There are seasons like this where the amount of snow make you think ‘damn, it’s gonna be dangerous out there’, and actually not much happens, until the last days of the season. Following the tragic loss of Chamonix snowboard instructor Keith McIntosh in Kaunertal last month, we are now told about the death of a snowboard icon: 31-year-old Karine Ruby.
Karine was the first ever snowboard Gold Medalist in Nagano 1998, 6 times world champion in 3 different categories (giant, parallel slalom and boardercross) and once she’d retired from professional riding after the 2006 Torino Olympics she continued to work in the mountains as an alpine guide. Last Friday, she was out with 2 other alpinists on the Glacier du Geant in the Chamonix range, when around noon, a snow bridge cracked and took the roped up group down a 20-meter crevasse.
More than the fact she was a true champion Karine was fundamentally in love with the mountains, living out her dreams on a daily basis. She died doing what she was passionate for. No matter if you’re a world champion or a Sunday rider, an alpine or a freestyler, we’re all equal in the mountain, and we’re all very small things.
Karine will be sorely missed, and will stay forever as a pioneer in women’s snowboarding. All our thoughts go to her friends and family.