Two U.S. Ski Team Members Die in Avalanche

The U.S. Ski Team is mourning the loss of two promising development-level ski racers killed Monday in an avalanche in Soelden. The two were among a group of six athletes freeskiing at the Austrian resort. The other four skied out of the slide.

Ronnie Berlack

Killed in the avalanche were Ronnie Berlack, 20, of Franconia, N.H., and Burke Mountain, Vt., and Bryce Astle, 19, of Sandy, Utah.

“Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport—both on the race course and skiing the mountain,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association president and CEO Tiger Shaw. “Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them.”

Berlack grew up racing in New Hampshire and had been a student-athlete at Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy. He was named to the U.S. Ski Team’s Development Team following two top-20 finishes at the 2013 U.S. Alpine Championships and a spring tryout camp.

Astle raced at Snowbird and was invited to train with the development team this season. He had posted strong early season results, including two top-10s in NorAm Cup races last month in Canada.

Bryce Astle

Friends and fans who have something to say about these young athletes, please share your thoughts on the dedicated Facebook page.

Information on services is pending.

The Astle family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Snowbird Sports Education Foundation, 3165 E Millrock Drive, STE 190, Holladay, UT 84121.

Ronnie Berlack