Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle
Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle were skiing near the Rettenbach glacier when they reportedly set off an avalanche Getty/Team US

Team USA ski hopefuls Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle have died in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps while skiing close to their base near Soelden.

Berlack, 20, and Astle, 19, died in the incident after descending the descending the 3,056m Gaislachkogel slope.

The pair were part of a group of six skiers but reportedly set off the avalanche after they left the prepared slope.

They had been training to compete in the season-opening World Cup race and their deaths have left Team US in "shock".

"Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport, both on the race course and skiing the mountain," US Ski and Snowboard Association president and CEO Tiger Shaw said.

"Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them."

Alpine director Patrick Riml described the men as "two great boys, great athletes, good skiers".

He said: "They were fun to have around. We are all in shock, still. It's very tragic," as reported by Associated Press.

Soelden has been the European base for the US ski team since 2011.