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Trailblazing Utah skier Kasha Rigby dies in avalanche

Kasha Rigby was known for her accomplishments in telemark skiing.
Mary McIntyre
Kasha Rigby was known for her accomplishments in telemark skiing.

A Utah woman known for her accomplishments in telemark skiing was killed in an avalanche in Kosovo Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Catherine “Kasha” Rigby was crushed in the slide through trees in southeastern Europe, according to memorials shared by friends. She was 54.

Her partner and fiancé, Magnus Wolfe Murray, immediately began CPR, but her injuries were too severe. Rigby passed away within moments of the avalanche.

The former Salt Lake City and rural Boulder, Utah, resident was known for exploring the world and the daring descents that made her a legend in the skiing community. A pioneer of extreme telemarking, she skied the highest peaks of Siberia and Uganda, traversed the frozen rivers of the Himalayas and was the first to telemark down an 8,000-meter peak in Tibet.

Rigby found her passion in humanitarian work, whether aiding refugees in Bangladesh or helping with earthquake response in Nepal. She and Murray were skiing in Kosovo while they waited for work visas to assist with earthquake relief in Türkiye at the time of the avalanche.

They had planned to marry in Scotland in September.

A GoFundMe has been set up for funeral expenses. Funds remaining after the memorial service will be donated to Rigby’s favorite charities.