February 16, 2024

American Skiing Legend Kasha Rigby Believed Dead After Avalanche

A true legend in extreme skiing has had her life taken in a way that seems only fitting.

Most extreme athletes would take no time at all to answer the question of how they would like to die by saying doing what they love to do.

We can only hope that is the case for Catherine “Kasha” Rigby, an extreme skier who was skiing before she could walk.

Tragedy Strikes

I have always been fascinated by extreme skiers, and with Rigby being in my age bracket, I have been watching her ski mountains for decades.

In her teens, she became an expert telemark skier, which is a very difficult way to carve turns using the front of the foot in toe-only bindings.

In 1998, at the age of 28, “Women Outside” declared her to be "the best female telemark skier in the known universe,” and you will not get any argument from me.

Here is a video with just a small sample of what Rigby was capable of on the slopes. You can tell Rigby when you see the skier with their heel popping up and carving turns with no bindings on the back of the boot…

Her death was first reported by Ferizaj region (Kosovo) police spokesperson Kanun Veseli, who told Radio Free Europe that "a 54-year-old foreign citizen” had died during an avalanche.

Not long after that, Rigby’s friends and family started to post tributes to her on their respective social media accounts.

A close family source had also contacted Ski Magazine about her death.

Backcountry Magazine editor Adam Howard stated, "The whole outdoor and ski world is just gutted to lose such a special soul.”

My idea of skiing was pointing my tips downhill and holding on for dear life on a blue square or black diamond.

Rigby’s idea was to get dropped in by helicopter to some of the steepest mountains in the world, and carve a path like no one had ever tried before.

She was a true legend… may her memory live on forever.

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