Last week, skiers lost another great one. Professional skier and ski-BASE jumper Erik Roner died in a skydiving accident on Monday, September 28, 2015, at Squaw Valley, California. Roner was one of four skydivers who jumped with parachutes as part of the opening ceremonies for the Fourth Annual Squaw Valley Institute Celebrity Golf Tournament. He hit a tree on his descent, and became entangled in the branches. Some 120 people saw the accident. Roner was pronounced dead later that morning at the local hospital. He was 39, and is survived by his wife, Annika, son, Oskar, and daughter, Kasper. A celebration of life was held for Roner last Saturday, with large attendance by the ski and action sports world, as well as Roner’s many friends and family.
At the Squaw Valley Conference Center, Roner was remembered for his impeccable smile and fierce love of life. He was caring, kind, and approachable. Teton Gravity Research co-founder Todd Jones delivered a eulogy and said, "We tore the roof off this planet. I always say, 'You get one lap, make it count.' Roner had one of the sickest laps ever."
Roner began skydiving and BASE jumping in 2000. And he was known best for his mainstream breakthrough success with the Nitro Circus and more recently Teton Gravity Research’s show, Locals, on Outside TV. However, Roner started his professional athlete career as a skier. In the photos above, it’s clear that Roner fell in love with the feeling of flight. He often found that feeling in the air, but he also chased weightless turns in deep snow. Rest in peace, Roner. Our thoughts are with his family. To support Annika, Oskar, and Kasper, donate to their memorial fund. —Mike Rogge