Yesterday, one of my favorite and long time ski partners, Steve Romeo and his ski partner, Chris Onufer, were buried and killed in a massive avalanche on Ranger Peak in Grand Teton National Park. They were reported missing late last night and a quick SAR fly over this morning yielded two beacon hits within a debris pile. Their bodies were recovered earlier this afternoon.
Steve was my first real Teton ski partner. I remember how excited I was when this notorious Teton character, Randosteve, asked me if I wanted to get out with him. I was pretty green back then. Not sure if I was up to his ability level. But ski together we did, and often, for two or three seasons. I'm a better skier for it. Steve had a knowledge of the range that few possessed and I was honored to be tagging along. He was always game to go big, often pushing the conditions just a hair and several of his close calls inspired healthy debate within the ski community.
What was cool about Steve was that he was willing to put his successes and failures out in the blogosphere for all to see. He shared his strong opinions and let others share theirs'. He created TetonAT as a vehicle to promote his "Live to Ski" attitude. And he was doing just that on his last day.
We'll never know what happened on Ranger Peak that day. Doesn't really matter. I lost another friend and a great partner. I will continue to Live to Ski in his honor. - Brian