Two US Ski Team Development athletes were killed in an avalanche in Soelden, Austria on Monday, January 3rd, 2015. Ronnie Berlack, 20, from Franconia, New Hampshire and Bryce Astle, 19, of Sandy, Utah. The two were freeskiing with 4 other skiers when the avalanche struck. They were skiing down the extremely steep north face of the tram accessed 3,000-meter (10,000-foot) Gaislachkogels peak.
– The avalanche was 30cm deep, 20m wide, and 360m wide and buried the two skiers 3m deep.
– It took 60 rescue personell to located the buried skiers.
– Neither of the two buried skiers were wearing avalanche beacons.
– Avalanche danger was rated at “Considerable” the day of the avalanche
– “From region to region, the proneness to triggering even reaches danger level high.” – Avalanche report the day of the accident
Source: Avalanche Warning Service of Tyrol
5 thoughts on “UPDATE: US Ski Teamers Who Died in Avalanche Did Not Have Avalanche Beacons”
Miles, Matt is right. I skie in the aea and the avy took place on the shoulder of the Rettenbach Tal; usually a high snow area which this year has not seen as much snow as usual. It was a bad couple of days up and down the valley.
The amount of trees on the slope, lack of a river at the bottom and village where there is none in the other photos are also a giveaway though 😉 (I live in the area btw)
Your second last picture looking down a chute – captioned Obergurgl – is of a different slide. Obergurgl is around 5km up the valley from Sölden, the resort/town where the two Americans died. The picture is of the starting zone of a different (also fatal) slide the day before in Obergurgl.
Thanks Matt. I have two German buddies here that translated that directly from the Austria Avy Center page’s caption. I’ll have them go back into it and have a look. Thanks again.