Ski team in shock over avalanche deaths of 2 US prospects - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ski team in shock over avalanche deaths of 2 US prospects

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Two U.S. ski team prospects were killed in an avalanche Monday. Two U.S. ski team prospects were killed in an avalanche Monday.
SOELDEN, Austria -

Bryce Astle's mother says the 19-year-old skier was hoping to be in the next Olympics -- and that "he was pretty much on his way."

Astle, who was from Utah, was one of two prospects from the U.S. ski team who were killed today in an avalanche near the team's training base in Austria. The other was 20-year-old Ronnie Berlack of New Hampshire.

The two Americans were in a group of six skiers who were descending from the top of a mountain when they left the prepared slope and apparently set off the avalanche. The other four skied out of the slide and escaped unhurt.

Officials say an avalanche alert had been declared for the area after days of heavy snowfall and mild temperatures.

A ski team official says members are "in shock" over the deaths. Patrick Riml describes the two skiers as "great boys" and "great athletes."

He says members of the U.S. team will be free to decide whether they still want to take part in tomorrow night's World Cup race in Croatia.

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