PRISTINA, Kosovo — Catherine Rigby, a renowned telemark , big mountain, and expedition skier covering first descents of some of the world’s most revered peaks, died in an avalanche in a Kosovo resort. She was 54.

Her fiancée Magnis Wofe Murray said in a message response in Facebook that Rigby, known as Kasha, died on Feb. 13 at Brezovica mountain resort in Kosovo, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital Pristina.

Kasha, a resident in Utah, United States, was skiing out of the tourist lanes when an avalanche hit her, according to police, who declined to provide name and other details. Kasha did not survive despite Murray's immediate CPR and the rescuers’ medical assistance later.

Search and rescue personnel said they found Kasha, who had dropped in at the top of the run, was swept into a pine tree from a small avalanche in the “Eagle’s Nest” area, known for its avalanche risks.

Rigby, considered one of the best female telemark skiers in the world and had featured in several movies, was in Kosovo with the Tour de Piste, a project made up of expert skiers to navigate uncharted ski runs at popular locations.

The State Department also confirmed her death, not giving her name or more details “out of respect to the family during this difficult time.” They are providing appropriate consular assistance for her transport back home after the investigation from the local authorities.

“We were to be married in September. Now I’m widowed and devastated,” Murray said on Saturday.

Rigby was born in Stowe, Vermont, in 1970. During her childhood, she became a telemark skier.

Telemark skiing is a combination of Alpine and Nordic skiing when the athlete bend their knees every time they have to turn. The heel is attached to the front of the binding by a hinged cable.

She has competed in telemark racing and extreme-skiing competitions in the U.S., Canada, South America, New Zealand, Russia, Asia, Europe, India, and the Middle East. She skied the highest peak in Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, China, and the Mongolian Five Holy Peaks.

She is one of three American women to ski an 8000m peak in the Himalayas.

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