‘He will be missed’: Missing skier Rory Angelotta remembered as loyal, faithful
Special to the Tribune
Rory Angelotta moved to California to do what he loved.
Those who knew the 43-year-old Angelotta — who went missing Christmas Day after his pass was scanned at Northstar Ski Resort — knew him to have a free and loving spirit, who dedicated his life to what he loved.
“Rory was one of the first people that I met when I moved to Denver, and he was nothing but kind and a really fun person to hang out with from the start,” said friend Alison Griggs. “He proved how loyal and faithful he is to all of his friends by continuing to be the most loving person he could be over the past decade. He made me laugh a ton, which is one thing I will never forget. His love of the outdoors and nature was immense, and he never took that for granted where he lived. He will be missed greatly by so many people. My heart goes out to his family.”
After six days of searching in harsh winter conditions, authorities called off the search. Angelotta has yet to be recovered.
Angelotta had recently moved to California from Colorado to help open up a Surefoot location at Northstar. The company reached out on Instagram to release a statement.
“We’re so grateful to have had Rory on the Surefoot team and devastated that our time with him was cut short,” the post states. “He was so excited to open the new store in Northstar, and worked diligently the past few months getting it up and running. Rory’s sister, Kelsey, recently said, ‘My brother loved and dedicated his life to fitting ski boots…I was sad he was leaving Colorado, but it was all worth it when he told me a few weeks ago this is the happiest he’s ever been.’ His passion for skiing was contagious, and we couldn’t have had a better guy on our team. We’ll miss you, Rory.”
Angelotta’s family released a statement through the Placer County Sheriffs Office.
“The Angelotta family would like to express our deep gratitude for all those who have and will continue to aid in the search, rescue, and recovery of our son, brother, cousin, nephew, and uncle,” it states. “Your prayers have given us strength through this difficult time; please continue to keep the family in your prayers.”
Angelotta’s entrepreneurial spirit rubbed off on others. He was often a mentor to his friends, encouraging them to seek out their dreams as well.
“He touched my life in a huge way,” said longtime friend August Kaan. “Rory was like an older brother to me. He taught me the value of hard work and entrepreneurship. He was selfless and always smiling. A music lover and a sun worshipper. He inspired me to take the career path I did into cannabis, and he was absolutely on the forefront of cannabis advocacy. He was a visionary and an amazing man. He will be missed by all.”
Since Angelotta’s disappearance there has been record snow in the area and harsh weather conditions which caused many roads to close, including Highway 267, which caused a slow down in the search.
According to authorities, there was no other activity registered to Angelotta’s pass since Christmas morning. An emergency ping on Angelotta’s phone last showed a short call made from the Northstar area at 11:25 a.m. before his phone was turned off. Angelotta’s vehicle was also found parked in the Northstar parking lot.
Around 13,000 personnel hours were committed to the search, with around 220 personnel from 17 different agencies and rescue organizations braving extreme winter mountain conditions in their search.
On Dec. 30, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said it would suspend the search, as it was “determined there is no realistic possibility Rory has survived the severe winter conditions.”
A release states that there is still a scaled response planned for recovery operations at the resort.
“This was a difficult decision, especially for the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring Rory home. Unfortunately, it was a decision that had to be made. Our hearts go out to the family,” the release states.
A second recovery search will occur later in the season once the snow begins to melt, Public Information Officer Mike Powers has said.
Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com
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