Hunt for California skier who vanished on Christmas Day

Rory Angelotta hasn't been since Christmas Day, prompting a sizable search and rescue effort by local authorities

Tom Fenton
Thursday 30 December 2021 18:24
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Law enforcement officers in Placer Country, California, are extending their search for a 43-year-old skier who went missing on Christmas Day.

As CBS Sacramento reports, Rory Angelotta was reported missing by his friends after failing to show up for a planned festive dinner.

Extreme weather conditions at the Northstar California Ski Resort at the time of Mr Angelotta’s disappearance were reported, which could prove to be a key factor in the investigation.

CBS also reported that Mr Angelotta was an “experienced skier”, one who was believed to have been carrying avalanche gear on the day he went missing.

Mr Angelotta’s last known action was scanning his pass to use the resort’s ski lift at around 11.30 am on Saturday morning, with no activity recorded afterwards, according to county police.

They also state that the man’s phone was turned off at the time, with his car being found in the resort’s parking lot.

Officials claim that Mr Angelotta was relatively new to the area, having moved to Truckee, California from Colorado in October of this year. Following the move, he took up a position as general manager at Surefoot ski shop in Northstar.

A number of emergency personnel were dispatched after he was reported missing, including Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, Nevada County Search and Rescue, and Northstar Ski Patrol.

Rescue teams “were on skis, snowmobiles and a snowcat during their search” but faced “high avalanche danger, strong winds, whiteout flurries, frigid temperatures and heavy snow loads” that caused them to call off the search Sunday night, the sheriff’s office said.

Before the weather turned, officials were out on Tuesday evening following the discovery of tracks in the snow. However, the track marks are now thought to have been made by a bear rather than a skier.

In spite of the obvious challenges that rescue workers are currently facing, Kelsey Angelotta, the skier’s sister, is refusing to give up hope that he’ll be found safe and well.

“We don’t know if he’s walking around, or if he’s hunkered down in a snow cave, or if he’s injured, or buried,” Ms Angelotta told CBS. “We’re very concerned my brother’s not coming home to us, but we’re still very hopeful.”

“Maybe someone saw him on the lift or talked to him on the lift,” she added.

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