Vail Valley Voices: In memory of ‘Berge’
Vail, CO, Colorado
As we all filter into the French Deli in Lionshead each winter morning, the different sets of ski instructors arrive to welcomes and warm greetings.
Sometimes holding court and sometimes attending court, based on the topics, “Berge” is a mainstay and is there discussing everything from the particulars of the week’s or the day’s challenges … to the new app that provides snow reports by square centimeter or such … to politics, local or national … to the next horizon for Vail or the ski industry, for that matter.
And then the leader rises when it comes to those who are scaling the ranks of PSIA (Professional Ski Instructor Association), where he was the former alpine chair and an examiner.
Berge was a staunch believer of the Socratic method, and the questions flowed. Those who wished to participate were pelted with “What is difference between …” or define “pressure,” all in the spirit of educating, challenging and uplifting.
Many usually fell short and went on and on digging the hole deeper only to have a Vail ski legend, usually one with a single name, respond, as when “Chief” was then directly asked and responded in 11 words without missing step.
We are all sad at his passing and all will be sadder this coming winter to not have him there with us. We will miss him.
“Immortality is someone remembering.” Donald Jerry Berg need not be remembered any greater in passing as he was in life. We remember!
Phil Weinstein is a Vail ski instructor.
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