This past World Cup season, we lost two members of the U.S. Ski Team family. On January 5th, 2015 an avalanche in Soelden took the lives of Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle, two rising racers on the USST development team. During our recent Men’s photo shoot at Alta Ski Area, we were fortunate enough to meet Bryce’s parents. After sharing hugs and laughs with the family, we were inspired to honor the lives of Ronnie and Bryce, through a trek to the famed-High Rustler trail. After several traverses and side steps, we arrived at High Rustler with U.S. Ski Team coach, TJ Lanning, as well as athletes Steven Nyman and Jared Goldberg.
“Our adventure was nothing short of wind lips, scoured ridgeline and shark tooth-like rocks tearing at our bases. I was thinking to myself, the boys would be going a lot faster than this and probably airing over all the cliff bands. Once we finally made it, my heart rate began rushing and the emotions started to surface. All I wanted to do was shred it like they would have. The three of us picked a line to ski together, far skier left next to the cliffs. Though it was amazing to share this with good friends and teammates Steven and Jared, I skied that run another dozen times before Alta closed that day, every time it feeling equally as special,” says Lanning. Nyman adds “I had them in my mind the whole way down. I was envisioning the boys chasing us, skiing by my side then passing me. It was wild to feel that connection in the moment.”
23-year old American downhiller, Jared Goldberg, found himself reflecting back on the innate love his peers had for skiing. “I remember talking to some coaches about talented up and coming racers, and all of them said without a doubt Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle. During my first session with the U.S. Ski Team, all the other kids training were pretty shy and didn't talk to me, but not Bryce. He was asking questions and you could tell that he loved not only racing, but skiing in general was his passion.” Since the accident, the Astle family has spread Bryce’s ashes throughout the High Rustler trail, known now by locals as ‘Bryce’s Run’.READ STORY