TRUCKEE, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — California search and rescue teams are looking for a missing skier who was last seen at a ski resort Christmas Day.
Rory Angelotta, 43, went to the Northstar Ski Resort in Truckee on Dec. 25 and never came home. He was reported missing around 10 p.m after he failed to meet with friends for Christmas dinner, authorities said.
Placer County Sheriff Sgt. Mike Powers said sometimes even the best skiers get themselves in too deep.
“A lot of the very experienced skiers will have a lapse of judgment and try to ski fresh powder, and will try to do the more … out of bounds type areas,” Powers said.
Powers believes that Angelotta, an experienced skier, might have gotten caught in the severe winter weather that is plaguing the area. According to police, Angelotta’s ski pass was last scanned at Northstar’s Comstock lift around 11:30 a.m. Saturday. His vehicle was discovered by police parked in the Northstar parking lot and phone calls to his cell have gone straight to voicemail.
“We have to be realistic — anybody surviving those conditions is very, very rare,” Powers said.
Conditions were so bad that the search had to be stopped once Sunday for the safety of everyone involved. Searchers have used every tool available to try to locate Angelotta, from snowcats to people on cross country skis to a Blackhawk helicopter. Powers warns that while resorts may cater to your every whim, skiing is not without its risks.
“You may be at a luxurious resort where at the bottom of the hill is every amenity you can imagine, but at the top of the hill you really are out with the elements and it can in an instant turn to a life-or-death situation.”
Angelotta is an experienced mountaineer and outdoorsman who just moved to the area. He worked as the general manager of the Surefoot ski shop at the Northstar Ski Resort, according to the sheriff’s office. But even with his advanced skill set, Powers says time and hope are running out.
“Even an experienced mountaineer with all the proper equipment heading out there with the intent to weather this storm would be very hard-pressed to survive,” he said. “The only reason we have kept it up this long is he is so experienced; he has been in the backcountry.”
He was last seen wearing a navy blue Fly Low jacket, blue helmet and black goggles.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.