Europe that the individual affected by the avalanche was a "54-year-old foreign citizen."

Although the report did not name the skier, friends and loved ones of Rigby posted tributes on her Instagram account, which features numerous pictures from the ski resort in Brezovica. The trailblazing athlete was at Brezovica with her fiancé Magnus Wolfe Murray when she suddenly got caught in a minor avalanche that carried her into the wooded area.

Unexpected and Tragic Death

Kasha Rigby
Kasha Rigby X

Rigby was reportedly killed on impact. Murray managed to reach her within 20 seconds and tried to resuscitate her, but unfortunately, his efforts were unsuccessful, as reported by Back Country Magazine.

As per local media reports, a spokesperson from the Mountain Search and Rescue Service of Kosovo said that rescue teams eventually located the body of the American skier after making several attempts.

"The weather was foggy and the visibility was very low. It was very difficult to locate the accident site. After several attempts, we found that the accident happened in the place called 'The place of Eagles.'

"After a short search, the body was located, but unfortunately, due to trauma from the avalanche, a foreign citizen passed away," the spokesperson said.

The fearless athlete was born in Vermont and later moved to Colorado and Utah. She gained acclaim, notably for being the first skier to telemark ski on Cho You, a Himalayan mountain and the sixth highest in the world.

Telemark skiing involves a technique that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing, using the rear foot for balance while pushing with the front foot.

Star in Her Own Right

Kasha Rigby
Kasha Rigby X

Rigby also descended from challenging peaks in Russia, Ecuador, and Lebanon, as reported by Ski Magazine. She also showcased her skills by competing on season three of National Geographic's reality program, 'Ultimate Survival Alaska,' in 2015.

Before her untimely death, Rigby was deeply involved in a project called the Tour de Piste, where expert skiers aim to navigate uncharted ski runs at popular locations. In her last Instagram post, she referred to the project as "running the fringes of resorts."

After the tragic incident, authorities at Brezovica cautioned skiers to "only ski on ski trails."

A member of the Mountain Search and Rescue Service of Kosovo reassured, "The paths are safe, and Brezovica is also safe." They stressed that even a slight deviation from a designated course could result in perilous consequences.

In the 1990s, Rigby earned the title of 'the best telemark skier in the known universe,' a title given to her by Outside magazine.

Rigby frequently shared the slopes with the iconic skier Hilaree Nelson, who died while skiing down from the summit of Manaslu in 2022.